24 Acts of Kindness This Holiday Season

 "No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted."-Aesop I'm grateful for heat.Yes, I love the blazing sun of summer, but right now, I'm most thankful for central heat.You see, our furnace bid us adieu on Sunday. After 15 years of pumping out heat in the Chicago winters, it had had enough. The pipes were corroded, leaking, and in the words of our heating and cooling guy, "if there's not already carbon monoxide present, there will be soon."...more

Ask Your Child Less Stupid Questions and You'll Get Better Responses

"We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak."- Epictetus "How was your day today?""Good."It's not the response you'd hoped for, so you try again."What did you do?""Nothing."Grrr. ...more

Create a Playlist to Stay the Course in Your Life

   "We are the music-makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams. We are the movers and shakers of the world forever, it seems."- Arthur O'Shaughnessy Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is a hot topic in schools.And for good reason....more

This Laundry Hack Will Save Your T-Shirts

A couple years ago, my younger sister shared a laundry tip with me that was quite an ah ha.Or maybe it was more of a so that's what I've been missing ...Either way, in my brain, she became a laundry boss....more

My Ode to the Fanny Pack

 "I base most of my fashion sense on what doesn't itch."-Gilda Radner  Chanel may call it a belt bag to make it less dépassé, but I'm going to call it what I know it to be ... a straight-up Fanny Pack....more

7 Favorite Games for Elementary Kids

 “The playing adult steps sideward into another reality; the playing child advances forward to new stages of mastery.”-Erik H. Erikson "Cheater!"Stephen cuts off her naming calling with a gesture.He sticks out his hand to shake mine to demonstrate how a good sport loses a game and says, "Well played."Stella reaches for my hand and responds, "Well played."...more

My Honey-Do List Is Key to a Happy Weekend

"Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success."- Henry Ford There was a not too distant time in my life when Friday night whistled work over and the weekend was spent resting, regrouping, and revving it up. That and the weekend = two days of squiggling lines through my to-do list.Check. Cross off. Delete....more

A Solution to Your Keep Your Kids from Busting the Summer Budget

 "You said I could have one every.time we came here," she annunciates firmly. Her hands are squared on her hips. Her eyes are fixed upward on me, daring me to respond.I know this move. Her horns are locked into argument mode....more

These Easy Readers Rock

 "Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him."–Maya Angelou My husband and I are of the generation that learned to read with Dr. Seuss and Frog and Toad Together. ...more

This is Your Ticket on that '70s Mom Train

 In Chicago, we're only at the mid-point of summer break, so there's still plenty of time to the soak up the sun. Don't let the back-to-school displays make you think otherwise.We're only midway through and I'm cherishing these days.Summertime in my family means lots of days spent at the pool, lake, and beach....more