Disney On Ice 40 percent off! Chicago

Give your kids the chance to experience the magic of Disney, right here in Chicago! I’m excited again to offer my readers an amazing discount off Disney On Ice- Princesses and Heros!  Save 40% on all weekday shows and Save 20% on all weekend shows using code MOM. Get Your Tickets  by clicking here!

Chicago Disney on Ice Details:

Playing United Center Sept 10-14, 2014 Enter a world of wonder where heroes and hearts prevail. Join Ariel as she yearns to explore the world above the waves and Prince Eric breaks Ursula’s slithering spell to reclaim his one true love. See Prince Philip defeat the evil Maleficent as she transforms herself into a fire-breathing dragon in a race against time to rescue Sleeping Beauty’s Aurora. Be there to discover a whole new world with Jasmine and Aladdin. And, watch in awe as the dreams of Cinderella, Belle, Snow White, Rapunzel and Tiana all come true. High flying jumps, daring acrobatics, breathtaking skating and lovable Disney friends are just a wish away! See Disney On Ice presents Princesses & Heroes where believing is just the beginning!

My Readers Save up to 40% on tickets! – Save 40% on all weekday shows and Save 20% on all weekend shows using code MOM. Weekday shows include Thursday evening and Friday matinee shows and weekend includes all shows Friday evening through Sunday evening. Savings offer not valid on Front Row or VIP Seating. No Double Discounts. Service Charges and Handling Fees may apply.

Click here for your tickets, and remember to use the code MOM for 40% off!



Disney On Ice “Let’s Celebrate” Review plus more Discounts

Last night my family had the privilege of attending the opening night of Disney On Ice, Let’s Celebrate at the Allstate Arena.   My children have been going for the past 3 years now, and their excitement, awe, participation and smiles throughout the show were as high and prevalent as any parent would hope to see.


Highlights of Disney On Ice Let’s Celebrate:

We brought all 3 kids: 19 month “R” (sat in a lap), 4 year old “J” and 7 year old “L”.  I was nervous bringing the baby because frankly she has never sat still for more than a few minutes.  I also wondered if it would be too girly for my son “J”, who often makes a point of only wanting to see “boy things”.

  1. The show was around 1.5 hours and our 19 month (dressed as Cinderella) old sat, completely enthralled for the ENTIRE time.   Let me just write that once more, because I am still surprised by it:  SHE SAT THROUGH THE WHOLE THING!!!  She waved, clapped, danced, pointed, said hi to the characters and sang along with familiar songs.
  2. My other two were also in Disney heaven.  The best was seeing my 4 year old son’s face light up as Toy Story characters came out during the second half (score for the boy stuff).
  3. My oldest, dressed up as Belle had a ball seeing all the princess.  Now that she is “older” however, she was especially appreciative of the talented dancing these skaters were able to pull off… think lifts, axles, spins and other fancy moves.

Disney On Ice

The show is truly magical for children and parents.  If you would like to see it, use this link for a discount to save 20-40% with Code: MOM http://ow.ly/stwxi

Allstate Arena in Rosemont Jan 22 – Jan 26 & United Center in Chicago Jan 29 – Feb 9

It’s one colossal party on ice, with all your favorite Disney friends! Join Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse as they celebrate a Very Merry Unbirthday Party with Alice and the Mad Hatter; Mardi Gras with Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen; a Royal Valentine’s Day Ball with the Disney Princesses; a Hawaiian luau with Lilo & Stitch; a winter wonderland with Woody, Jessie and Buzz Lightyear; a Halloween haunt with the Disney Villains and more in a magical medley of holidays, celebrations and festivals from around the globe. Come join the party when this spectacular ice show visits your hometown!

Parking is FREE in all official arena parking lots. Visit official arena websites for more information.

Allstate Arena in Rosemont, IL. Jan 22- Jan 26, 2014
United Center in Chicago, IL. Jan 29 – Feb 9, 2014

Save 40% on all weekday shows and Save 20% on all weekend shows using code MOM. Get Your Tickets Now- Save 20-40% with Code: MOM  http://ow.ly/stwxi

Weekday is defined as any show Monday through Thursday or Friday matinee, not including holidays. Discount does not apply to Front Row or VIP seats. No double discounts. Service charges, handling, and facility fees may apply.

Daddy with "R" and "J"

Daddy with “R” and “J”Mommy and "L"

Mommy and “L”


Why Moms Make Great Managers

If you are looking for a new job, make sure to add “mom” to your resume. Why would you admittedly give yourself up as someone who has other obligations, you ask? Listen up hesitant mothers and heed my words hiring managers, because here’s why:

Mom’s Make Great Managers!

Yup, you heard right. Below are 10 reasons why you need a mom running your team right now:

  1. Multi-tasking. You need a leader that can juggle all the different decisions of your business. Mom’s are the best multi-taskers around. They simultaneously make lunches, while dressing children, nursing a baby, while packing backpacks, applying a band-aid on a boo-boo, at the same time as washing paint off of the wall.
  2. Planners. No business thrives when everything is left to the last minute. And guess who’s amazing at planning? That’s right, moms are. Mom’s have to plan each week out, rsvp to birthdays, schedule school plays and after school or weekend activities. Even t.v. time in some houses is a scheduled activity. We keep lists, planners, calendars and are accountable for our very own little tribe’s schedules.
  3. Used to no sleep. When your emworking momployees go out drinking at night, you can expect the next day to be of little productivity. Moms on the other hand are used to never getting any sleep. Seriously, never. And against all odds can accomplish even more the next day. Truth is, you probably can’t tell the difference between a mother who got 6 hours of sleep one night and 1 hour the following night. She’ll still be able to finish all of her tasks!
  4. No whine zone. Employees like to complain. Work is too hard, they don’t get what they want, dislike a project, it takes too long to get to work, hate their co-workers (wait, am I talking about adults or the kids here?) etc. When you allow constant complaining, you can expect it all the time. Mothers deal with whining non stop from kids and after a certain point, just do not tolerate it anymore. They will expect more from their direct reports and will make sure to keep the atmosphere a bit more positive.
  5. Understanding and listening. We may be good at stopping the whining, but more than that moms are great at listening. As a parent, mothers develop a 6th sense for when someone needs some extra attention. Managers need to know when to take a step back and assess or reassess the overall happiness and satisfaction levels of her/his employees. A successful manager, like a successful mother knows that by listening to thoughts, ideas and concerns of her employees it will help her better direct them down the best road for success.
  6. There are no sick days. If you are looking for an employee that doesn’t take off every-time she/he sneezes, moms are your best bet. Say the words “sick day” to a mom and she may look at you as if you are talking in a foreign language. When a mom gets sick, she still has to take care of her family. There is no “laying in bed until she feels better”. No, that’s for the husbands. Most moms I know, continue doing what has to be done even when they have the flu. That’s as hard working as you can get.
  7. Natural teachers that lead by example. In order to manage tasks and employees effectively, the manager needs to lead by example and needs to be a teacher. Moms are just that. Whether it’s teaching manners, math, walking, personal hygiene spelling or even dating etiquette, moms have to know how to teach different skills to different personalities. That is key for any business.
  8. Battle fighters and stress relievers. With all the fighting and tantruming that goes on in a household, moms have to become experts at picking which ones to give in on, which ones to ignore and which ones to to put armor on for. Honing in on this skill for business enables moms/managers to defuse sticky situations with ease.
  9. We reward well. Moms expect the best. They see capabilities, and they work with their children to reach their potential. Moms as managers will do the same, and become especially proud and rewarding when employees reach that level of success.
  10. FOOD! Yup, we mothers are used to feeding many mouths and that doesn’t change for adults! Many mom managers and employees I know love to cook for their co-workers!

Things that are taught in business school or through years of work experience seem to just come naturally to moms. So if you are looking for the next leader, manager and someone who may wipe your nose – then look for a mom (or an awesome dad).

A-Z Dinners for Kids | Letter D

The Meal:

chicken 1

Main Dish: Deep Fried Chicken

Side Dish: Dill Pickles and Daniel’s Vegitables

Dessert: Duncan Hines Red Velvet Cake 



Deep Fried Chicken:

  1. Checken Breasts, Legs and wings
  2. 3 cups of flour
  3. 6 eggs
  4. Oil
  5. Seasonings to taste

Daniel’s Vegetables:chicken2

  1. Corn
  2. Green peppers
  3. Red peppers
  4. Onions

Duncan Hines Red Velvet Cake Dessert:

  1. Duncan Hines!

Cooking Directions:

Deep Fried Chicken Directions:

  • Mix flour and seasonings in a bowl
  • In a seperate bowl, blend eggs
  • cakeDip each piece of chicken into the flour mix first, then the eggs, and then again into th
  • e flour coating
  • Pour oil into a deep frying pan and add the chicken when oil is hot
  • Fry chicken for about 15 minutes or until chicken coating is golden!


Anyone who knows me, knows I love love love fried chicken!  The kids loved it also (my daughter actually took off the coating because she “wanted to be healthy :)), so it was a win win!  My husband’s name is Daniel, so he got to pick the side dish, hence the kind of cheating name.   And the cake mix is just something quick and fun to do with the kids.

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Taking the ‘Hell’ out of Family Pictures

Recently, a picture has been circling the web of three children crying (probably screaming) during their family photo shoot.

Children crying during pictures

It’s obviously a funny picture because of the irony that they are holding up the word joy.  To any parent though, it’s just a reality.  Taking family pictures is HELL.  No which way around it.  The younger the kids are, the harder it is.  The more kids in the pictures the harder it is.  And if you, the parents are in it….well bring a bottle of aspirin and some liquor with you (just kidding…. kind of).  With 3 children ages 6 months-5 and having taken pictures at every milestone age, I have learned a few tricks along the way to de-stress the picture taking experience.

10 Tips To Make Family Pictures Less Stressful:

  1. Set a budget beforehand.  Some of these places operate like car dealerships.  No matter what you walk out with, you will feel like you didn’t get what you wanted and you used your child’s college fund to pay for it.  If  you know exactly how many poses you want, how many pictures you want of each child, and exactly what you want to spend, write it down on a paper and take it with you.   These places are good at making you feel like you have to buy every pose, so stand your ground!
  2. Bring Snacks.  It doesn’t matter if your child just ate the biggest feast of his/her life right before the pictures.  Kids have a knack for getting hungry at the most inopportune times.  Also, pack wise snacks such as pretzels and things that wont stain.
  3. Don’t go during nap times.  Those are usually the most open times, and there is a reason for that.  Children,  like adults, need their beauty rest.
  4. Make sure the place you go to uses smart photographers and cameras with  fast shutter speeds.  It sounds like a no-brainer but there are plenty of places I have been to where the photographer gets your kid to smile, and then takes another couple of minutes to go get the camera, fiddle with it and then take the picture.  By which time your child has already left the studio floor and found chocolate to smear on his clothes.  Do research beforehand and read reviews.
  5. Call before you go to find out how they coordinate the picture taking.  Are they open to your suggestions of seating placement?  Will there be a changing room at the studio?  Can you choose the photographer?  Do they start when you arrive, or will there be a long wait?  Do you receive pictures the day of, and if so how long is the wait for that?  Find out as much as you can so that both you and your children can be best prepared.
  6. Give your older children the “task” of helping get the younger children to smile and sit still.  I swear it works.  Not only does it make your older children feel important, but the younger children generally look up to the older ones and are more likely going to listen to them.
  7. Wear a lot of deodorant.  Because, yes, this wonderful family time will cause you to sweat bullets!
  8. Bring a reward chart for your kids.  Make a little sticker chart that you have out while pictures are being taken.  Let your child know every time they do something good and give him/her a sticker for it.  Positive Reinforcement goes a long way!
  9. Try to coordinate the order of pictures with your fussiest child going first, and your most patient child last.
    You want to make sure you get a good picture of your child who just can’t seem to sit still- and the prime time to do that is upon arrival.
  10. Finally, proudly display the best picture from the day on your wall at home so when people come over, they can comment on how lovely and well behaved your children are!  This will also help you forget how awful the experience was guaranteeing you will book your next session soon!

When your child does start acting up, keep calm.  The only thing a parent’s nervousness does, is escalate the situation more negatively.  Remember that your child is bored, not having fun and is a child- it’ll all be over soon!  Feel free to leave a comment about your family picture experiences!

Here is a picture of my kids from our last shoot (note the smiles):

Happy Kids Photo

A-Z Dinners for Kids | Letter C

The Meal: 

Main Dish: Chicken Caesar Salad

Side Dish: Cheeseless Potato Casserole 

Dessert: Cranberry Walnut Cookies 



Chicken Caesar Salad:

  1. 4 Boneless Chicken Breast
  2. Caesar Salad Dressing
  3. 3 tablesppons of Teriyaki Sauce
  4. 3 teaspoons of Season All Salt
  5. 1 bag of Lettuce
  6. 1 sliced Onion
  7. Cut up Cucumber
  8. Croutons

Cheeseless Potato Casserole:

  1. 1 bag of frozen Hash Browns
  2. 2 Egss
  3. 1/4 cup of Riches Whip
  4. 10 ounces of Cream of Mushroom Soup
  5. 2 tablespoons of Flour
  6. Corn Flakes
  7. 1 Slice Onion
  8. margarine

Cranberry Walnut Cookies:

  1. I used Gladders Gourmet cookies…. which always come out amazing!

Cooking Directions:

Chicken Caeser Salad Directions:

  • Cover Chicken with seasonings and cook in the oven until done
  • Mix Salad ingredients with cut up chicken and top with dressing

Cheeseless Potato Casserole Directions:

*Please note that I actually made this up as I went along and don’t remember exact amounts for the ingredients I used.   This is what I did as far as I can recall.

  • Place the frozen hashbrowns in a baking dish
  • Heat a spoonful of margarine on a skillet and saute onions
  • In a bowl, mix eggs, whip, mushroom soup and flour
  • Pour mixture over hashbrowns
  • Pour onions over the top of hashbrowns
  • Cover with corn flakes
  • Melt a stick of margarine and pour over corn flakes
  • Cook in the over for an hour at 425 degrees


This is a really great easy meal to make.  I was really surprised to see how well the kids ate the Chicken Salad.  My daughter doesn’t like dressing, but as long as she ate all her chicken and lettuce, I was happy!  The potato dish was a stretch since I didn’t use cheese (which usually holds it together)- but it really came out yummy!  Definitely something you should try as it’s a very kid friendly dish!

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A-Z Dinners for Kids | Letter B

The Meal: burritos for kids

Main Dish: Burritos

Side Dish: Broccoli Suffle

Dessert: Brownies 




  1. 2 pounds of beef
  2. Half of an onion
  3. 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
  4. 1 packet of taco seasoning
  5. 1 teaspoon of garlic
  6. Shredded lettuce
  7. Soft tacos (burrito)
  8. (any other toppings you desire)burritos for kids

Broccoli Suffle:

  1. 2 packages of frozen broccoli
  2. 3 teaspoons of onion soup mix
  3. 1/2 cup of mayonnaise
  4. 3 eggs beaten
  5. 1/4 cup of flour


  1. Duncan Hines!

Cooking Directions:

Burrito Directions:

  • Brown meat on a skillet for about 8 minutes
  • Dice up onion and add it to the skillet
  • Add dry seasoningsbroccoli for kids
  • Cook until completely browned
  • Add meat to the middle of the burrito
  • Top with shredded lettuce and fold up!

Broccoli Suffle Directions:

  • In a pot of boiling water, cook broccoli until soft
  • Drain broccoli and add to a 9×13 pan
  • In a bowl, mix the eggs, flour, onion soup mix and mayo
  • Pour the mixture over the broccoli
  • Cook in the oven at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes


So……. this was actually my first burrito.  I have never had any desire to even taste a taco, burrito or anything of the likes, but my husband loves loves loves Mexican food.  I decided for my sake, and my kids sake, that I would make our first burrito not as spicy, and it worked!  I let my kids try the meat prior to putting it in the wrap just so they would know they liked it.  Children are much more likely to eat a mixture of foods if they know they like everything in the mixture individually.

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A-Z Dinners for Kids | Letter A

The Meal:tuna for kids

Main Dish: Albacore Tuna Wrap

Side Dish: Apple Strawberry Kugel Crunch



Albacore Tuna Wrap:

  1. 1 Can of Albacore Tuna
  2. Shredded Cheese
  3. 1 Onion
  4. 1 Tablespoon of Mayo
  5. Soft Burrito Wraps

Apple Strawberry Kugel Crunch:

  1. 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1 1/2 Cups of Rolled Oats
  3. 3/4 Cups of Sugar
  4. 3/4 of Oil
  5. 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  6. 1 can of Strawberry Pie Filling
  7. 2 Apples peeled and sliced
  8. 1 tsp. Vanilla

Cooking Directions:Apple Strawberry Food

Albacore Tuna Wrap Directions:

  • Dice Onion into tiny squares
  • Mix Onion, Mayo and Tuna in a bowl
  • Place Tuna mix on a wrap
  • Sprinkle cheese over Tuna
  • Roll wrap up
  • Place in oven at 200 degrees for 5-8 minutes

Apple Strawberry Kugle Crunch Directions:

  • Grease 9×13 pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • In a large bowl mix, oats, flour, sugar, oil and vanilla until crumby
  • Place 1/2 of the of the crumbs on the bottom of pan
  • Top with Apples and sprinkle cinnamon on top
  • Pour Strawberry filling over the apples
  • Top with the rest of the crumbs
  • Bake for about 1 hour uncovered


My son loved the and finished his wrap.  My daughter on the other hand liked the wrap, but not the Tuna.  Next time, I’ll have to cut out the onions, because that was the part she said she didn’t like 😦 .  The Apple Strawberry Kugle Crunch can be a side or a dessert.  It is also a great dish to top with ice-cream!

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A-Z Dinners for Kids | Letter Z

The Meal:Z foods for kids

Main Dish: Ziti (Baked)

Side Dish: Zucchini Bread

Dessert: “Z” Cookies



Ziti Noodles:

  1. 1 box of Ziti noodles
  2. 1/2 cup of shredded cheese
  3. 1 cup of pasta sauce

Zucchini Bread:

  1. 3 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1 teaspoon salt
  3. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  5. 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  6. 3 eggs
  7. 1 cup vegetable oil
  8. 2 1/4 cups white sugar
  9. 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  10. 2 cups grated zucchini

“Z” Cookies:

  1. Chocolate Chip Cookies
  2. Any color icing (or black and white icing to create “Zebra” cookies

Cooking Directions:

Ziti Directions:

  • Cook Ziti according to box
  • Drain, and add into a cooking pan
  • Cover with sauce and cheese
  • Pop it in the oven at 300 degrees for about 10 minutes or until Cheese is sufficiently melted

Zucchini Bread Directions:

  • Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  • Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl
  • Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans
  • Bake for 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool


The Zucchini Bread is a great opportunity to get your kid to eat something somewhat healthy :).  I actually tell them its a kind of cake, and they eat it up.      I did the cookies with the icing because it’s an easy, no mess way to include the kids in the preparation.   They had fun putting the icing on, and even more fun eating it.   It was also great writing practice for them!

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A-Z Dinners for Kids | Letter Y

The Meal:chicken for kids

Main Dish: Yellow Chicken

Side Dish: Yellow Corn

Dessert: Yellow Cake Snicker-doodles



Yellow Chicken:

  1. 4 Chicken Breasts
  2. 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
  3. 1 Teaspoon of Ground Turmeric
  4. 1 Teaspoon of Mustard Powder
  5. 1 Teaspoon of Garlic Powder
  6. 2 Teaspoons of Brown Sugar
  7. 1 Teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce

Yellow Cake Snicker-Doodles:Yellow Snicker-doodles

  1. 1 box of Yellow Cake mix
  2. 2 Eggs
  3. 1/4 cup f Vegetable Oil
  4. 2 tablespoons of sugar
  5. 1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Cooking Directions:

Yellow Chicken:

  • Place chicken breasts in a cooking dish
  • Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well
  • Brush sauce over chicken (both sides)
  • Bake in oven covered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes and then uncovered for 15 more minutes

Yellow Cake Snicker-doodles:

  • In a bowl, mix cake mixture, eggs and oil well
  • in a separate bowl mix sugar and cinnamon
  • Roll dough into 1 inch balls and roll balls into sugar topping
  • Place on a cookie sheet
  • Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for about 10-14 minutes


Yellow was the theme here 🙂 And this night was big for me.  I NEVER EVER eat mustard (I wont even touch it), and I ate this chicken….and liked it.  My kids also ate every last piece.  The Cookies were really easy to make, making them a must for moms short on time!

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