Category: Birthday & Holiday Planning

Halloween - Family Style

There are a couple of Halloween rules that I have and they have nothing to do with safety. Quite simply, my kids must go trick or treating in our own neighbourhood and they must go out together. Enforcing the rule has never been an issue – no one has ever expressed interest in sharing the night elsewhere or with other people. Sure, we meet up with friends on the street, but the team of siblings travel as a pack on this special night.

I had not really thought very much about why this wa...

Posted on October 24, 2012 at 6:00 AM by Julie Cole

Chicago's Best Kid-Sized Places to Trick-or Treat!

Now that you've found the perfect costume for your little ones, it's time to fill that dance card up with the best places to show it off.  

First on our list of fun places to don your spooky new duds is the Strollers in the Front 5K.  Not only can your little one rock their costume during the race, they can enter the costume contest at the Spooktacular Family Fun Festival after the race.  In addition to the costume contest, your little ghost and gobblins will enjoy a kids dash, bo...

Posted on October 22, 2012 at 7:00 AM by Cindy McCarthy

A Parent & Dentist's Guide to Halloween - Keep them smiling!

While little trick-or-treaters look forward to Halloween festivities, many parents get concerned about the oral health hazards associated with holiday. Slowly snacking on candy every few hours, day after day, keeps teeth bathed in acid that leads to dental caries (cavities).

Candy is largely devoid of nutrients and constitutes empty calories. The best option is to allow children to eat their candy in one sitting and then get rid of the leftovers. In this scenario, acid will build ...

Posted on October 11, 2012 at 7:00 AM by Flavia Lamberghini

5 Birthday Party Planning Dilemmas - Solved!

As we prepare to host my daughter's third birthday party this weekend, my head is spinning with all of the little last minute details. Fortunately, I know I can turn to the trusty Discussion Forum to answer many of my party planning questions.

5 Birthday Party Planning Dilemmas:


What's the proper etiquette on inviting classmates and siblings?

To open presents during the party or not? 

How to host a "no gifts please" party or consider a donation drive in lieu of gift...

Posted on June 19, 2012 at 6:00 AM by Melanie Schlachter

5 Parent-Approved Easter Basket Goodies

As parents, we all want our little ones to enjoy the holidays but we also try to do it without the sugar fix.  Here are 5 picks for your Easter Basket stuffing that keep the big-time sweets out and keep all of the fun in!

#1) Hide 'em & Find 'em Eggs - A fun interactive easter egg hunt. hide the egg and turn it on. The egg talks and giggles just enough to keep little ones looking for the treasure.

#2) Little Dover Book of Tattoos - What kid doesn't love temporary tattoos? This ...

Posted on March 22, 2012 at 7:00 AM by Katherine McHenry

Six Steps to an Easy Peasy Birthday Party

For some of us birthday’s can be headaches to organize. Here are some suggestions to make it a breeze:


First start with a guest list on evite. It’s easy to make attractive invitations and you can keep track of who is coming and find out food allergies in the mix.

Next, you can whip up some decorations fast and cheap. I like the dollar store or a party store for more options. Pick up plates, décor and napkins in one fell swoop. Another fun thing to add on are party favors...

Posted on February 21, 2012 at 7:00 AM by Jessica Schanberg

Birthday Party Etiquette

Here are what I consider the 5 rules of birthday party etiquette to get you and your guests on the same page.  Find your happy place, where you can plan and enjoy a fastastic celebration of your little one's big day.

#1 - Big or Small.  The most imprtant rule is to stick to your own budget and family/friends.  On the smaller side try a playdate with cupcakes, pajama party with 5 friends (HomeMade Pizza Co's Cutie Pie Kit & games), or meet up at your child's favorite restaurant or b...

Posted on January 19, 2012 at 7:00 AM by Sarah Cobb

Keeping Children's Dreams Alive in Honor of Martin Luther King Jr.

We all know that Martin Luther King Jr. had an incredible dream.  If he were alive today, would he feel that his dream had come true?  Martin Luther King Jr. taught us not only the importance of embracing equality and appreciating our differences but also that no dream is unreachable.  As parents, this is one of the most important lessons we can teach our own children.  Every child has a dream, and it is our job to educate, support and encourage our children to achieve those dreams the way...

Posted on January 16, 2012 at 7:30 AM by Melanie Arons

Last Minute Getaways with Holiday Spirit!

When the weather outside is frightful, it’s time for a change of scenery. But you don’t have to go very far to feel a world away.

Worth the Drive

At the Grand Geneva in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, less than two hours from the city, decking the halls means months of planning to create the annual, spectacular “Christmas in the Country” celebration—and it’s a total charm-fest. Trees and tinsel galore fill every floor of the Playboy Club-turned-resort and spa, while a display of animated l...

Posted on December 19, 2011 at 1:11 PM by Elisa Drake

Time to stuff those stockings!

Its funny how you just assume that everyone celebrates Christmas the way your family celebrated Christmas.  Then as you start to share a home with your spouse, and you quickly learn that your spouse’s family did not quite do it the same way mom did!  The first Christmas my hubby and I spent together I was shocked (…and a bit disappointed) to find toothpaste, Chapstick and socks in my stocking.  Where were the chocolate/almond Hershey Kisses, perfume and costume jewelry my mom always put in...

Posted on December 19, 2011 at 8:00 AM by Cindy McCarthy