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Found 11 results

  1. NPN Lauren

    Daycation: All I ever wanted

    Family vacations are overrated. As we’ve read on our Forum, seen on social media, and heard from fellow parents, “Vacations are basically just taking the sh*t show on the road.” With little kids, they’re anything but relaxing. So with spring break in the rear view and summer “vacations” still a ways off, it’s time to plan the next-best thing: a daycation, all to yourself. Here’s how. [Related: To the moms running on fumes, here's how to refill the tank] Mark your calendar You know how people say that the hardest part about exercising is getting to the gym, or even getting out the door? Same goes for a self-prescribed holiday: the hardest part is making the mental commitment to do so. If you’re the type who uses a calendar, go ahead and block it out as you would a true vacation day or mental health day. I recommend blocking a Friday, so you can treat yourself to a three-day weekend instead of having to hop back into reality post-daycation. Block the full day — don’t wimp out and just book the morning. I’m talkin’ 9AM to 5PM. Better yet, block 8AM to 6PM. If you can get out of dropping off and picking up the kids on this day, do it. That saying “It takes a village” applies to solo daycations, too. No guilt allowed. Allow yourself to daydream Now that you’ve got a day off to look forward to, it’s time to think about what you would truly enjoy to do with your day. (Imagine that!) Try not to default to a combination of forced “relaxation” and obligatory busywork, e.g., eating half a gummy and washing your delicates. Newsflash: That’s not a vacation, parents. That’s a Saturday night. [Related: 3 steps moms can take to get some me time every week] Think bigger: What does your ideal (solo) vacation look like? Can it be loosely replicated in the city of Chicago in a single day? Unfortunately, we don’t have any private islands within our city limits. But we do have a lot of wonderful ways to play hooky. While I can’t pretend to know what your daycation fantasy is, I can share mine (a full day at the Langham complete with lap swimming, lobster rolls, and literally any of these treatments), and hopefully inspire some well-earned daydreaming. For instance, if you love nothing more than pretending to read a paperback novel while dozing off poolside, this can be achieved. So can a truly luxe spa day, a gorgeous day spent hiking in nature, a decadent brunch followed by hours of bookstore browsing, an unexpected day-trip to another city, or even a deep meditation session. Make it happen If you have an agenda in mind but are struggling with execution, check out the list below for some ideas. Then, book it and start the count-down. Anticipation is half the fun. Enjoy! Spa Day $: King Spa & Sauna in Niles $$: Aire Ancient Baths in West Town $$$: Kohler Waters Spa in Lincoln Park $$$$: Chuan Spa at The Langham in River North Pool Day FREE: Portage Park Pool $: InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile $: East Bank Club $$: The Peninsula Hotel Forest Bathing & Nature Days FREE: Calumet Woods in Riverdale FREE: Forest Glen Woods in Forest Glen FREE: LaBagh Woods in North Park $: Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe $: Morton Arboretum in Lisle Day Trip Wilmington, IL — 75 minutes Michigan City, IN — 75 minutes Milwaukee — 90 minutes Harbor Country, MI — 90 minutes Lake Geneva — 90 minutes
  2. NPN Tareema

    College Admissions 101

    Do you have a young child and you are thinking about their college career? Or do you have a high schooler and you need to figure out the college application process quickly? Either way, this is the session for you. If you wonder how to determine which colleges are a good fit for your child, where to start in applying for financial aid and scholarships, and how to approach standardized tests like the ACT and SAT, NPN can help. In College Admissions 101, presented by Grace Lee Sawin of Chicago School GPS College Search Guidance, you will learn: -How and where to begin your college search -What colleges look for in an applicant -The timeline for a smooth college application process Recorded February 2022
  3. NPN Tareema

    Preschool Philosophies

    Choosing the right preschool for your child can be an overwhelming task, especially in Chicago where there are so many options. With so many different preschool philosophies, how do you know which philosophy works for you and your family? In this discussion you will learn about a variety of preschool philosophies, hear examples of good questions to ask and things to think about when you are researching preschools, and walk away confident in your ability to choose a preschool that is a good fit for your family. Our esteemed school panel consists of Erin Woodhams, Director of Marketing, Admissions, and Communications, British International School of Chicago, Lincoln Park, Meg Fitzgerald, Director of Early Childhood Education, Bennett Day School, Samantha Maxwell, Preschool Director, Bubbles Academy Arts-Integrated Preschool, and Andrea Shaffer, Faculty Director, Chicago Waldorf School We appreciate our Supporting Sponsor, Bennett Day School and a special thanks to our Presenting Sponsor British International School of Chicago, Lincoln Park. Recorded February 2022
  4. NPN Tareema

    Kindergarten Prep & Age Cut Off

    Preparing for kindergarten can feel like a daunting task, and myths about the Illinois age cut-off abound. If you are wondering if your four year old or six year old can attend kindergarten, or if you want to know how to help your child prepare for kindergarten, this is the session for you. Our esteemed panelists will explain what teachers really want parents to know about kindergarten. We will also discuss the Illinois law around age cut off, answering all of your questions about this confusing piece of the puzzle. You will walk away from this discussion understanding: 1. What it means to be kindergarten-ready 2. How to help your child prepare for kindergarten 3. The kindergarten age cut off law in Illinois and if there are any exceptions Our esteemed school panel consists of Tiffany Wells, Director Enrollment Management, Catherine Cook School, Meg Fitzgerald, Director of Early Childhood Education, Bennett Day School, Georgia Burke, Admissions Director, St. Josaphat School, and Bonnie Ho, Principal, Pui Tak Christian School A special thank you to our presenting sponsor: Catherine Cook School
  5. NPN Tareema

    College Admissions 101

    until
    Do you have a young child and you are thinking about their college career? Or do you have a high schooler and you need to figure out the college application process quickly? Either way, this is the session for you. If you wonder how to determine which colleges are a good fit for your child, where to start in applying for financial aid and scholarships, and how to approach standardized tests like the ACT and SAT, NPN can help. In College Admissions 101, presented by Grace Lee Sawin of Chicago School GPS College Search Guidance, you will learn: -How and where to begin your college search -What colleges look for in an applicant -The timeline for a smooth college application process This event is FREE and exclusive to NPN members only. Join now!
  6. NPN Tareema

    Preschool Philosophies

    until
    Choosing the right preschool for your child can be an overwhelming task, especially in Chicago where there are so many options. With so many different preschool philosophies, how do you know which philosophy works for you and your family? In this discussion you will learn about a variety of preschool philosophies, hear examples of good questions to ask and things to think about when you are researching preschools, and walk away confident in your ability to choose a preschool that is a good fit for your family. There will be time for Q&A at the end! Our esteemed school panel consists of: Erin Woodhams, Director of Marketing, Admissions, and Communications, British International School of Chicago, Lincoln Park Meg Fitzgerald, Director of Early Childhood Education, Bennett Day School Samantha Maxwell, Preschool Director, Bubbles Academy Arts-Integrated Preschool Andrea Shaffer, Faculty Director, Chicago Waldorf School Thank you to our Presenting Sponsor, British International School of Chicago, Lincoln Park, we also appreciate our Supporting Sponsor, Bennett Day School. By registering for this event, you agree that NPN may share your name and email address with our presenting sponsor.
  7. until
    Are you a new mom with a baby 0-12 months old (or about that age)? If so, this is the group for you! Join our current NPN new moms, for these monthly video chats. Here you can connect and talk about sleep, feeding, all of the unique challenges and joys you face as new moms. NPN New Moms Group meets the second Thursday of each month from 7:15 PM - 8:00 PM via Zoom. We encourage you to attend every month! These chats are for NPN members only. Please login to RSVP for free. You will receive an email confirmation with the Zoom link immediately after registering. Not a member of NPN? Join now and enjoy everything NPN has to offer!
  8. until
    Are you a new mom with a baby 0-12 months old (or about that age)? If so, this is the group for you! Join our current NPN new moms for these monthly video chats. Here, you can connect and talk about sleep, feeding, and all of the unique challenges and joys you face as new moms. NPN New Moms Group meets the second Thursday of each month from 7:15 PM - 8:00 PM via Zoom. We encourage you to attend every month! These chats are for NPN members only. Please login to RSVP for free. You will receive an email confirmation with the Zoom link immediately after registering. Not a member of NPN? Join now and enjoy everything NPN has to offer!
  9. until
    Are you a new mom with a baby 0-12 months old (or about that age)? If so, this is the group for you! Join our current NPN new moms, for these monthly video chats. Here you can connect and talk about sleep, feeding, all of the unique challenges and joys you face as new moms. NPN New Moms Group meets the second Thursday of each month from 7:15 PM - 8:00 PM via Zoom. We encourage you to attend every month! These chats are for NPN members only. Please login to RSVP for free. You will receive an email confirmation with the Zoom link immediately after registering. Not a member of NPN? Join now and enjoy everything NPN has to offer!
  10. Hygge: feeling warm, comfortable and safe. This Danish concept advocates enjoying the simple pleasures and treating yourself with care. During Chicago winters, we could all do with a little dose of hygge: the perfect antidote to Zoom overload. Here’s how. Clear out clutter To ensure the simplicity required for this concept, some decluttering is required. Make this an opportunity to donate items, then clear everything out of sight into some large, natural hampers. Bring in cozy Wool blankets, faux sheepskins, baskets of slippers. There is nothing better than snuggling with your family and embracing the best of togetherness. [Related: From slow to go! Balancing life post-pandemic] Add texture To complement the soft textiles, add some earthenware bowls for soup or glass jars filled with pinecones for a pleasing aesthetic. Bringing nature in promotes the tranquil vibe. Display those memories While we can’t see extended family members as much as we would like, displaying photos brings them closer. Or, dig out old mementos and arrange treasured items on shelves where they bring back happy memories. Read and listen Reading and listening to music are soothing pastimes for many of us. Select some poetry or a beautiful photo book, create a playlist, and chill out in a nook made from a bean bag chair or throw pillows. Embrace changing seasons Embracing the seasons is a part of hygge that we all have to accept in Chicago. Bundle up on sunny days, invest in a sled for the snowy ones, and makeover your bedroom hotel-style for the really ugly ones. Set a fire Whether you have a fireplace indoors, a fire pit outside, or just a visual on YouTube, fires are immensely relaxing. Rearrange the furniture around this focal point, replacing the TV with conversation. Enjoy a cuppa Make 2021 the year to up the ante on winter drinks. A hot chocolate bar is a fun, low-key activity for all the family. Alternately, cover a box with beautiful fabric and fill it with a range of teas for a home tasting. Bake a treat Though cookie exchanges are a no-no, take the opportunity to explore comfort foods from across the globe. Baking bread is another wonderful way to bring in the hygge, filling your home with an enticing aroma. [Related: Family-friendly slow-cooker meals for cold snaps] Bathe in light If candles are problematic with children and pets, there are plenty of realistic battery versions. And of course, strings of tiny fairy lights add a magical effect strung up a little haphazardly. Put away tech Central to the theme of hygge is simplification, and that applies to technology, too. Identify a place to put away these items at the end of the day, such as a sanitizing station or a charging drawer. Embrace neutral decor To fully embrace the required Danish décor, repaint a room in neutral colors of grays, greens and creams. For a low-commitment fix, try adding new pillows or replacing the bold with calming artwork. As we continue our winter living with COVID, it is so important that our homes become our sanctuaries — and not our cells. While traveling and experiencing a refreshing change of scene remains problematic, setting up our dwellings to provide respite is hugely beneficial to our wellbeing.
  11. I had the pleasure of joining thousands of other women to attend Michelle Obama's book launch event for her book, Becoming, on Nov. 13 at United Center. It was amazing! I was in awe of her story, her strength, and steadfastness to become the Michelle Obama so many of us have come to love and adore. No matter your political affiliation, you cannot deny the superpowers she displays as a daughter, wife, mom, friend and leader. A true boss! Ok, so now that I have finished gushing about Michelle Obama (can you tell I admire her just a little bit?), there was so much that I took from listening to the over two-hour conversation between her and my other hero, Oprah Winfrey. I am sure every mom felt a little bit more confident in their walk leaving the event! I know that I walked away feeling reassured by my mission as a mompreneur to inspire and enable moms to be more intentional about their self-care. One of the things that Michelle Obama shared that evening was to "push yourself up on your priority list." Sounds easy enough but yet it is so challenging for moms to do. I mean, if we push ourselves up on our to-do list, what will need to get de-prioritized? Will it be our partners? Our children? Mommy chores? It will likely be something, but we as moms have to get to a place where we are ok with it. We have to feel confident in knowing that the benefits of prioritizing "us" will far outweigh the cost of not conquering the to-do list or temporarily de-prioritizing someone else. It will be there tomorrow. I can talk to you about this until I am blue in the face. I can have your bestest girlfriends call you and tell you once a day to have some me-time. I can even ask your significant other tell you its ok to be selfish every once in a while to have a mommy break. But if you do not truly believe this yourself, it will be in vain. If you do not put mind over matter to make it happen it will not. In order to become the moms and, most importantly, the women we were destined to be, we must be more intentional about our self-care in 2019. Here are three easy things you can do: 1. Create a list of your favorite things to do. From working out to trying new restaurants to taking a walk along the lake, there are tons of different things you can do. 2. Once you make your list of favorite things, pick two things to do over the next two weeks. It can be as quick as 15 minutes or as long as a couple of hours. Write it down on the calendar. (Writing it down is important.) 3. Share your intention with at least one person. This can be a fellow mom (and if it gets her on board to join you), your significant other, or a co-worker. Ask them to check with you a couple of days before the scheduled break to make sure you are on track for still taking it. If you are successful with completing these tasks, “rinse and repeat” and try again next month. We not only owe it to Michelle Obama so that she has tangible proof that her story made an impact, but more importantly, we owe it to ourselves. I am ecstatic for 2019 and all of the awesome women we will continue to become as a result of being intentional about our self-care in 2019.

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