Weekend Pics from Parenting in the Loop

Weekend Pics from Parenting in the Loop

Saturday mornings are usually busy ones, for that matter so are Sundays but they are are a welcome change from the weekdays because work is not part of the schedule.

How does you weekend look?

Do you give yourself a chance to relax?

It is so important for your over all well being that you do take time out.

What do you do to unwind from the busy week?

I used to like to shop when I had a free weekend day… browsing stores and checking out new fashion, make-up etc was a way for me to relax. That is really a luxury that I now do once in awhile during a free weekday. Most of my shopping is done online these days. I love my virtual friends whose sites curate fashion, tech, books, and must-haves of all sorts. I find they all help me save time when it comes to shopping and researching the best buys.

I am sure you know the saying “if it is too good to be true then it is not true”. That is what I think about when I read any advertisement. Babble has found some parenting items that although too good to be true are really truly great items. Check them out. Which one is your favorite? I like more than one!


But my point is, I am fully behind parenting products and technologies that improve our lives, help protect our children, or frankly, just give me a few minutes of peace and quiet. Which is why I’m really looking forward to incorporating a few of these too-good-to-be true parenting products into my motherhood game.

DNA tests for diets? A Keurig for formula? Car seat alerts to your phone? The future of parenting has arrived.

Source: 12 Parenting Products That Seem Too Good to Be True | Babble

This is an election year and it is a difficult one with the primaries coming up this week. I found this book fascinating and helpful at the same time. Is it time for Hillary or not and why not? Check out my sponsored book review of “Love Her Love Her Not The Hillary Paradox”.

weekend reading

How do you feel about the former First Lady’s bid for the Presidency? Do you want to know what other women think and feel about her candidacy?

If you do then Love Her, Love Her Not – The Hillary Paradox edited by Joanne Cronrath Bamberger is the book for you.

Source: Hillary…The Woman… The Mom…The President

To most of you it is no surprise that I love being a grandmother. I do not have a “secret life”. My priorities are fixed in this order God, Family, Work.

Do you have a secret life? How do you feel about ‘babysitting’ and childcare? I would love to hear from you.

The Secret Lives of Modern Grandmothers

Chicago is going to be warmish this weekend…40’s. I know…it is all relative. In LA that would be freezing but here we think and actually feel warm.

No matter what your weather, take time to enjoy the view!

Hillary…The Woman, The Mom, The President…

Hillary Clinton…The Woman, The Mom, The Grandmom, The President?

Hillary Paradox

How do you feel about the former First Lady’s bid for the Presidency? Do you want to know what other women think and feel about her candidacy?

If you do then Love Her, Love Her NotThe Hillary Paradox edited by Joanne Cronrath Bamberger is the book for you.

Fantastic book that was given to me by the author and signed in exchange for my thoughts about it.

I am honored to do this review for Joanne Bamberger because she has compiled a book about what many accomplished women think of Hillary Clinton. This compilation of essays has touched me by both challenging and supporting what I myself feel and think about Mrs. Clinton and the possibility of her becoming the first female President of the United States, (POTUS)!

Hillary is ambitious both personally and politically and undeniably intelligent. It seems most women either fiercely like her or fiercely dislike her. There are few women who sit on the fence when it comes to their feelings and thoughts about the former First Lady.

If she is wins the Presidency, the United States will have elected their first woman as POTUS after having elected their first African-American as POTUS. This says so much about our country and how much we value competence and good qualifications in our President and the fact that we are able to look beyond race and gender. Yes, it has taken many years but I think we are there and ready for this milestone.

Bamberger’s book has come along at just the right time for me as I have always had my opinions of Hillary swayed by the many contradictions that I have witnessed during her political life. She is my contemporary and that makes me measure her against many of my own experiences during the 60’s, 70’s 80’s 90’s and now into the 21st century.

“She embodies almost every human contradiction as she seeks to make her mark in politics, where we look for certainty, even when we know that our own authentic selves have those same contradictions.”

Love Her, Love Her Not is the perfect book for those who desire to know more about Hillary and are curious about what other diverse women think of her and why. It endeavors to answer the question that Lisa Belkin asks on the cover “Why are we so conflicted about her as with no other politician?”. Reading the thoughts of others may help to tease out our own thoughts about why we feel the way we do about Mrs. Clinton and her bid to be POTUS.

Who better than women to share their ideas and thoughts concerning Hillary Clinton. Women understand women is what I consistently have found. Although I might not agree with all of these women I loved reading what they had to say. It is my way of searching for the information I need to make an informed intelligent choice when I step into my voting booth next November.

I would recommend this book to my friends and others. The time has come for a woman to be President!

Don’t you agree?

Will it be Hillary?

Learn more about Joanne Bamberger and her book tour.

Follow Joanne Bamberger on Facebook




The Christmas Pickle Tradition in Our House

The Christmas Pickle Tradition

by Adrienne Lavine

Christmas Pickle Tradition

Christmas Pickle Tradition for Colin

Having our first child, Colin,in August was the most thrilling experience for my husband and me.

With the holiday upon us, we have been trying to think of new ideas to be creative and fun and start traditions with our little family of three.

We stumbled upon the Christmas Pickle Tradition.

When our son is old enough we plan on hiding the pickle ornament somewhere on the tree on Christmas Eve and on in the morning once Colin finds the pickle he can open his first Xmas present.
I can’t wait until he is old enough to really enjoy the Holiday.

Right now it is all about the tree lights.

We are sharing the Christmas Pickle Book with him this season because it is never too early for books.

I also think the Christmas Pickle Tradition will be something to look forward to when Colin can share it with a little brother or sister.

Christmas Past, Present and Future

Christmas Past, Present and Future

As Christmas approaches, I become more and more reflective.

My thoughts return to Christmas Past,

then move on to Christmas Present

and finally,

I try to glimpse at what might be Christmas Future.

Christmas Past

Memories of early Christmas celebrations take me to NYC and all its magic and hustle and bustle. I loved it! So many Santas on every street corner ringing bells for donations, almost overwhelming to a small child. One of my favorite holiday traditions was with my dad shopping at Saks for monogrammed hankies wrapped in the traditional green and red Saks box which was always tied with a beautiful satin ribbon.


Of course the day would not be complete without skating underneath the Rockefeller Center Tree.

Christmas Tree Rockefeller CenterWhile my mom worked my Nana, took hold of the home front, and created Christmas memories as only a grandmother can. She was a wonderful cook and loved the Christmas season. She brought with her a strong faith so the story of Christmas in our house always included the Christ Child along with a visit from Santa Claus.

As years went on, Christmas memories were made in my own home and with my own family. I tried to create the feeling of Christmas the same way my grandmother had so many years before. My mother and uncle usually celebrated with us…they would come from Florida and enjoy brunch, our Christmas tradition in Chicago and then help with baking, cooking and decorating for the big day. It was a holiday full of warmth and love and now indelible memories.

Christmas Present

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My husband and I are now the “older” generation and we happily celebrate Christmas with our family which this year includes, a granddaughter and a new grandson.  We continue to make new memories built on the old ones which included great-grandparents our grandchildren will never know except through our traditions.

Our tree is in the same place it has been for the past 20+ years…it is decorated with ornaments each telling its own story of where our family has lived and traveled since 1977…New York, Florida, Chicago and Rhode Island. It has 3000 lights, so in some ways it is my Rockefeller Center right here at home!

Christmas Future

As an old year is coming to an end, I am looking at the future with of course some trepidations which come with age but they are soothed by the loving hugs of my granddaughter and my little grandson and the wonder and amazement that they bring to this house that has seen the footsteps of those who came before them.

The Christ Child is still here and Santa will soon ring his bells over our house.

christmas creche

The presents still wait to be wrapped…and the best is yet to come!

Weekend Pics from Parenting in the Loop-Holiday Gift Guides 2015

Holiday Gift Guides 2015

Weekend Pics from Parenting in the Loop 


The holidays can be a wonderful time of giving but sometimes there are just too many choices and deciding what is appropriate for kids, young adults and parents can be challenging.

I have been fortunate to find several Holiday Gift Guides 2015 that really help me out at this time of year. I thought I would share my favorite 2 guides with you. I also included two of my favorite gift links…Kiwi Crate and iBlog Magazine for my blogger friends. Happy Browsing and Shopping!



Source: 2015 Cool Mom Picks Holiday Gift Guide |



Holiday Gift Guides 2015 from the New York MomA blog about fashion, arts, food, travel and family straight from the Empire State

Source: TheNewYorkMom – A blog about fashion, arts, food, travel and family straight from the Empire State

My own Holiday Gift Guides 2015


Themed crates of arts & crafts and science projects for kids delivered monthly. Create, imagine, explore!

Source: Shop Kiwi Crate


Click the Gift Guide Don’t forget iBlog’s Special Holiday Gift! $0.99 cents/mth 1 Year Digital Memberships until Dec. 31st, 2015! Apply this code at checkout: iBlogGIFT15 Sign up now, limited time offer, low price ends soon!

Source: iBlog magazine 2015 Holiday Gift Guide – iBlog magazine

I hope these Holiday Gift Guides 2015 help make your shopping season easier. These are suggestions that are great for presents anytime…don’t you think?

Weekend Pics from Parenting in the Loop

Weekend Pics from Parenting in the Loop

Halloween Weekend in the Neighborhood

It is almost Halloween!

This weekend will be busy with all the ghosts and goblins traveling around our neighborhood tomorrow.

Added to the festivities, I must not forget to adjust my clocks at the end of the night on Saturday so that the extra hour does not catch up with me not realizing it till I get to church at the wrong time on Sunday.

With daylight savings coming to and end there are sometimes problems with sleep patterns for our littlest family members. They only have their inner clocks to alert them. The canine members of our family can also be a little problematic since they also run on their internal clock and feeding schedule. I have learned the hard way that one hour to them is an eternity.

Here are my pics for reading this weekend if you have time!


Consistency is key in whichever approach you take. We always manage to get through this time of year unharmed! Remember my two favourite words. Persistence and consistency! You got this – candy overload and all.

Source: Daylight Saving Time + Halloween = Sleep Sh*tshow :: YummyMummyClub.ca

Getting settled down in the evening and going to bed has it problems at times. Consistency can be rewarded for parents who set a bedtime and a bedtime ritual early on with their little ones. These days that is much easier said than done.

Meditation is something I love introducing to children at a young age. It can help them quiet and self soothe at times when this seems impossible to do. For parents it also provides the same soothing feeling when the inevitable stress sh–  hits the fan!

Meditation for children and parents is a great way to relax before bed, and is one of the most commonly suggested methods for helping children sleep better.


Source: Meditation for Children and Parents – Bring Back Bedtime

As pretty as Fall is we all know that winter winds are just around the corner.

For me the shorter days with sunset so early in the evening makes me wish to ‘hit the hay’ earlier with a good book. It also makes me wish for a nice cozy fire and warm pot of stew on the stove in the late afternoon.

fall tree 4

What are some of your favorite Fall foods that give you comfort as we head into winter weather?

Have a wonderful weekend!

Celebrate the small stuff!

Happy Halloween-What to Do With all the Candy

Happy Halloween!!!

Halloween in the Neighborhood

The Switch Witch

I wish the “Switch Witch” had been around when my kids were little.

As Halloween approaches there is always the dilemma of what to do with all the candy. Well, here is what I am going to do this year with my granddaughter’s haul complete with a “fairy witch’s tale”.

The ‘Switch Witch’ is a nice way to “get rid” of the “Hallowe’en Haul”.

Here is how it works:

  • Your child picks some candy to eat on Hallowe’en night.
  • He then lays out the rest for the Switch Witch before he goes to bed.
  • The Switch Witch makes rounds takes the candy and leave a surprise!
  • What a great way to deal with the Halloween dilemma!


Any suggestions as to what the “Switch Witch” should do with the candy?

halloween 2015


Parenting in the Loop’s Weekend

Weekend Reading from the Parenting in the Loop


This week I have been at the “beach” house in Rhode Island. We are heading into a somewhat rainy few days so hopefully I can catch up on some reading and writing while sitting and spending time with my pregnant daughter and her husband as they prepare for their first baby.

It is officially a “baby” watch weekend  for us…my daughter’s due date is September 1st and we have already made one trip to the hospital this week in the wee hours of the morning for false labor.


“Baby Watch”…


My thoughts have been racing this week and when that happens one of the ways I calm and comfort myself is to cook. Preparing  a good dinner is my way of comforting and loving my family. Enjoying a good meal at the end of the day allows the family to relax and enjoy each other while sharing some really delicious food around the table of plenty.

So today, I am posting some favorites of mine related to creating recipes and involving children in the preparation. Kids are natural creators. Food and the kitchen go together to fuel their creativity.

Weekend foods

Taco Tuesday

I have chosen this post from Motherlode because if you link to it you will see a very short video of a smiling child making “Chermoula” a Middle Eastern pesto which I have never tasted. You can also follow Kids in the Kitchen and get your own ideas for involving the children in cooking adventures during the weekend.

The master plan? Raising children who can be independent in the kitchen, able to prepare a few healthy meals and snacks and with the confidence to tackle a new recipe or task. In our Kids in the Kitchen series, Motherlode’s KJ Dell’Antonia and Cooking’s Margaux Laskey move their very differently aged families toward that goal. Margaux finds ways for her 3-year-old and toddler to help cook, while KJ stands back and coaches her two 9-year-olds and her 11- and 14-year-olds in cooking on their own.

Source: Kids in the Kitchen: Broiled Fish With Chermoula – The New York Times

What better food to share but a loaf of bread. Make this easy one with your children and enjoy the fruits of your effort together with some butter and jam.

Who wouldn’t want children who can be independent in the kitchen, able to prepare a few healthy meals and snacks and with the confidence to tackle a new recipe or task? In our Kids in the Kitchen series, Motherlode’s KJ Dell’Antonia and Cooking’s Margaux Laskey work toward that long term goal with their very differently aged families. Margaux finds ways for her 3-year-old and toddler to help cook, while KJ stands back and coaches her two 9-year-olds and her 11 and 14-year-olds in cooking on their own. This week, both families tried simple bread-making. KJ: Us

Source: Kids in the Kitchen: No-Knead Bread for All Ages – The New York Times

I was so happy for this weekend find on the cookbook shelves at Eataly here in Chicago. It is an authentically good source for Italian food geared for kids and adults alike.It is not finger foods made easy but a real Italian recipe book anyone can enjoy.

Weekend Reading

Silver Spoon for Children


Review: The Silver Spoon for Children – Favorite Italian Recipes January 31, 2010 in Uncategorized We got this cookbook for our eight year old for Christmas. Till today, we had only used the pizza recipe and we mainly took the lazy route and bought pre-made pizza dough. That did not test the quality of the book too much. Today, we embarked on a two-hour extravaganza and made gnocchi with tomato sauce and an orange cake. We used canned tomatoes but, apart from that shortcut, we made everything else from scratch. It was a huge success. The gnocchi tasted totally authentic. It was really fun to make them, much easier than fresh egg pasta. The potato and flour combination has the same consistency as play dough. You roll it into a thin sausage and chop it into gnocchi. It’s perfect for all age groups. I think we had a first all family cooking epiphany with the four-year old to the four+ year olds working together like a fairly well-oiled machine. Gnocchi cook really quickly and you have to scoop them out as soon as they float to the top. We made enough to freeze half of them for a future dinner.

weekend reading

Source: Review: The Silver Spoon for Children – Favorite Italian Recipes | Cheap Talk

The Silver Spoon for Children

I hope you all have a great weekend!

Wherever you are stop for a moment of gratitude…

Weekend Reading from Parenting in the Loop

Weekend Reading from Parenting in the Loop:

August weekend.

Dog Days of August


The first of August is here with all its heat and humidity.

In Chicago, we are in the midst of Lollapalooza this weekend at Grant Park. Soon summer will be winding down and there are signs of it with getting back to school ads popping up everywhere.

  • It is no secret that I am a baby boomer. But that being said, in many ways it is no fun getting older. In other ways there are many blessings like grandchildren and being comfortable in my own skin. The younger me was busy, very busy taking care of my family and my elderly mother. The older me is still busy but gratefully healthy and still able to do what I do best, helping to take care of my family. When I read the following post, I related to some of this baby boomer’s words especially when it comes to marketing products.
  • P.S. I am not attending Lollapalooza this weekend even though Paul McCartney is there.

Baby Boomer

Many of us baby boomers have paid off our home loans, our kids have finished college and we have money to spend. Why aren’t we being targeted by upmarket car manufacturers, fashion and holiday companies? I wouldn’t necessarily spend a fortune on a fancy car, a Gucci tote or two weeks in Vanuatu but it would be nice if advertisers thought I might.

Source: The Seventh Decade Blues | Sue Margolis

  • I love meditation. Meditation and yoga are part of my life and have been for a very long time. Many years ago when I was young and single a physician colleague suggested yoga to me. I did not take up yoga at the time but I did begin to meditate. Meditation changed my life and is something everyone should be taught to do from childhood.
You can meditate anywhere, anytime.

Meditation moment

Life with Roozle is one of my favorite reads…because it just it. If you read it once  I think you will see why.

“Mommy, it’s easy.
Posted on July 31, 2015
“Mommy, it’s easy. Just do what they tell us to.”
We’ve been meditating together as long as she can remember. Sometimes I lead her in a guided meditation to calm down her body, to help in an anxious moment, or to settle in for bed. Lately, we’ve been meditating before settling in for bed and for no particular reason other than just to build a meditation practice. It’s way better.

life with roozle

Preparing yourself and your child for kindergarten. Here are some tips from Cool Mom Picks another of my favorite websites.


Preparing for school


  • We are having so much fun with our kids home for summer break, the occasional sibling squabble aside, but we’re already thinking about back-to-school. Especially on behalf of those of you in the south who start in what, like four minutes? There’s so much to do to get ready any given school year, but those of us with kids going off to kindergarten for the first time (sniff, sniff), we are always looking for tips for getting kids kindergarten ready, to be sure that they — and we — have a successful first year at school.

Source: 12 tips for preparing kids for kindergarten | Cool Mom Picks

As we welcome August, I hope you all have a nice weekend full of lollapalooza and some meditation with your kids and grandkids.

Independence Day through a Child’s Eyes

Independence Day through the Eyes of a Child


“The Fourth of July is a holiday that we celebrate, sort of like Presidents’ Day or even Christmas. It’s called Independence Day and we make sure to spend time together recognizing our freedom. Did you know that there are some people in the world that aren’t allowed to do some things like we are?” I didn’t know how much she was registering or if it made sense to her, but this was a good jumping off point in the conversations surrounding this week’s holiday.

Source: On Independence and Family Values – Momma’s Gone City

Independence Day

Fourth of July on Martha’s Vineyard

When I read my friend Jessica’s post over at Momma’s Gone City, I thought how beautiful to see the Fourth of July through a child’s lens.

If only we as adults could see as simply as a child at certain times in our lives especially on holidays. Perhaps today it would let us focus on the actual enjoyment of the Freedom that we all enjoy one way or another in our families and communities.



Independence Day Parade Hinsdale Illinois

Today at our Village’s annual Independence Day Parade, I tried to watch it through my granddaughter’s eyes and the eyes of the other children that surrounded us trying to share and partake in their excitement and awe seeing the paraders. I clapped when they followed the cue of the applause of the surrounding grownups for the Veterans of Foreign Wars and when our school marched by. I grabbed for some candy that was being passed out along the parade route and I got bored when my granddaughter got bored when the politicians appeared waving from their slow moving cars.
Hinsdale 2

I sat down when my legs and her legs were tired of standing and I got up when she became restless towards the end.
Hinsdale 3I must admit I lingered in an adult moment of gratitude when this car came by us and gave thanks and thought of what these gentlemen had given to me, someone they didn’t even know and who wasn’t even alive when they were at war for my freedom. I waved my hand and said a prayer of thanksgiving for all those soldiers who suffered and even died so I could enjoy my independence today!Hinsdale 4As the old cars passed I smiled  but as my granddaughter said, I did not want a car like it because it just didn’t look too comfortable for our rides downtown and through our snow covered streets in winter.

IMG_5775When the parade ended…I was happy to move on to the next activity of the day and get ready for a barbecue and fireworks after sunset.

Thank you to all of our service men and women who have given up so much for all of us so that we can celebrate today and honor them as we do so.