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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Check out Oakbrook Center For Some Winter Fun


The holidays always make me think of Family, and with family coming over for Thanksgiving what could be more fun then heading to Oakbrook Center for some Winter fun. Oakbrook is located just outside of Chicago, so it's any easy trip for some great shopping and activities. My family was invited to visit Santa. I was happily surprised with the great photos the photographer was able to take, especially of Olivia, she's not really a camera person. Literally you say "Cheese" and you will have 2 seconds to snap that photo. Santa was very friendly and talked to the girls about how good they have been (or not) and what was on their wish list. The cool thing about this experience is that you can sign up online prior and enter some information on the children so Santa has all the info he needs like Magic! Yay to technology. I for one did not pick the highest level of niceness, I almost wanted to go lower on the scale, but I didn't want to scar my kids, LOL. They were one level below perfect so Santa was able to tell them to work on their manners and chores. Reservations and photo purchases are not required to visit Santa. Santa is located inside the Glass Pavilion (across from Starbucks).

For readers Pets: Pet Nights
Mondays from 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM (November 13 - December 11)



Have you checked out the District? It's the mall's new updated food court, entertainment area. It looks awesome. Lots of food choices to pick from. My girls and I love Mexican food, so Cilantro did not disappoint. My husband opted for a burger and fries from DMK Burger, it was a pretty big sandwich, and the fries were full of flavor. Of course the highlight for my girls was a pit stop at Stan's Donuts. Obviously there aren't any pictures since the girls devoured them. 



Oakbrook has also updated their parking structures. Now your shopping can start sooner since it's easier to see where you can park. Again, thank you technology. Outside each lot you'll see the total number of spaces, and as you go up any green lights mean park here, and red means occupies, Pretty easy and such a time saver. No more waiting behind cars that slow down to look for spots. 

And of course it rained the day we were there. Madeline was super disappointed as she was looking forward to ice skating for the first time. But no worries, we'll be back. The ice skating rink is open  through February 28, 2018 (Friday, Saturday and Sunday ONLY until Thanksgiving). Mondays – Saturdays: 10am – 9pm and Sundays: 11am – 6pm. Admission is $7 for Children 12 and under and $9 for adults. If you need skates you can rent them for $5 (Presented by Samsung).



For those who like to shop local check out the Holiday Market where you can shop for unique and handcrafted goods. Open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. 

My little snowflake 

Naughy or Nice List?

Say Cheese Santa!

So apparently all the reindeer are on her Christmas List. Build a Bear will be a must stop for me.

What fun activities do you do around the holidays? Drop a note below and lets trade ideas. 

Friday, October 13, 2017

When A Not So Long Drive Feels Like Forever

Happy 125th Birthday to the Milwaukee County Zoo. 
We recently loaded up our girls and took a trip to my favorite neighboring city of Milwaukee. We were heading to the Milwaukee County Zoo. We’ve done this ride multiple times over the years. But this drive, oh my goodness, it was so different. I’m not sure what was going on with my 5-year-old. She is typically entertained with window watching, playing with her toys, and listening to music. But as soon as we got on the highway it was all yelling and crying and are we there yet. We’d ask her to be quiet so daddy could concentrate on driving and she’d do it for about a minute and start up again. My husband and I just went down a list of items. Did she sleep well? Yes, we are pretty sure she did. Did she eat breakfast? Yes of course we all did. Was she uncomfortable in her car seat? Nope, she actually responded to us.


So after about an hour into our trip she just kept going on about how bored she was and demanding we give her one of our phones. I’m sorry, but when you start demanding things from mommy and daddy, that is a surefire way of not getting what you want. But in all honesty, deep down I really did just want to give her my phone so we could have some quite, however, I knew I couldn’t do that because, one, we’d be giving in, and two, my 2-year-old would then be the next to start crying. No win-win here. 
I really love that many of the animals walk up to the glass so
the small children can have a really good look at them.
We are about 10 minutes away, and of course there is a vehicle accident. It must have just happened as there was a young lady in tears walking out of her car trying to get out of the traffic. Anyway, thankfully no one seemed hurt, just immobile cars in the shoulder and left lane. So my daughter is frantically crying that she wants to be where we are going now. Meanwhile my husband is trying to maneuver and he himself not get involved in another accident. She would just not listen about being quiet for a minute. I had to turn around and yell at her “SHUT UP”. I don’t normally yell at her, and I have never said shut up to her. I just don’t like how it sounds to me. Well that got her attention, and then waterworks because I yelled at her. I felt horrible having to yell at her like that. And after what seemed forever, we finally got to our destination. At the zoo, it was as if nothing had happened, just her usual cheery self. Luckily the ride home was the total opposite. Both girls were so tired out by the fun at the zoo that they were practically asleep before we left the parking lot. I've sprinkled in our happy zoo pictures so enjoy, and definitely check out the Milwaukee County Zoo. They have elephants! I'm worn out from our drive!

Have you ever had a bad road trip experience? How have you handled the situation? I know all families are unique, but sharing any advice for future trips could benefit us all. Next time should I invest in portable DVD players, tablets, etc? Please share in the comments. 


The Milwaukee Zoo is currently in Halloween mode.
Lots of fun decorations. 

Friday, October 6, 2017

Zulily - Helping Women Entrepreneurs Reach Their Goals


Have you shopped zulily? Do you know what zulily is? If not, zulily works with thousands of brands from up-and-comers to household names, you order from them, then they place one large order for all their customers, saving you money by being able to offer lower prices. It’s always fun to see what is being offered, as they offer new sales every morning.

This month, October, is Women’s Small Business Month. zulily is celebrating with over 100 amazing brands owned by equally amazing women. For four weeks of sales events, zulily will be featuring female small business owners and the amazing products they’ve created. By working with zulily, many of these female entrepreneurs have been able to expand their businesses and quickly reach their goals.  I’m excited to support these women, and look forward to checking out the sale (especially home d├ęcor and children’s clothing). If you shop the event, please share what you got! I’m already eyeing a cute Apron from Handstand kids & Simply Whimsical. Visit zulily.com and do some shopping and don’t forget to check back daily as more items are added.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Max and Bird - A Friendship Book


Now that my daughter is learning to read I'm on the lookout for fun easy reading books that she can learn from. We received an advance copy of Max and Bird, by Ed Vere. Madeline, who is five, has been excited about reading. Now she gets to hold the book and try and sound out the words. The story is great for kids of all ages. It shows what friendship means and also what persistence to reach a common goal can lead to. Madeline has chosen to read this book for the past two weeks almost every day. She says she really likes that Max and Bird has some really nice illustrations. I think they are pretty cool too. Check out the book and tell us what you think. By the way my favorite part is when Max makes a pros and cons list. Now Madeline wants to make her own lists too.


Max and Bird
ISBN: 9781492635581; September 2017
$17.99 U.S.; Hardcover; Juvenile Fiction/Picture Book
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