TGIF- Weekend Reading

Weekend Reading:

Another cold week here in Chicago with a fresh covering of snow. The weekend is warm and welcoming inside our home. We use our time to relax a little, along with catching up on some reading and napping with each other and our furry friends.


Saralyn Richard, the author of Naughty Nana, is my cherished friend, who has written a charming children’s book about her dog Nana. It is a favorite of mine and I hope it becomes a favorite of yours. Enjoy an interview with Saralyn from Dogster.


I think dogs are wonderful teachers of patience, compassion, loyalty, trust, responsibility, and love.

Unfortunately, a lot of children do not have consistency and stability in their lives. A dog is always steady, consistent, reliable, and predictable. A dog will always greet you the same way, and treat you the same way whether you are bad or good. Whether you got a good report card, are smelly or clean, whether your room is a mess, a dog is going to love you unconditionally and the same way all the time.



For me children and rainbows go together, like rain and running in puddles on a rainy day. Here is an activity from Kristina at Toddler Approved, which helps me share my love of rainbows with my grandchild . I think you will find Kristina’s blog something you cannot stay away from…it will bring out the child in you this weekend.

Easy Preschool Cutting Craft: Paper Rainbows

One of my favorite parts about St. Patrick’s Day is that it is associated with rainbows. My kids love singing songs about the colors of the rainbow all year long and there is just something that makes me happy whenever I see a rainbow!

This week my preschooler wanted something to do while her big brother (my 1st grader) did his homework. We got talking about St. Patrick’s Day and she assigned herself to make a rainbow.

This easy paper rainbow craft project is a super simple way to practice scissor skills and cutting straight and curvy lines!


Kristina is the founder of Toddler Approved. She is a mom of three (ages 6,3,1), as well as a National Board certified teacher. Kristina taught for several years and then worked part-time as a curriculum specialist, new teacher coach, and crisis intervention trainer once she became a mom. She retired in Fall 2011 and now loves being full-time mom and teacher to her kiddos. She loves chocolate, running, taking pictures, and party planning. She is also currently the creator of the Virtual Book Club for Kids.


Pregnancy has been a theme on Parenting in the Loop during the past 11 weeks. Fashion and pregnancy can be a challenge right from the beginning. A few years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Amy Tara Koch at a luncheon. I was taken with her style and her book Bump It Up. She has some wonderful suggestions for the fashionista momma to be, spiced up with Amy’s sense of humor. Please enjoy!




1. When your jeans or trousers still fit everywhere except the belly, a SIMPLE RUBBER BAND can offer an additional breathing room. Leave jeans unfastened and loop the rubber band around the button and button hole. This sartorial trickery is easily concealed with a hip length tee shirt, some sassy, dangly scarves or a cute scarf worn as a wide Kimono belt.


Enjoy the weekend everybody!

Weekend Nap



Pregnancy and Cravings…Choices…

I am a big fan of “Eat This, Not That” as well. This is a wonderful post my Amy Tara Koch even though I don’t think that some of these cravings will be satisfied by the alternatives.

Eating healthy during pregnancy and just in general is so important to mom’s overall health. We should all make an effort to ‘eat this, not that’ every day. We might not be as successful as we want to be but at least it is a place to start.

Good luck and don’t laugh at some of the alternatives to what you really crave. I like the saying…” a minute on the lips…a long time on the hips” when it comes to cravings…

I have become a huge fan of David Zincenko. His EAT THIS, NOT THAT books and appearances on TODAY SHOW brilliantly showcases how to make nutritionally superior food choices and avoid excessive caloric intake without sacrificing flavor. I especially love how he unearths saturated fat and sodium content and compares say, a Bacon Deluxe Double from Wendy’s to 42 deep fried jumbo onion rings with a Crisco chive dipping sauce. Genius. Master Z inspired me to craft a little post on how to rein in pregnancy cravings and choose healthier foods inspired by the flavor that you crave. The biggest issue? Sugar intake. Agave nectar and Stevia are stellar replacements for refined white sugar to sweeten tea, coffee, baked goods and oatmeal

via Amy Tara Koch Blog » Tame Your Cravings! Bump It Up Approved Cravings Replacement List.

Mom and Mom-to-Be Trends…

In honor of Friday…and Spring…here is a link to Amy Tara Koch’s blog about ‘bumping’ up your style without breaking the bank.

Style pregnancy and motherhood are not mutually exclusive as today’s stylists know. It does take an effort to put yourself together but with some really helpful free tips it can be easier and more fun than you ever dreamed.

FYI: here is a cute dress from Isabella Oliver that could be worn anytime, anywhere.

Have fun…

“The sun is coming out and magazines are announcing the latest and greatest Spring trends. Forget replacing your wardrobe. The trick to maintaining your sense of style from season to season? By layering basic garments with up-to-the-minute accent pieces-the colorful drippy scarf, the statement necklace, the vintage coin belt, the gumball sized agate earrings you can effectively camouflage the fact that the same few garments are being “rotated” week after week. Here’s what you need:


Pregnancy Fashion…Past and Present

Pregnancy and the word fashion stir up many feelings…right?

For anyone who was pregnant in the ’80’s these two words never appeared near each other in the same sentence.

At that time maternity clothes resembled tents made out of denim and literally every pregnant woman looked like she was expecting multiples!

Thanks to I am not sure what….fashion has finally addressed the needs of the pregnant woman and styles now emphasize her ‘baby bump’ rather than try to hide it. The fashions can actually be called ‘cute’.

One of my favorite fashionistas when it comes to pregnancy styles is Amy Tara Koch ,who has written a book, Bump It Upwhile you check out her book also have a look at her “Bump It UP Style Solutions” tour on her blog.

If you are pregnant or know someone that is…this book is a must for looking good and feeling good while pregnant. All the tricks of dressing well during each pregnancy trimester including the fourth trimester are included here.

This year has been a year to focus on celeb pregnancies as well…just look at young and beautiful Natalie Portman and the more mature celebrity fashion stylist Rachel Zoe. They along with others have taken their pregnancy bumps and fashion to a new level.

Many times feeling good is akin with looking good …

In today’s world so many pregnant women continue work in and outside the home. Each and every one of them deserves to look and feel good.

Sometimes it is as easy as finding a scarf already in her closet and the purchase of a new luscious lip gloss to go with it,  for a pregnant woman to accomplish just that.

And if you want to LOL ( and who doesn’t need a laugh) catch a glimpse of the video above and have a few chuckles on those of us who were pregnant in the ’80s.

Related Posts:

Stylish and pregnant…

Stylish and pregnant…yes you can…

Pregnancy and style can actually appear in the same sentence.

I know this sounds like a no win situation but if you plan it right you can look good throughout pregnancy.

Gone are the days when moms-to-be wore huge T-shirts with an arrow pointing downward at the word BABY as if anyone could not figure it out. The styles today are really somewhat friendly to the pregnant woman.

Some of the things that are musts are a great pair of leggings, a good pair of maternity jeans and tops from your favorite designers perhaps in a larger size. Careful not to over buy and just mix and match…white shirts are always great and topped with a wonderful long scarf will make anyone feel dressed for work or going out. A splash of color in the scarf category goes a long way especially on dreary days or days that you simply feel dreary.

Shoes should be comfortable, but heels are not out if that is what you enjoy wearing…just be careful as your center of gravity changes later on in the pregnancy. Winter makes boots totally welcome especially with so much snow around. But even without the elements enjoy the wonderful boots of the season.

Now if you are always hot layering is definitely something you will want to consider. Long lighter sweaters seem to fit this situation. Blazers, even borrowed from your man’s closet can look good and don’t forget to look at some of his shirts in a pinch.

Coats for winter are another story. They can be expensive and “ugly”…try to look for sales and maybe do with a size larger. Some pre-planning ahead here is a good idea so that you are not stuck with something that you really hate.

Think about looking your best… get your hair styled …hair usually thickens during pregnancy so enjoy it…get some new lip colors and don’t forget moisturizer and blush. Again a splash of bronzer or color can give you a lift.

I recommend a pedicure as well…about once a month if you can do it. Nothing feels better than someone massaging your tired feet.

Remember pregnancy is in trimesters so each trimester make the adjustments that will make you feel good all over…take a trip to H&M and Zara’s as well as the make-up counter.

If you want a stylist’s guide, check out Amy Tara Koch’s book and blog…“Bump It UP

Remember: You are preparing yourself for your baby’s birthday and want to look and feel your best.