Simple Solutions: Getting Organized for Back to School

The weeks leading up the first day of school are filled with excitement and anticipation. This is the perfect time to lay the groundwork for an orderly, clutter-free school year. Here are some organizing tips and products that will help get you there:

Use a Family Calendar


A centrally placed calendar is essential for keeping your whole family organized and getting your children involved in the planning process. The larger the better, so there is enough space to include everyo...

Posted on August 25, 2011 at 8:00 AM by Sarah Nelson

Want kids to eat veggies? Try Purple Asparagus

Imagine a class full of children swearing that they hate vegetables. Not hard to envision, right? Come back in an hour and watch them swarm the teacher’s desk for any leftovers from their veggie tasting. Believe that? I’ve witnessed this transformation on hundreds of occasions while teaching with Purple Asaparagus in the Chicago Public Schools.

Purple Asparagus educates children, families and the community about eating that’s good for the body and the planet. Delicious Nutritious Adven...

Posted on August 24, 2011 at 2:00 PM by Melissa Graham

My Neighborhood: Family Fun in Beverly

NPN connects families in neighborhoods across Chicago.  Get inspired to check out a new part of the city or discover something fabulous just around the corner.  This stop:  Beverly with Katrina - All aboard!  And then explore our other NPN Neighborhoods

My husband and I moved to Beverly in 2005, a year before our first child was born. We wanted a yard and good schools, and we wanted them for a good price. As a former Northsider, I had always thought that anything south of Hyde Park was...

Posted on August 23, 2011 at 10:00 AM by Katrina Pavlik

Business Trip Blues

Leaving home again... Another two-week stint away, making it four of the last seven weeks that I have been out of town for work. It’s tough to be away for that long…for me, my wife, my kids, our household. How many families in Chicago battle the same thing?

For the past five years, travel has been a big part of my job. But this summer has been worse than usual. I probably spend a total of two to three months a year on the road.

What has been interesting and depressing at times is t...

Posted on August 22, 2011 at 9:00 AM by Matthew Van Tuinen

Handling Separation Anxiety in Your Child


As children experience new activities and places, parents may notice an increase in their child’s anxiety or difficulty separating from a parent. Separation anxiety is a normal part of a child’s emotional development that helps a child distinguish between safe and non-safe environments. Peak times for separation anxiety are around eight to 10 months and again at 18 months.

Here are some tips to help ease times of transition:

1. As children learn to identify and manage their e...

Posted on August 19, 2011 at 11:00 AM by Aoife Lyons

Lesson Learned: I want, I want, I want

When my daughter really started talking, we experienced the onslought of "I want, I want, I want" with each TV commerical, every time we passed a toy aisle in Jewel or Target, and as she flipped through catalogs arriving in the mail. Sometimes, I would try to explain that we can't buy everything we want. Other times, I would try pointing out that the toy was too expensive, too young for her, or some other rational reason why it wasn't going to happen. But, In her head, all she heard was the P...

Posted on August 18, 2011 at 9:30 AM by Sarah Cobb

You know you have a city kid when...Big Britax Giveaway!

Chicago parents love taking their little ones all over the city - by car, train, bus, and lots by little feet. It is amazing watching them become true city kids. Britax is helping us celebrate our lovable City Kids! THREE winners will get to CHOOSE the right Britax Car Seat for their City Kid! Giveaway details below - ends Aug. 25.!

NPN"s Discussion Forum has great posts like "I know my kid is a city kids because". Here are a few LOL quotes from our city kids:

says "taxi" as one of t...

Posted on August 17, 2011 at 8:00 AM by Sarah Cobb

My Neighborhood: Family Fun in Edgewater

NPN connects families in neighborhoods across Chicago.  Get inspired to check out a new part of the city or discover something fabulous just around the corner.  This stop:  Edgewater with Melissa - All aboard!  And then explore our other NPN Neighborhoods

I’m a big fan of living in Edgewater.  I can happily spend the entire weekend without leaving the neighborhood.  My family – and neighbors - can walk to pretty much anything we want to in this dense, diverse and culturally-rich north ...

Posted on August 16, 2011 at 10:00 AM by Melissa Samuels

NPN Moms in Business - Get to Know Jill

NPN's Moms in Business brings aspiring and established mom entrepreneurs/business-owners together for networking, fun, and great resources. This month's get together at Chicago's Classic Kids Photography is a joint event with Alison Ray's Sassy Moms in the City. We are celebrating summer with a Style and Snapshots Soiree (Now sold out!)  

One of our speakers: Jill Salzman, founder of The Founding Moms, launched the world’s first and only kid-friendly collective of monthly meet-ups ...

Posted on August 13, 2011 at 9:14 AM by Katherine McHenry

Discounts on Home Cooking Without the Hassle!

Home cookin' the EASY way. Check out NPN's recent Parent Perk delicious discount featuring Meez Meals.

Meez Meals is on a mission to make cooking fun, fast and easy.  Each week we deliver a cooler box to our members' homes filled with everything they need to cook dinner from scratch.  The onions are diced. The spices are measured.  And they get to do the fun part -- the cooking.

We come up with new recipes each week based on what’s in season and what we love to eat ourselves. And s...

Posted on August 12, 2011 at 2:58 PM by Ellie Ander