Round Up

If You Liked LA LA LAND: 12 Classic Movies Everyone Should See

My hubby and I had a date night the other night. We were so excited to see LA LA LAND together!

When I was a kid, old movies were always playing in the background. My Mom liked to have them on while she was ironing, cleaning house, or doing other tasks around the house. However, unlike today when you can just get something on Netflix, our old movies were recorded from antenna TV (no cable for us) on our Beta VCR. (And that my friends is a very old fashioned sentence I just typed). 

I remember when Cary Grant passed away, and WGN Chicago ran a weekend long Cary Grant marathon, we were going through Beta Tapes like it was going out of style. We especially loved when PBS would be doing its annual pledge drive and we would often get to tape a few musicals.

Watching these old classic movies was one of my favorite and happiest memories from childhood. They were so much more complex than watching Sesame Street, and often times would provide a good musical score to do some chores to.

To this day, I love watching movies of all kinds, but sometimes I wish there were movies that were made like the old movies and musicals of yore. The glamor, the music, movies that just completely capture your heart. LA LA LAND completely fit the bill. Even my husband who is not into classic movies liked it. If you saw LA LA LAND and loved it but need a little help picking out some old classic movies, here is a list of movies that will get you in the mood until LA LA LAND is on DVD or streaming.

  1. Casablanca. This movie is referenced quite a few times in LA LA LAND, and for good reason! Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman are in their most famous roles. Get your tissues though.
  2. Singin’ In the Rain. When everyone else was singing songs from New Kids on the Block, I kind of prided myself at knowing all the words to all the songs in this movie! The singing, the dancing, and there is plenty of comedy thrown in for a giggle. Gene Kelly is magnificent. If you’re looking for a movie to watch to honor the late Debbie Reynolds, this is the one. She was only 18 when it was filmed! This is a movie definitely every family should watch together, in fact the #SkibsKids have been known to watch this movie quite often and wake up singing “Good Morning!” for school.
  3. Rear Window. This is a great introduction to famed director, Alfred Hitchcock. While it is a thriller and a mystery, I bet you’re wondering how it ties into LA LA LAND. The sheer glamor of Grace Kelly and all her absolute beauty just radiates from the screen. The way that it was filmed also gives the silver screen luster that you’ll start to crave the more of these movies you watch. Also, Jimmy Stewart is someone you’re absolutely rooting for!
  4. Charade. Another mystery starring Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn. This was my first introduction into a gasp ending. 
  5. Indiscreet. Next to The Apartment which is listed further down on this list, Indiscreet is definitely one of my favorites. Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman are hilarious and witty. When the movie is over, I always want to watch it again right away because everything about it is so gorgeous. You’ll find yourself wanting everyone to win in the end. Side note: Ingrid Berman’s apartment decor has me wanting to decorate my living room like that!
  6. The Music Man. I think I wore the tape out watching this movie over and over and over again. I was always singing along to every song in this movie. The dancing, the costumes, the humor. It basically has it all.
  7. Philadelphia Story. Sigh. When I was a tween and all the other girls were swooning over God knows who, I just wanted to watch Philadelphia Story on repeat and just look at Jimmy Stewart and Cary Grant! I was also getting some tips on being a strong woman from Katherine Hepburn. How I love her!
  8. Roman Holiday. Gregory Peck is usually most known for his role in To Kill a Mockingbird, but if you’re looking for an even softer and even more lovable Gregory Peck, this is your movie!
  9. Sabrina. (the ORIGINAL with Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart). This movie made me want to run away to Paris and go to cooking school. This is the ultimate wallflower girl to independent confident woman movie. Remember all those 90’s movies where the high school girl takes off her glasses and is suddenly desired? Those don’t hold a candle to Audrey showing that she is a “woman of the world.”
  10. An American in Paris. Gene Kelly again. Listen, the dancing in this is superb!
  11. Some Like it Hot. I have a personal love of Jack Lemon, but this movie is a great comedy that anyone would enjoy. Also, it has Marilyn Monroe to boot!
  12. The Apartment. Let me give you some background on my love for this movie. I wrote a paper on it in high school for a mass media class. When a 17 year old girl is willing to risk ridicule from classmates and an eye roll from a first year teacher to write an entire paper on a black and white movie, it is THAT good. This film was an Oscar for Best Picture in 1950. Jack Lemon is an ordinary guy who got himself in a bad situation. Shirley McClain learns an incredible lesson. There’s humor along the way, and love at the end. Who could ask for anything more?

Many of these movies can be found on Netflix right now! You could call my Mom too, I bet she finally was able to score them on DVD, especially since they haven’t made a Beta machine or tapes since 1988. She’d probably bake for you too!

I suggest getting under a cozy blanket with your favorite hot beverage and binge watch all of them! Happy Weekend!

Reading List for 2017

Brian and I had a date night the other night. In between an amazing dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant and seeing LA LA Land (which is amazing by the way and a must see), we had some time to kill and ran into Barnes & Noble to look around at books. 

My taste in books is not nearly as eclectic as my taste in food and music. I typically stick with funny books, however in keeping with my word of the year, I thought it might be time to switch things up a bit. Needless to say I wanted to read ALL THE THINGS! So I took lots of photos of what I think I would like to read in 2017 and created my own #2017readingchallenge

When I’m in a bookstore or the library, I just take photos of the books I want to read and then I keep them on my phone so when I am in the reading mood or am looking for something I want to read I have book selections right at my finger tips. 

Here is my reading list for 2017 (thus far).

Books I should have Read Already


Books I thought I would like because of Gilmore Girls.



Books because I like funny books






Books because I read The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett and liked it.

A book because sometimes learning is necessary.


Self help. Kidding… another funny book.

Finally, a book I need to read because I love all things Harry Potter and cannot believe I haven’t read this one yet either!

I purchased Ireland by Frank Delaney and am starting with that because I do have a love of books relating to Ireland and this is not a funny book either. 

Time to snuggle up and start reading!

What will you be reading in 2017?

Surviving Busy

Summertime is in full swing. When people talk about the lazy days of summer, I scoff. As much as I really tried to preserve one last summer of care free days, I still cannot believe how busy we are! Does anyone else need a summer vacation from their summer vacation?

The kids being in a few organized activities along with Brian and I having a few things going on (like my Writing Show at Second City opening), all seemed to converge at the same time, and two weekends ago, we were in a pattern of non-stop go mode for 5 days straight. This summer was supposed to be “the summer of easy” but in order to survive the the busy, I knew I would have to do some serious planning ahead. Here is my list of ways to SURVIVE when you have a busy time going on.


Last run through before show!

1.) Clean your house (and keep it tidy): Don’t get me wrong, there are days when I let making the bed or picking up toys slide. However, there is nothing worse than when you are running from one activity to the next and you have to change clothes or pack a bag quickly, and you are tripping over shoes in the hallway or legos on the floor. Do a thorough cleaning of the house ahead of time, and keep up with the daily small chores throughout the busy surge. You’ll be glad you did when you can get through simple tasks quickly because the house is clean. You’ll also be glad when you collapse on the couch when its all done and you don’t have anything to do but relax!


2.) Do all the laundry (ALL OF IT): A few days before the busyness started I was insane about making sure every piece of clothing and every towel in the house was clean. We were going to be so busy,  that I knew it was going to be a couple days before I could get to do any laundry. I wanted to make sure the kids bathing suits, and my favorite summer outfits were clean, and ready to go for the weekend.


Basking in the glow of our favorite band, Guster!

3.) Stock up the fridge and cabinets: When there is a lot going on it is a perfect excuse to eat out, however, I am the type of person that can only do that so much in a short period of time before I start feeling yucky and my wallet starts feeling too light. I stocked up on lots of convenience foods like cut up veggies, fruit, home made hummus, flavored waters, mason jar salads, and a few frozen pizzas, so that we could eat on the go. The kids had to have a babysitter a few nights of this busy time too, and it was nice for her to have a lot of things at the ready for hungry kids.


4.) Communicate: We kept a detailed plan on the side of the fridge where we would be and when for the entire weekend so everyone would know. We also kept reminding the kids what was coming up each day and in what order so they knew what to expect and would transition nicely from activity to activity. Also, Brian and I were in constant communication with each other when we weren’t together via texts. Finally, our babysitter knew every detail of what was going on and besides texting us an update at bedtime, we have a sheet that we print off with all kinds of information for her. My favorite babysitter sheet is this one from Balancing Acts of Motherhood.


5.) Take care of yourself: This is advice I should have followed better myself during that time, but if you know sleep is going to be limited, try and sleep when you can. Also, stay hydrated and try to eat healthy foods throughout the day. This will help you try and keep up your energy and have more fun!


What are your tips for surviving busy?

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Slow and Steady: September Wrap Up

Slow and steady was the theme for September. I blogged less, but I feel like I was able to get some projects accomplished, even if it was slow and steady work. With two in school, you’d think my life would be a bit less hectic, but unfortunately school age kids come with a whole new set things to do.


Why didn’t anyone tell me about sight words?

Also, let’s not forget the other challenges like forgotten lunch pails, subbing in as a soccer coach, and parent volunteer meetings.

While I was trying to navigate the first official month of the school year, I was able to do a few of my favorite things like bake some Cran Apple Cookies, try a new Thirsty Thursday recipe, look through some old photos with my kids, and start some projects around the house.


Now, I totally have Halloween on the brain! The kids are deciding what to be, and I am planning some spooky decorations for around the house!

What do you have planned for October?


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Buh Bye Summer: August Wrap Up

While it is still very warm out, and the official end of summer is still weeks away,at our house it is time to say “buh bye” to summer. Everyone has officially started back at school, and after school consists of homework, soccer practice and mostly fall activities. Now, it is time to look forward to my most favorite of seasons: Autumn!

Before we move too quickly into the future though, let’s take a look back at August.

The last few weeks of summer typically mean that my family is trying to soak up the last of the time being spent outdoors doing summer activities, and I am trying to enjoy the last of the seasonal foods.


With all the fruit that has been in our house lately, I thought I would finally give the fruit wash with vinegar that has been making its way around Pinterest a try. It has been fantastic and I have made it a part of my kitchen routine.


This month had an abundance of Thirsty Thursday recipes containing tons of seasonal fruits like Nectarine Green Iced Tea, Plum and Rum Cocktails, and Cherry Rum and Cokes. I also whipped up a couple nice Thirsty Thursday Treats for the kids like the Old Fashioned Chocolate Malts and Orange Cranberry Coolers.


With the very hot and dry weather we’ve been having here in the midwest, I haven’t been too keen on cooking or baking unless it is on the grill, but I couldn’t resist making a special treat for my sister. With a little help from my favorite Entenmann’s doughnughts, I made a Cake Doughtnut and Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding that was rich and delicious.


Also, this is one of the many times of year that I kind of freak out around my house and do a little bit (ok a lot) of organizing. Because of this, I tried out making some Mason Jar Salads, and they have been wonderful. I love having something healthy to grab right out of the fridge on days where we are extremely busy.


Also, in the month of August I was nominated for a Leibster Award, and shared some of my own blog love with some amazing blogs that I read on the regular.


Finally, my oldest boy is off to Kindergarten. It is official. We are no longer the parents of babies anymore.


Fall is certainly shaping up to be a wonderful time. Also, it has been awhile since I have broken out some paint brushes. I think some home projects are definitely on the agenda.

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Active and Healthy: June and July Wrap Up

June and July have given us (me in particular) a run for my money. The kids are in a bunch of different directions. Just when you think summer is a time of rest, relaxation, lemonade, and kicking your feet up, June and July pull the rug out from underneath you.

The kids have had swimming, ballet, soccer, and t-ball. We have gone to library events, play dates, zoo trips, and movies. We are exhausted.


While all that was going on, I was barely able to manage the day to day. So, one of my top priorities was to make chore charts for the summer. That way the kids would have some more responsibility around the house and help out. I was happy I did this because it has made summer a little smoother which allow more time for fun. I was able to work on a few other things like a small spray paint project, finally using my Martha Stewart stencil and some work out in the vegetable garden as well as put together a small area of brick pavers.


Thank goodness I got us organized, because we also had to make some new home repairs like a new hot water heater and new kitchen faucet. Which added a teeny bit of stress (#firstworldproblems).


Also, with July came the Listen To Your Mother videos. I was so happy to be able to share that experience with those that were unable to make the live show.


Photo Credit Sabrina Persico

In the kitchen, things were not as busy, as let’s face it, who wants to cook when it is hot out? However, I did manage a few healthy recipes like this spicy vegetable stir fry.



I also was able to work with Quaker to bring you an amazing recipe for nut free granola.


Finally, I started up Thirsty Thursdays, which I have decided is my absolute new favorite tradition. So far I have shared recipes for Minty Mojitos, Homemade Lemonade, Peachberry Smoothies, Champagne Punch, and Caramel Iced Coffee.


The plan for August is to lay low and soak in the rest of summer before school starts.

Is anyone else stressing that it is August?

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It’s a Blogiversary!

Today marks one year of blogging at Home Everyday! I know that the last two weeks have been sporadic in posting, but I was working on some blogging goals for the upcoming year. Rather than view today like a birthday (who am I kidding I might have some cake), I am treating this like New Year’s Day.


At the beginning of any New Year, I like to think back at everything I have done. Just like looking through a scrapbook, I looked back through many of my posts, and thought about what is to come on Home Everyday.

So far, I have written over 215 posts for this wonderful site that I started myself. Those posts consisted of over 60 recipes, around 50 home projects and crafts, not to mention several posts on household tips, organization, family, and just my random thoughts.

Starting this blog has been one of the most wonderful things I have ever done for myself. Because of this wonderful space in the blogosphere, I have been introduced to the wonderful world of writing, I have made countless new friends, received a 2013 Homie Nomination, have been featured on several other blogs, started another blog called South of I-80 for ChicagoNow, began classes at the esteemed Second City in Chicago for writing, and (my personal favorite) participated in the 2013 Listen to Your Mother Chicago Show.

Thinking about all that was accomplished is making me so excited (and exhausted) thinking about what is to come in year two had me giddy.

Thank you so much readers! I am so excited to be continuing on this awesome journey, and cannot wait to see what my second year of blogging will bring.



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Oops, How could I forget about May?

At the end of every month, I do a little wrap up of sorts, and to be honest, June just kind of snuck up on me. I looked at the calendar and thought, now it’s already the 6th?! So, before we get any further into June, let’s wrap up May shall we?

The kitchen was busy this past month. I started with salted caramel brownies. I know I’ve made some salted caramel deliciousness in the past with these truffles, but let’s face it when you find a good flavor combination it is hard to not want more.

Speaking of flavor combinations, I admitted that I probably have a caprese problem with these caprese sandwiches. Also, I put together some grilled steak fajitas, which have so far been a great and easy go to dinner for the summer. I also a made little treat to celebrate the end of the school year and celebrate summer: brownie pops.

Many of the projects that have been taking place around here have involved some curb appeal and the great outdoors. Since we spend a great deal of time outside in the summer, it was important that we finish up a few projects. The first thing we did was work on was getting a new front door. Also, we finished up some projects in the backyard like removing some overgrowth and adding mulch and brick bullet edging. FInally, I planned and planted the seeds in our vegetable garden.

May was also busy with the end of the school year for the kids. Also, with all the outings we have been going on lately now that SCHOOL’S OUT FOR SUMMER (sung like Alice Cooper) I shared a few tips on packing meals on the go for summer picnicking. Also, I have been trying my best on working on some photography skills.

As you can see, it has been busy around here, but the highlight of this month was my performance in Chicago’s Second Annual Listen To Your Mother Show. I was honored to be a part of such a wonderful program and in the company of such talented ladies. To see my posts about LTYM you can click HERE, HERE, and HERE. If you would like to see what I wrote and performed you can click HERE!

Photo Courtesy of Sabrina Persico

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Showers: April Wrap Up

We have definitely seen many showers here in the midwest, and for that I am completely grateful. The grass is green, the flowers are starting to bloom, and you know what that means? Commence the daily Allegra.

In all seriousness, while the winter here was pretty mild, I am very happy that spring is here!
I created a few recipes this month that I think will be perfect for the warmer months. The first was a simple and perfectly tart recipe for lemon squares that were the Smart Cookie recipe for the month of April. Next up, was Chocolate Zabaglione which is something that was a little out of my comfort zone, but will be perfect as it requires no baking and is the perfect compliment to all the berries that are in season. I created a portable caprese salad which while very simple could be the perfect appetizer for any summer event. Finally, last week, I tried my hand at some easy Indian butter chicken, and think I will try my hand at some more Indian Cuisine.
April was a little light on the home projects, but to be honest, I am kind of in a place of contentment with how things have been running around here. Let’s be honest though, I will be getting the bug for some projects soon. I did however show off a paint job that was well over due: the new color in the family room as well as shared some furniture that had been rearranged.
I did tackle a few smaller projects such as a simple party favor idea. I also accomplished the hardest puzzle of all time for Earth Day with the kids. I was also able to go through some old family recipes. Finally, we finally got around to packing up all of the glasses that Russell has collected to give to New Eyes for the Needy.
We were able to celebrate with our extended family a wonderful Easter.
Last but certainly not least, we celebrated G’s birthday, and I have to say that was the highlight of this month.
You know what they say: April Showers bring May Flowers… or mud, but hoping for flowers.
PS This is my 200th post on Home Everyday. Thank you so much to my readers for your support. 

Spring is Almost Here: March Wrap Up

March was one of those months that was so busy I don’t even know where to start. We started the month with a pretty big snow storm and the kids first real snow day. Just when we thought we wouldn’t have any snow at all we had plenty and even were able to finally try snow cream. Now, we are in April and have been hoping and praying Spring gets here soon.


In the kitchen I tried a few new things, and was happy to add some fun things to my regular kitchen routine. First up, I made some home made cheesy bread, that I have decided will make a great snack or easy to make appetizer in a pinch. I also made an awesome fruit dip, which will make a great weeknight dessert (and it is sort of healthy too). Also, I decided to make some Irish Creme Delights as March’s Smart Cookie recipe. I thought it was a fun way to share some St. Patrick’s Day flare.


Speaking of St. Patrick’s Day, in March, I dedicated an entire week to my Irish heritage, and had a GREEN WEEK! I shared a recipe for chocolate cherry tray bake, my Mom’s recipe for Irish Soda Bread, and made a clover quiche with cheese and herbs. Also, I dished all about my first Listen To Your Mother rehearsal with my favorite green pants. Finally, I was able to show how I decorate with a little inspiration from the Emerald Isle.


Finally, I was able to tackle two projects that I had been wanting to do for a long time. The first, was I finally rearranged some furniture in the living room to make it more storage friendly as well as a wonderful place to read, work, or play. Then, to add a classy touch and a pop of color to the dining room, and added some fabric to the back of the china cabinets. I have to say, I still smile when I walk in the dining room.


While, I like the cozy nights snuggling with the munchkins and one pot cooking and lots of baking that happens in the winter, I am very much looking forward to spring. I am already thinking of what to plant in the vegetable garden.

What are your plans for Spring?