March 2015

Spring Cleaning: What a Sham (WOW)

We are a few days into Spring, and I have not Spring cleaned a thing yet. (gasp!)

I take that back, I scrubbed the kitchen floor the other day. It was gloriously clean for an entire day for a hot minute. Then it snowed. Not just a little flurry, but a ridiculous 4 inches of heavy wet SPRING insanity, and it didn’t matter that people took off their shoes. I still had to bring the groceries in the house the day of the SPRING blizzard of 2015 and that made for a messy floor.

So here I am, a queen of domesticity about to tell you 7 Reasons Why Spring Cleaning is a Sham (WOW).

1.) Unpredictable weather: Let’s just call Spring in the Midwest what it is, shall we? Toddler of weather. I want to build a snowman, no wait, I want to pick flowers, no wait, I want to splash in puddles, no wait, I want to fly a kite. I WANT TO RUN IN SPRINKLERSSS!!! GET OUT THE SIDEWALK CHALK! WHERE’S MY SNOW BOOTS! Get in the basement there’s a tornado warning! This is currently the state of my front hall because every day there is a new kind of clothing to be worn, and I refuse to put any of it away until this kid known as weather makes up his damn mind!


2.) School is still in session: When school is going on there is homework, and papers, and activities, and so many more things to keep track of that it just doesn’t seem to be a good time to add in a huge reorganization and cleaning of the entire house. And the papers! The school papers are everywhere. You know that old saying about when you pluck a gray hair and 6 more grow in its place? I’m pretty sure that for every school paper I throw away, a million more multiply.


3.) Spring is busy: My family and I have a lot going on in the Spring and mostly we are just trying to keep afloat. Soccer, ice skating, ballet recital rehearsals, local elections, Listen to Your Mother practices, TAXES, extra writing submissions, CCD, Brian out of town, me out of town, dinners out, and that is in addition to everything else. I refuse to Spring clean. So, I do the only logical thing. I straighten up and hide things in the closet when people are coming over.

4.) When the weather actually is nice: Those first few gorgeous days when the sun is out, and you don’t have to wear a jacket and it is still light out past 4:00 p.m., I really don’t want to spend that time cleaning. I would so much rather take the kids outside (because it might be snowing tomorrow, again). See ya!


5.) Did I mention the papers? I don’t think you guys realize the papers. So, I’ll show you again.


6.) Project time: Since my house looks like a bomb of papers and weather appropriate clothing went off anyway, this is the time of year I usually do some household projects. Then, when I am ready to do a big clean and organizing project, I just clean everything up at one time. This is called not re-inventing the wheel, or something like that.


7.) Spring Break: There are very few people who have the opportunity to spend a week all together as a family. Because my husband is in education, he has an entire week to spend with us and the kids who are also off school the at the same time. We usually spend that week taking day trips to places around town and spending time together. There is no way I am trading scrubbing baseboard and organizing toys for that!

I saving the Spring Cleaning for Summer!

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St. Patrick’s Day Spirit

Over the years, three things keep happening to me. I get
older. I get wiser. I have become worse with my time management skills.
I have found it increasingly difficult to manage my time and
the time of my family. It seems like rather than crossing things off my To Do
list I just keep adding. I have just come the realization that there will
always be something to do, and I will somehow get it done. I pay for it, and I
go through spurts of very busy and chaotic times. However, it is worth it.
In fact, I really wouldn’t have it any other way.
I know there are times I should be going through the papers
on my desk or putting laundry away, or planning for something.
However, there are days when I know there are just much more
important things to do. Like chatting and eating lunch with my girl after
pre-school. Stopping by my Mom’s for a cup of tea and a visit. Baking something
with real butter. Being on a funny group text with my siblings. Playing hockey
in the driveway with my boys. Drinking the nice wine and telling stories with
my friends.
I was thinking about St. Patrick’s Day, and how I love going
to my Mom’s with my family to eat and just be. There is no exchanging of
presents, or dressing up, or fanciness. There is family, laughing, some
stories, maybe some music (if we remember to turn it on), butter on Irish Soda
Bread, and a beer or two.
That’s it. While it doesn’t seem like much, it is everything
in this life.
Which is why I love this day so much, and why as I get older
I’m trying to live it out a little bit every day. The older I get the wiser I
am and the more I appreciate these small moments.
So, however you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, remember to
include your family, have a few laughs, tell some stories, maybe a little music
(if you remember to turn it on), don’t for get the butter, and maybe have a
beer or two if that’s your thing.
Try to do a bit of that every day.
Because in this life, it is everything!


Happy St. Patrick’s Day, Readers!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.

All American Big Game Layer Dip

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BigGameSnacks #CollectiveBias

Spring is not quite here, but this time of year typically brings about some of my favorite things: warm weather, St. Patrick’s Day, planning my garden, thinking about summer, and college basketball. This past weekend we watched a lot of basketball, and there is only more in our near future. A lot more. Even my little ones are in on the action. My oldest was checking out scores of his favorite teams on the computer.

With the weather warming up, and basketball on TV we haven’t been eating a lot at the dining room table. It is a lot of snack like food as we have been running in and out to enjoy both the nice weather and basketball games.


One of our favorite family snacks is Cheez-Its! My kids especially love Cheez-Its. They have been eating them since they were wee ones as they are one of the few snacks that were allergen safe, and were often a nice portable treat. Trying the NEW Cheez-It Grooves and NEW Cheez-It Crunch’d was a no brainer!


We found Cheez-It Grooves right next to all our old favorites!

When I was asked by #CollectiveBias to create a recipe with for Cheez-Its Crunch’d and the NEW Cheez-Its Grooves, I was thrilled. I ran to Walmart with my little helpers and came up with the perfect idea for a #BigGameSnack.


The Cheez-It Crunch’d easy to grab right by some the things I needed for the dip.
We couldn’t stop snacking while I made the dip!


Most #BigGameSnacks include a veggie tray, a few hot hors d’oeuvres, a few cold things, and of course layered Mexican dip. However, I thought it might be fun to switch things up, and I created an All American Layer Dip to serve with Cheez-It Crunch’d or Cheez-It Grooves. 

This dip is simple to make and hits some different flavor notes and pairs nicely with the cheese flavor of Cheez-Its. What is more American than bacon, lettuce, tomato, and ranch?

All American Layer Dip

1 8 oz package of cream cheese softened to room temperature
2 cups of sour cream (or 1 16 oz container)
1 ranch seasoning packet
1/2 pound of bacon cooked, cooled and crumbled.
2 cups shredded lettuce
2 cups plum tomatoes seeded and diced


In a mixer with a paddle attachment add sour cream and cream cheese and blend until combined. Then, add ranch packed and mix for about 1 minuted until incorporated.


Next, spread the ranch mixture into the bottom of a large shallow dish.


Put and even layer of bacon on top of the ranch mixture.


Then, add an even layer of lettuce.


Finally, add the layer of tomatoes.

Enjoy with your favorite Cheez-Its.


I personally, liked it with the Cheez-It Cruch’d Cheddar and my hubby enjoyed them with the Cheez-It White Cheddar Grooves.

We all know we have a favorite Cheez-It, with or without dip!
In fact, you can vote for your favorite and a chance to win $10,000 dollars at the here or you can check out the Snackable Moments here

Which one is your favorite?

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.

St. Patrick’s Day Treats and The Only Cut Out Sugar Cookie Recipe You Will Ever Need

Normally, cut out sugar cookies are the worst. If they are gorgeous they are pretty tasteless. If they are tasty they are ugly. Sometimes they can be too sweet, too crumbly, to thin, too hard.

Well, I compiled a bunch of my favorite recipes and techniques, and I made some pretty cute cut out sugar cookies for St. Patrick’s Day that even my allergy kids can eat!


No complaints, only vanilla-y sweet sugar cookies with cream cheese frosting goodness! The secret? Well, there are a few secrets actually.
  • There is cream cheese in the dough.
  • I only used egg yolks.
  • I chilled the dough overnight.
  • I used powdered sugar when rolling out the cookies instead of flour.
  • I didn’t roll the cookie dough too thin.
  • I worked fast.
  • Parchment paper for baking rather than a silicone mat (I don’t know why this made a difference it just did).
  • I trusted my instincts (if the dough was too wet I added a little flour, if the frosting was too dry I added a little milk, etc.)
After making cut out cookies since I was a kid, I think that this will be the only recipe I use from now on! Thank goodness the search is over.
Fun Color Sugar Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
5 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 brick (8 oz) of cream cheese brought to room temperature
4 sticks unsalted butter brought to room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
2 egg yolks
3 tsp pure vanilla extract
Food Coloring drops
powdered sugar for rolling out cookies
1/2 brick of cream cheese (4 oz) brought to room temperature
1 stick of unsalted butter brought to room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla


In a large bowl, sift together flour and salt and set aside.
In a large bowl, beat together cream cheese and butter until completely mixed together. Add granulated sugar. Scraping down the sides of the bowl, add egg yoke and vanilla and beat this mixture until a light texture is formed.
Finally, add flour and food coloring and mix until combined, remembering not to over mix. (NOTE: follow the food coloring instructions on your package, and remember you’ll be rolling out this dough so if there are a few streaks of color they will get worked in when you’re rolling the cookies.)


Chill this mixture in the refrigerator overnight. (NOTE: If you cannot chill overnight, chill for at least 4 hours.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
To roll out the cookies, dust the rolling surface, rolling pin and cookie cutters with powdered sugar. Take a small section of dough (putting the rest in the refrigerator to stay cold), roll out the dough to about 1/3 to 1/2 of an inch thick (I used my instincts here, but roll it out thicker than you usually would). Using cookie cutters cut shapes, and place on parchment lined baking sheets.


Bake for 9-12 minutes.


Remove from oven, and place cookies on cooling rack immediately to cool before frosting.
While cookies cool, make the frosting by mixing together the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla.

Spread onto cookies, make cookie sandwiches, decorate with sprinkles, or eat the frosting directly from the bowl it’s up to you.


I’m telling you this will be the only cut out sugar cookie recipe you will ever need.


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What Not to Do at a Home and Garden Show

Spring is almost here, which means Home and Garden Show time! Over the weekend, I attended my first Home and Garden Show and I learned a lot.

I saw some innovative home products, took a look at some cool home services, took home some cool tote bags, and best of all ran into an old friend.


However, I am the absolute worst at trade shows. I have a guilt complex. I feel horrible for these people standing there at their little constructed booths waiting or asking kindly for someone to talk to them. I hate that they are constantly getting rejected. Their products are getting rejected. They came all this way after all. Who could stand all that drive by rejection?

As a writer who has suffered more rejection than I care to admit, I feel for these booth people. I know that rejection. So, I will talk to them for a little while. (We have no intention of getting a hot tub, bathroom renovation, pergola, etc.)

I know, I’m the worst.

However, I always say, you can never be overdressed or overeducated. I did learn a great deal about some of the products and services I don’t need such as bathroom remodels so there’s that. Let’s pretend I did this in the name of education.

I also say, there is no such thing as a free lunch. In other words there is a cost to all of this education: I will be deleting emails from people providing products and services I don’t need for the foreseeable future.

When going to a Home and Garden Show or any trade show for that matter, here is a list of DON’TS (you don’t want to be getting emails for the next month because you couldn’t say no at a trade show.)

1. Don’t go in without a plan: if you are going to just look around, want to see bathrooms, kitchens, gutters, pools. Make a mental note of what you are there to see.

2. Don’t forget what household projects are coming up: many vendors offer coupons, discounts, and even raffles for prizes for patrons attending the trade show. Make sure you visit the booths of any current or impending home projects. For example, new countertops, and a basement remodel are in our future. I made sure to hit up any booth I could that might have discounts or promotions to help us with these projects.

3. Don’t talk to anyone you don’t want to: people at trade shows are there to try and gain your business, but they also want to talk to people who are seriously considering their products or services. If you live in a condo, don’t get sucked into talking to a landscaper for an hour. A polite “no thanks” will do the trick and move on.

4. Don’t go in clueless: get a map of the convention center area or talk to someone running the trade show and get a lay of the land. This will help you find where specific booths are so that you can plan your time accordingly.

5. Don’t give out your information unless your’e ok with people contacting you: this is a no brainer, but unless you want to set up an appointment for an estimate for new gutters go ahead and take their card or pamphlet and tell them you’ll give them a call when you’re ready to do business.

6. Don’t go to a trade show without having a little fun and getting a little swag: When going to a trade show, I always leave some time at the end for visiting a few booths that look interesting or have cool demonstrations or let’s face it neat swag. I usually will hit up those booths last if I have time.

7. Don’t wear heels: Just don’t, unless they are the most comfortable shoes you own. Trade shows are for walking and gathering information and collecting tote bags, save the good shoes for date night.

Now, that you know what not to do at your next Home and Garden or trade show you should go online and see when the next one in your area is. Spring is almost here after all!

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.

Young at Heart: Showing our #DisneySide

I received free products in order to host a Disney Side @Home Celebration. However, the opinions expressed here are my own.

There is no better reason to have a party than: Just Because.

Sometimes the cold weather and daily routine can put everyone in a funk (and not the fun Bruno Mars kind). It was time for a party!

DisneySide Celebrations was kind enough to set us up with some amazing products for us to host an amazing at home party, and with a few things I already had around the house, I was able to make it a party that everyone (even the grown ups and my allergy kids) enjoyed!

We invited some friends and told them to wear their favorite Disney gear. Let’s just say, everyone (8 adults and 10 kids) showed their #DisneySide. As you can see, some of us, are still very young at heart.


With the release of Big Hero 6 on DVD, my kids thought that would be a good place to start. The movie is great for children and parents alike. To quote my friend Vanessa, “I was so excited that all the heroes were smart geeky nerds!”

Knowing we would watch the movie, it helped us guide the day as far as activities, decor, and food went.

First, we decorated the house with some of the cute decorations sent to us as well with a few things we had on hand. We used some outdoor lantern lights we had to make things in our family room look a little more like SanFransokyo.



We even made some Baymax treat bags (just white lunch bags with Baymax eyes) and filled them with some goodies.


Then, for the menu I kept it simple. For the grownups we had “Wasabi” Green Turkey Chili with Cornbread (made in my new Mickey Mouse cake pan thanks to Disney) and quinoa salad. For the kids, we served up homemade pizzas, veggies, and fruit. For dessert, we had Baymax cupcakes!


After some food and a movie, we enjoyed some games like a Disney Character word search, Disney Dance party, and my favorite Disney Pictionary. This was so easy to do. We divided the kids into teams, and a grownup whispered a movie into a player’s ear. The player had one minute to draw their picture on an easel with chalk. Then that player’s team would guess. If they couldn’t guess, the opposing team would get a chance. Seeing the kids collaborate and work together was so much fun.


My favorite part of the day was the “photo booth.” I was able to find some free Disney photo booth printables that we cut out and attached to small dowels. The kids had a blast posing for us as we snapped some pictures (HP even provided us some photo paper and envelopes so I put that in each treat bag so parents could print out their favorite photos from the day).


This party definitely broke up the mundane Winter routine. I am so thankful I was given this opportunity, and I think having #DisneySide parties might be part of a new tradition!

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.