Posts tagged: mother’s day

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas Made for the Chicago Mom

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By , April 30, 2010 6:48 pm


Forget transient flowers and stale chocolates. Chicago moms have other things in mind when they open up their presents this Mother’s Day. We have curated a Mothers Day Gift Guide for the Chicagoan with the most wanted list of gift ideas from our experience store. No matter what your mommy’s style is, we have got you covered, from sub-$100 experiences to an extravagant dinner at top ranked Alinea, but all sure to make mom smile. So, this May 9th, show Mom you didn’t forget about her and give her something she’ll never forget…or simply brag about during her next bridge game.

The hungry food critic mama – your mom a big foodie? Did she raise you with the best organic meals and do you need to thank her for saving you from fast food health problems? Browse unique gourmet experiences in Chicago, from French cooking classes to a dining treat at Alinea.
For the glamorous mama
– mom’s want to be glamorous. They were probably a lot more glamorous until they had you. Find spa experiences perfect for skin restoration or facial rejuvenation. Restore that youthful vibrance that mom once had and treat her to our special organic facial or makeup lesson.
The stressed out mom – if mom is still burning the midnight oil and working hard, give her a spa day to eject the stress. From the Blueberry Moon to the Peninsula Spa, we’ve got you covered and know that she’ll come out on cloud nine.
The P90X workout crazy mom
– is your mom more fit than you? Does she wake up before the crack of dawn to run down the lakeshore and end the day with yoga? Our active experiences have only the best instructors in Chicago to take your mom’s physical stamina and strength to the next level. Who knows, mom might start her own yoga school and outrun you in this year’s Chicago marathon.
For the don’t break the bank experience – there’s no need to splurge to shower mom with a gift she won’t forget. We have dozens of memorable experiences that mom can check out from tennis lessons to a lazy escape down the Chicago river that will leave you with enough dough to buy dad his perfect father’s day gift too!

Celebrating Mother’s Day in Chicago with Shari Schmidt

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By , April 26, 2010 9:22 am
Shari Schmidt

Shari enjoying some tall company

With Mother’s Day a couple of weeks away, Funsherpa is continuing its countdown through featuring local mothers in Chicago.  Aside from being the family champions and all around multi-taskers, these mothers are building the next generation of the city’s inhabitants and caretakers.  Today, we talk to Shari Schmidt, a mom raising twins who writes a blog called Two Times the Fun, and celebrates life in the city by taking her kids to the Green City Market and Notebaert Nature Museum.

F: What do you enjoy the most about Mommy blogging? What do your daughters think about your blog?
S: I blog to create a record of our girls’ adventures. I like being able to record what is happening on a moment’s notice. It allows for very real time observations and emotions. Some day I will take the blog and turn it into a book for the girls.

The girls don’t really understand blogging for the most part. Although, the other day one of them said, “Please don’t tell your computer friends.”

F: Can you describe your typical audience? What do they enjoy the most about your blog?
S: My typical audience member has children. They either understand what we are going through at a certain stage, or have already been there and offer great advice. We’re all just trying to do the best we can for our children, and it is great to be able to share ideas. They are not shy. If they think I’ve screwed up something, they let me know. Sometimes it’s just helpful to be able to let everyone know we’re all in this together.

F: I understand you have twin daughters. What is the coolest thing about having twins? How easy/challenging is it to raise twins?
S: The best thing about having twins is watching the twin bond in action. Many people doubt it exists, but having twins makes you a believer. The girls are so similar in many ways, yet really different. They find great strength being part of a pair. The most challenging thing about raising twins is dealing with everyone’s comments. So many people tell us what to do with the girls. “If I had twins, I’d…,” is a phrase I hear often. Some days I just think, “Call me when you have twins and we’ll talk.”

F: Do you find yourself raising your kids in a similar way to the way your parents raised you or are you doing things the polar opposite way?
S: I think parents always raise their children based upon the prevailing wisdom of the time. When we were children, parenting beliefs were very different from what they are now. Each generation goes with their own beliefs. For example, my grandmother was horrified that my parents allowed us to eat cold cereal. She was certain that we’d suffer if we didn’t eat bacon, eggs and toast every morning. If I fed our girls bacon, eggs and toast every morning, it would be considered very bad parenting by today’s standards. We mix the way our parents raised us with our beliefs about parenting. It’s quite a comfortable mix.

F: What do Mom bloggers talk about when they get together?
S: Our children and motherhood, of course. I spent an afternoon with some of the Chicago Moms Blog writers recently. It was so fun to be able to brainstorm with everyone. I found a couple of other twins moms that I’ll keep in touch with as our girls get older. Another mom blogger gave me a good resource to help me turn the blog into a book for the girls. It’s such a great, supportive network.

F: Any advice to new parents in Chicago to ensure their kids get to appreciate the city they live in?
S: I always tell people to start small. A big problem I see is that new parents expect too much from their children. Little ones have short attention spans. When we are in Chicago , we like to walk around and talk about what we see. Our girls like to see the different buildings, public artwork and different people. We spend time walking different neighborhoods, going to parks and visiting destinations like the Chicago Green City Market near the Notebaert Museum . It’s a big city, but it’s easy to break it down into manageable pieces.

F: Is there anything in Chicago that makes it particularly a kid/mommy friendly city? Is there anything you’d like to change about Chicago?
S: This city is very handicap accessible, which is important when you travel with a double-stroller. I never thought about this until we spent time walking with the double-stroller in front of us. Also, there are lots of bathrooms in buildings and stores. I think our girls have visited all of them.

There are so many free activities that you can stay really busy without spending a lot of money. We try to do as many as possible each year, especially the children-friendly activities. Anything at Millennium Park is great because it is a good central location for all our friends to get together. Everyone brings a picnic basket and some treats to share. We can spend a day there playing in the Crown Fountain, walking over to the lakefront to see the boats and listening to music.

I don’t know what I’d change to be honest. I tend to take advantage of what is available, rather than stress about what could be different. There is so much to enjoy, and we try to do just that.

F: What have some of your best experiences on Mother’s Day been? What would make your perfect Mother’s Day holiday?
S: Mother’s Day in our house is very low-key. I like to clear the calendar and see what the day brings. Sometimes we just go bike riding or roller skating and then grill out. If the weather is bad we might see a movie or visit a museum. We spend our days rushing to catch the school bus or trying to make it to dance lessons on time. The rule on Mother’s Day is we cannot do anything productive like running errands or doing laundry. It’s nice to have a day when we just wake up and see what happens.

Mother’s Day Special: Healthy, Happy Mom Shares Her Tips

By , April 23, 2010 8:00 am
Living a happier healthier you

Sharing a happier and healthier lifestyle

In celebration of Mother’s Day, funsherpa will be featuring a series of Chicago mother ‘experts’ from budding parents to veteran mothers who know every trick of the trade. We start our series of conversations with Dwana, mom and blogger behind the Healthy Happier You. Through our chat with Dwana, we discover the secrets of living a healthy and happy lifestyle, as well as how mom bloggers are getting their voices heard.

F: What do you enjoy the most about Mommy blogging?
D: I LOVE writing. I love writing about anything that is stirring or writing about someone else’s passion. I rarely write about my son because he is at that age where he is anonymous – even with me! So, I really do not characterize myself as a “Mommy Blogger” in that respect. My child is the very reason I wake up in the morning, but mainly I discuss being a woman, which I feel, is my essence. Nurturing the world is who I really am. A woman who happens to be a mom and a nurturer!

The other component to Mommy Blogging is interacting with social media gurus and brands who mentor and encourage the craft. To me, it doesn’t get any better than that.

F: What inspires your articles/topics?
D: People inspire me. Average, everyday hardworking people inspire me to tell their stories or support their passions. Sites such as yours are inspiring – bringing so many wonderful people and products to our attention that we might otherwise miss!

F: How do you define a “healthy happier you”?
D: A “healthier happier you” is a you that is utilizing what you have in the now and using it to be your best. Eating healthier, thinking healthier thoughts and embracing your true self are vital. I think each soul must choose individually in their pursuits – but act today as we really are all dying in a sense. Time waits for no one.

F: Is it challenging to be a healthy mom and parent? How do you ensure your son lives a healthy lifestyle? Any tips and tricks you can share with other parents?
D: Oh my gosh, yes!! It is challenging for us all, that I am sure! With time constraints on everyone, how do we find time to eat right, exercise and keep a positive outlook? It just takes practice. Fine tuning your grocery shopping, for one, is a big key to a healthy family. Supporting your local farmers might give you sustainability. Having healthy, preservative-free snacks and entrees and making time for activity require so little planning once we make it a priority. Stay active, if your children are in sports, work out with them, or work out while they’re at practice. If you have a dog, a friend, walk with them. It is a good example for the entire community to see – move and be moved.

F: What are some of the things you’ve learned from other Mom bloggers? What have you taught other Mom bloggers?
D: I can not believe what a supportive and close-knit unit “Mom Bloggers” are. I have learned to lean on them for guidance and information. It seems many of them have a plethora of support, energy and love. I may have taught them that some moms simply have no clue!

F: What are some of the go-to spots in Chicago for both you and your son?
D: We adore the Lakefront – from 67th Street to Evanston . We adore it all times of the year. I am an Argo Tea NUT personally, so that is a great place to find me.

F: How is social media affecting the way parents raise their kids? Is there anything in the way that social media works that you’d like to change?
D: Social media is so new, it is really hard to say. I can only hope it leaves a positive impression. Most of the moms I interact with are attempting to better the planet, their communities, own personal situations, and have their voices heard. That can hardly be a bad thing. Additionally, social media exposes new moms to new ideas, concepts and tools that are not known in mainstream, off-line parenting. I am so happy to be experiencing this ride, there is no room for me to complain.

F: Any special message you’d like to share with other Moms this upcoming Mother’s Day?
D: Take care of YOU this Mother’s Day ~ and every day ~ because you are AWESOME and doing a GREAT job!

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