September 2014

50 Questions: Why Do I Love These Damn Things?

One of the first things I ever filled out on Facebook was something similar to this, back when I first was a stay at home parent. Who knew years later I would be blogging three different places and still love doing these things. My friend Shannon over at Deepest Worth asked me 50 Questions. Here goes:

1. What are you wearing?
The Uniform: Jeans, hoodie, converse.

2. Ever been in love?

3. Ever had a terrible break-up?
Yes, and I am glad for the experience to be honest because I survived the heartbreak and lived so share the tale with my kids for when they experience it too.

4. How tall are you?

5. How much do you weigh?
More than when I was born and less than when I was pregnant.

6. Any tattoos?
I cannot decide on curtains, can you imagine? No.

7. Any piercings?

8. OTP (One true pair, favorite fictional couple?)
TV: Scrubs, Turk and JD. Their friendship know no bounds

Movies: The Apartment, CC Baxter and Ms. Kubalek. CC doesn’t judge her for her mistakes.
               When Harry met Sally, Harry and Sally. Friends first.
Book: Emma by Jane Austen, Mr. Knightley and Emma. Mr. Knightley is the only one to call Emma out on her crap.
9. Favorite Show?
I am a TV junkie, so this is VERY HARD, but I will give you the short answer. Right now it’s: Brooklyn 99 is my favorite sitcom and House of Cards is my favorite drama.10. Favorite Bands?
U2, Guster, Mayer Hawthorne, Ryan Adams, a few more.

11. Something you miss?
Dad12. Favorite Song?
Too many. (That isn’t the name of the song, there are just too many to mention.)

13. How old are you?
33 and proud!

14. Zodiac sign?

15. Quality to look for in a partner?
Humor, loyalty, and consideration.
16. Favorite Quote?
“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me.'” ~ Erma Bombeck
“If someone called me chubby, it would no longer be something that kept me up late at night. Being called fat is not like being called stupid or unfunny, which is the worst thing you could ever say to me. Do I envy Jennifer Hudson for being able to lose all that weight and look smokin’ hot? Of course, yes. Do I sometimes look at Gisele Bundchen and wonder how awesome life would be if I never had to wear Spanx? Duh, of course. That’s kind of the point of Gisele Bundchen. And maybe I will, once or twice, for a very short period of time. But on the list of things I want to do in my lifetime, that’s not near the top. I mean, it’s not near the bottom either. I’d say it’s right above “Learn to drive a vespa,” but several notches below “film a chase scene for a movie.” ~Mindy Kaling
“When humor works, it works because it’s clarifying what people already feel. It has to come from someplace real.” ~ Tina Fey
17. Favorite Actor?
I want to give a shout out to the six amazing performers I had the pleasure to work with this past summer at Second City. They were able to bring my words and the words of other writers to life, and that is a thrill that I cannot ever explain. They are my favorite! Thank you Galya, Sarah, Melisa, Damian, Chris, and Tim.18. Favorite Color?
Every color can be worked with, to be fair. You’re talking to someone who buys “oops paint” at Home Depot. So, yeah, I guess you could say I like all.the.colors.

19. Loud music or soft?
Loud, unless I am trying to give orders like, “put your clothes away!” or “do your homework!” then I don’t like any music at all.
20. Where do you go when you are sad?
To my bed, with all the pillows and I make all my people come with me to read books or watch movies.
21. How long does it take you to shower?
It takes about 10 minutes.
22. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
Am I showering or not? Showering: 30 mins. Not showering: 15 mins. (Before you judge me, sometimes I shower at night because I work out or do a paint project or something, Judgey McJudgerston)
23. Ever been in a physical fight?
No comment.
24. Turn on?
Funny. You gots to be funny.
25, Turn-off?
When I was in college we called them tools. I think the kids call them db’s now. Basically any self-centered moron who picks up more chicks than books.
26. The reason I started blogging?
I like to write. I like to be crafty. I like to make people laugh.
27. Fears?
I have fears about my kids daily. DAILY. I know I need to calm down.28. Last thing that made you cry?
I cried hard last week saying goodbye to one of my favorite family members.

29. Last time you said you loved someone?
Just now when I put my youngest down for her nap.

30. Meaning behind the name of your blog?
Brian, my niece and I were all coming up with names that had the word HOME in them. When Brian said, how about, “Home Everyday.” I mean that’s where you are. We all laughed because well, with three kids all under 4 at the time, I wasn’t getting out much.

31. Last book you read?
Top Secret Twenty One by Janet Evonovich
32. Book you are currently reading?
Going to the library today 🙂
33. Last show you watched?
Watched Sunday’s Brooklyn 99 last night on DVR. “I’ve been a cop for 30 years. Also, I’ve seen movies.” How can you not love the captain?!
34. Last person you talked to?
Caroline told me all about her day at school.
35. The relationship between you and the person you just texted?
36. Favorite food?
37. Place you want to visit?
Ireland. Always Ireland.
38. Last place you were?
My bedroom for my laptop charger.39. Do you have a crush?
I totally have a hetero-comedy crush on Mindy Kaling.

40. Last time you kissed someone?
This morning.
41. Last time you were insulted?
Yesterday. It’s ok. I was probably oversensitive, and the insulter was an idiot.42. Favorite flavor of sweet?
All of them.

43. What instruments do you play?
I played piano for 10 years. Until I was a senior in high school. I never looked back. I can still play some Christmas carols and a few tunes, but I don’t have a piano so…

44. Favorite piece of jewelry?
The earrings Brian sent over to me the morning of our wedding. I wear them every day.
45. Last sport you played?
Volleyball in the backyard. I stink.
46. Last song you sang?
“All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor you can judge of you want, but that song rocks my socks off.

47. Favorite chat up line?
I’ve never been to a discotheque, so…
48. Have you ever used it?
Used what?
49. Last time you hung out with anyone?
Over a week ago. Lame.
50. Who should answer these questions next?
Samantha Schultz of The Peanuts Gang 

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You’d Think They’d Say, “No!”: Butternut, Gruyere, and Sage Mac and Cheese

I have never been so excited to see my old friend, Fall. As you can see from Home Everyday’s new look (designed by yours truly) Fall has always motivated me to start with some new goals, plan ahead, and clean house. I don’t know if it the start of school or the change of weather, but this time of year has always seemed like the perfect time to begin anew.


It has also seemed like the perfect time to try some new recipes in our dinner repertoire. Last week, I was looking for some new ideas for one of our old favorites: homemade mac and cheese. I came across this recipe from A Pretty Life in the Suburbs for Cheesy Butternut Squash Pasta Bake.
The other day when I hit up the grocery store, I was telling my cheese lady of my plans for butternut squash mac and cheese and she recommended adding some gruyere. Yes, I have a person in the cheese department that I talk to regularly. What can I say? I like cheese. (#ProTip: If you are thinking of trying out a new recipe, or making something of your own talk to the employees in your supermarket, they might have some tips for you.) While gruyere is typically pretty pricey, I only needed a small amount (about half a cup) and she was right it added just the right amount of creaminess, nuttiness, and melted perfectly.So, I took my basic macaroni and cheese recipe and doctored it up a bit. I thought everyone in my house would say no (I have some squash haters in this house), but everyone devoured it!)



Butternut, Gruyere, and Sage Mac and Cheese
1 pound short cut pasta (I used cavatapi)
1 small butternut squash peeled and diced
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 Tbs unsalted butter
2 Tbs flour
2 cups milk
1 1/4 cups shredded sharp cheddar
1/2 cup shredded gruyere
1/4 shredded parmesan
1 tsp rubbed sage
Salt and Pepper to taste 


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 


On a baking sheet coat squash with olive oil salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 25 minutes or until fork tender. When squash is done, mash with potato masher or puree in food processor until smooth. Reserve. 

In a large pot, bring water to a boil and prepare pasta according to instructions. Reserve the pasta in the large warm pot.

In a medium sauce pan, over medium low heat, melt butter. Whisk in flour to form a roux. Stirring constantly for about 1 to 2 minutes until flour is cooked. Next, whisk in milk. Slowly cook milk stirring occasionally until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Season with salt, pepper, and sage. Lower heat to low, and slowly add cheeses stirring until they are well incorporated.

Fold squash puree, cheese mixture, and noodles together until combined.

I served this mac and cheese with a side of veggies, but it would be great with this orchard salad!




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Linking up at Skip to My Lou for Made by You Monday.

Thirsty Thursday: Apple Whiskey Mule

So, it is officially fall. The Autumnal Equinox happened at 9:29 CST on Monday, and I have been relishing in all the fall glory since. This has always been one of my favorite times of year, but for some reason this year I was counting down the minutes until fall. Perhaps it was because I couldn’t wait to start enjoying all the fall foods, or start wearing my favorite fall clothes, or maybe it is because snuggling on the couch reading books with my littles is one of my favorite things to do. Doing it in the summer is just not the same.

With Autumn comes great drinks, and last year I was all about the hot beverages, but since it is still quite warm out, I thought I would try some cooler refreshing beverages to start out Fall right. So, for this THIRSTY THURSDAY, I am switching up one of my new absolute favorite cocktails, the Moscow Mule, and have created an Apple Whiskey Mule.


Apple Whiskey Mule (makes one)
1/2 of lime juiced
1 tsp sugar
2 oz Irish whiskey
4 – 6 oz Hard Apple Cider (I used Angry Orchard Apple Ginger)
Apple Slices for Garnish


In a copper mug or glass, add ice to chill.


In a cocktail shaker add lime juice, sugar, whiskey, and ice and shake until well combined (about 30 seconds). Pour into mug or glass and top with cider.


Garnish with apple slices and serve.


Happy Autumn, Readers!


If you like Autumn drinks, check out this vanilla spiced cider. For all things beverage related, check out the THIRSTY THURSDAY page for recipes for all kinds of drinks, cocktails, and all things drinkable!


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In Case of Emergency: DIY Address Plaque

We are already getting flyers about fire prevention week coming up in October. Which in addition to making sure the smoke detectors are checked, the fire extinguishers are up to date, making sure we reinforce fire safety with the kids like how to get out of the house and where to meet, I was also thinking I should probably knock something off my to do list that has been on there forever.

We need an address plaque on our house, and of course I wanted to make it myself.


We have our address on our mailbox, but I have always thought it would be a good idea to label the house too. It is better to be safe than sorry.

So, I went to my favorite place for inspiration. Pinterest.

I found a few ideas, and then decided to come up with a cost effective idea of my own, using a wooden canvas I was able to get on sale at Michael’s, leftover stain from the dining room table project, and stainless steal numbers from Home Depot.

I created a two tone address plaque that is good for any season. A DIY project and something that makes my family safe?! Awesome!


12″ x 12″ wooden canvas
Acrylyic Wood Stain (Minwax Clear Base)
Painter’s Tape
Paint Brush or Old Rag
Metal Numbers with Screws (I used 4″ numbers that could be seen from the street.)
Hardware to Attach Plaque to House
Drop Cloth


Step 1: Wipe off any dust or debris that might be on the wooden canvas. You want the surface completely clean for taping and staining.

Step 2: Tape off the pattern that you would like on your canvas. I did a random stripe pattern, but chevron or diagonal stripes would be fun too. NOTE: Make sure that you press the tape firmly into place as stain is watery and can seep under painters tape if not adhered firmly.


Step 3: Using a sponge brush or rag, gently apply stain according to manufacturers instructions. NOTE: The more coats of stain applied the richer and darker the color. I applied three coats, making sure to allow ample drying time between each coat.

Coat 1:


Coat 2:


Coat 3:


Step 4: After the stain has dried remove painters tape. Using a screwdriver drill carefully attach letters where you would like them using predrilled holes.

Step 5: Hang on your house in a place that is easily visible from the street. We hung ours near the front door.


What will you be doing to get ready for fire prevention week?

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Linking up at Serenity Now ( for Weekend Blog Reading and Home Stories A to Z (

ChicagonistaLIVE and Floor & Decor: Great Design and Conversation

I have been compensated for this post, but the thoughts and opinions are my own.

Last week, I had the pleasure of joining the women of ChicagonistaLIVE as they broadcasted live from Floor and Decor in Skokie. There is nothing more wonderful for me than when you combine home decor and good conversation so I was thrilled to be a part of this experience.

Floor and Decor was not only filled with every kind of flooring option possible, but also has everything you need for tiling your bathroom, shower, kitchen backsplashes, mudrooms, stones for outdoor spaces and fireplaces, laminate, and hardwood, but also Floor and Decor also has everything you would need to install it. From the saws to thinset, backer board to waterproofing materials, Floor and Decor has everything. Well, almost everything. For running water, I’d have to head back home.


Thanks to Maria Ramos of A Savings Wow for taking this photo.

Everything that Floor and Decor has can be overwhelming, but that is why there are designers on staff to help you with every decision that needs to be made as well as help you find the materials that will fit your lifestyle and budget. We were able to take a tour of the the store with the designer, who taught us a great deal about design and installation, and perhaps gave me a little confidence to try a backsplash on my own (don’t worry Brian, I won’t do it just yet).


Also, my favorite part of the day was when the wonderful women of ChicagonistaLive allowed me to be a guest on their show and ask for some advice. I was looking for a way to incorporate marble tile into a kitchen or bath without breaking the bank, and Floor and Decor had just the right solution. Long story short: less is more.


I was so excited to be a part of this experience, and hoping that I will be able to do it again in the near future! For more information about ChicagonistaLIVE LIKE them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter. To learn more about Floor and Decor LIKE them on Facebook or follow them Twitter.


If you like this post and would like to read more about all things domestic with a touch of humor, become a Home Everyday follower! For blog updates or to see other places I write such as ChicagoNow or Chicago Parent follow Home Everyday on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.

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Ease and Comfort in Your Home with ChicagonistaLive & Floor and Decor

I have been compensated for this post, but the thoughts and opinions are my own.

When you think of the word HOME, what are some words that come to mind? Some people might prefer a cozy and warm space, where others prefer one that is light and airy. Home might convey a place of serenity or for others might be a place of productivity. For all of us, home is different, but I would be willing to bet that we can all agree that that two words we all want to associate with our home are ease and comfort.

From top to bottom, every part of our home should be easy to take care of and make us comfortable. That is why I am so excited to be working with Chicagonista Live and Floor and Decor in Skokie to talk one of the most essential parts but often overlooked parts of our home: our floors.


On Tuesday, September 16 from 2:00 pm until 3:00 pm CST you will be able to watch the wonderful and savvy women of Chicagonista Live discuss all things flooring at the new Floor and Decor opening in Skokie, IL! If you want to chat with them or me who will be touring the new Skokie store (and gazing longingly at the rectangular Teak Stone Gray porcelain tile or array of hardwoods), you can join us on Twitter using the hashtag #ChicagonistaLIVE.

Let’s face it, floors are where it’s at when it comes to establish both ease and comfort in any home, and Floor and Decor has every kind of flooring option to help. With 4 Chicagoland locations and the lowest prices in flooring (we are talking no middle man), it is easy to consider Floor and Decor if you’re in the market for new flooring. You can look at stones like travertine and marble, hardwoods, laminates, vinyls, porcelains, ceramics, and even decorative tiles (travertine, people!).

Like many homes, ours is a busy place with so many high traffic areas. I have found over the years that maintaining a clean home is as much about maintaining my sanity as it is about about anything else, and it starts with the flooring. However, I also want our floors to be comfortable for our little ones. Kids want a place they can run in bare feet and play.


I am so excited about heading to Floor and Decor to talk flooring with Chicagonista Live and get some advice about different types of flooring options for different areas of our home. As you know, we did a great deal of work to our home when we moved in, and we are always looking to upgrade when we can. A few projects on our “to do list” are to finish our basement and to replace the flooring in our kitchen to make it a little easier to clean and a little more inviting. I cannot wait to see what Floor and Decor suggests!

Do you have any flooring dilemmas? What about any flooring suggestions? Visit on Tuesday, September 16, from 2:00 until 3:00 p.m. CST to learn about ways to add ease and comfort to your home, and you might even see me!

If you like this post and would like to read more about all things domestic with a touch of humor, become a Home Everyday follower! For blog updates or to see other places I write such as ChicagoNow or Chicago Parent follow Home Everyday on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.

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Thirsty Thursday: Frozen Floats

So, my youngest. The baby. She is about to be 4! I know I say this all the time, but the days drag and the years are flying by. She might as well be 14, because how can this:

Turn into this in the blink of an eye?
In addition to being almost 4, this little lady knows exactly what she wants for her birthday. She wants lasagna, salad, and a soccer cake with Elsa and Ana from Disney’s Frozen on Top. So, I am doing my best to abide. I thought it also might be fun for the little princess I would make a special drink for all her guests who join us for dinner too.
Our friends introduced us to the Frozen Punch at their daughter’s birthday party, and rather than make an entire bowl of punch, I decided to downsize and whip up some Frozen Floats that I can make to order for the smaller crowd we will be hosting this weekend.
They are Coco tasted and approved and perfect for all the princesses (and princes) in your life.
Frozen Float (makes 1)
2 scoops vanilla ice cream
4 oz chilled Polar Blast Hawaiian Punch (or blue fruit punch like beverage)
4 oz Lemon Lime soda (I used Sierra Mist)
Scoop ice cream into chilled glass. Pour Hawaiian punch over ice cream. Top with soda. Serve immediately.
Now, to clarify this Soccer Elsa and Ana cake business.

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Why You Should See The Eye Doctor Every Year and Some Gorgeous Iristocracy Frames

Iristocracy will be compensating me for this post, but the thoughts, opinions & story I am sharing are my own. 

When we ring in 2015, I will look back on 2014 on a year that was full of firsts, fun, and co-pays. While I know my family and I are blessed with good health, there have been a few scares, and now that I know more about what is going on I want to share with my readers a little bit about what happened.

I wear glasses for driving, and for seminars or class or going to church. Things like that. I have for about three years now. Every year, I get my eyes checked to see if there are any changes in my prescription. It is a once a year appointment.


This year, my optometrist noticed that my optic nerves were very swollen. She looked back in my chart and saw that she had made a note that she noticed that she had noted in my previous appointment that my optic nerves were slightly swollen the year before, but this year the problem seemed to get worse. She asked that I go see a specialist that day. She made an appointment for me to see an ophthalmologist nearby for a second opinion on my swollen optic nerves.

After a consultation with the ophthalmologist, he agreed that my optic nerves were indeed swollen and asked that I do a vision field test. This is basically test my peripheral vision. After this test, we found out there was a tiny bit of peripheral blindness.

If you’re like me, I bet you’re wondering what all this means. At this stage in the game, it can mean any number of things, and a lot more testing needed to be done. You see, a lot of health conditions can be diagnosed through your eyes, which is why it is so very important to see (see what I did there) your eye doctor every year. Swollen optic nerves and some loss of peripheral vision is known as papilledema and can be an early indicator for anything from brain tumors to multiple sclerolsis or it can be nothing at all, but it is important to have it checked out.

So, I was referred to a neurologist, and had an two MRI’s, a lumbar puncture, and a few more field vision screenings, and was diagnosed with a mild Psuedotumor. Apparently, the spinal fluid that my body makes is in excess and was putting pressure on my brain and therefore causing my optic nerves to also be swollen.

The prognosis is good. I am on a medication now, and have check ups with my ophthalmologist and neurologist. However, had this gone untreated, I could have lost part or all of my vision. My vision is fine, and my eyeglass prescription has only changed slightly. In fact, after a few months of being on the medication, my peripheral vision is back to normal.

Because of this though, I need some new eyeglasses. Last week, I was invited to attended the Sassy Moms in the City Back to School Media Soiree and Iristocracy was there. I, of course, made a bee line for their display because after the year I have had, I have been in search of the perfect pair of frames, and Iristocracy has some of the most gorgeous and trendy frames out there.


Photo courtesy of KH Photography

After trying on dozens of frames at the event and loving a pair of Jean Renos (seriously, how adorbs are these?).


I thought I would give their Virtural Look technology a try at home too just to make sure, the Jean Reno frames were the ones I like, and I do. They are so adorable, and for the first time in awhile, I took a selfie I love!

We all know that you have fulfilled your child’s school physicals, filled out all the forms, and gotten the vaccinations. Now, it is time to take care of yourself. Make your appointments, and get all of your check ups taken care of INCLUDING THE OPTOMETRIST. Please go to the eye doctor, and who knows you might end up with a cute new pair of frames from Iristocracy to boot.

If you like this post and would like to read more about all things domestic with a touch of humor, become a Home Everyday follower! For blog updates or to see other places I write such as ChicagoNow or Chicago Parent follow Home Everyday on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.

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Mitchell’s Premium Ice Cream: It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Summertime

Mitchell’s treated me and my family to ice cream, however, the thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

There are times when I am called to do a visit to a restaurant or establishment for a review and I am, of course, excited to try anything new (hello foodie). However, when Mitchell’s Premium Ice Cream and Candies reached out, I jumped at the opportunity. You see, even though growing up in the far South Suburbs of Chicago I had been to Mitchell’s countless times, it is considered an institution. 

With every email that passed back and forth planning my visit, I was having more and more flashbacks of marshmallow sundaes, chocolate waffles cones, and almond bark.

Since my oldest two boys have pretty severe food allergies, we decided to make this a Girls’ Day Out. I invited my Mom and my niece to join Caroline and I for a farewell to Summer Ice Cream Day at Mitchell’s. While we were sad that my niece was heading off to college, Caroline is starting preschool, the days would be getting shorter, and the weather is soon going to be cooling off, we are pretty much ok with it knowing that Mitchell’s is open year round for us to enjoy all of those sweet treats including seasonal ice creams and candies (ahem egg nog ice cream for the Holiday Season).

The decor has changed a bit from when I was there as a kid, but it is still reminiscent of an old time soda fountain, which was right up my Mom’s (Chicago) alley. Caroline was happy as a clam coloring at the the kids’ size tables with Nana, and I was able to snag a few pictures.

As I walked around taking pictures of candies and ice cream and all sorts of treats, the chocolate sugary smell wafting through Mitchell’s brought me right back to childhood. I could remember one of my first visits to Mitchell’s with my sister as a kid and ordering my first adult size Marshmallow Sundae. As simple as the memory is, it is one of my favorites, and Mitchell’s is a part of it. Places like Mitchell’s are hard to find, so when you do find a place like it, it is worth the trip to make memories like that with your own kids. 

When it was time to order Caroline knew she wanted something with whipped cream (shocker), so I ordered her a Kid’s Sundae, which was the perfect size for her. 

My Mom, who was having a hard time deciding between a sundae with home made butter pecan ice cream or an old fashioned chocolate soda, but decided on the sundae she couldn’t resist the though of hot fudge. 

My niece grabbed an old fashioned chocolate shake, which at Mitchell’s comes in a tall glass with whipped cream, but also served with the extra in the metal container they mix it in (that’s old school). 

Finally, I couldn’t resist flashing back to childhood to my old standby which was a marshmallow sundae but added a little hot fudge for good measure.

Oh, and we took some treats home too!

If you live in the far South Suburbs or are in the area, Mitchell’s Premium Ice Cream and Candies is worth the visit. Stop in for a sundae and take some treats home with you, or better yet host a party there and make some memories of your own.

If you like this post and would like to read more about all things domestic with a touch of humor, become a Home Everyday follower! For blog updates or to see other places I write such as ChicagoNow or Chicago Parent follow Home Everyday on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.

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