Tuesday, May 29, 2012


My son is home for another 24 hours before he leaves for the greatest adventure of his life, 4 years of active duty with the Navy. I don't know how to say "See ya later" when I drop him off...he knows what I want to say. Love.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Living with Winnie-the-Pooh

The former home of Winnie-the-Pooh author A. A. Milne is for sale in England. A stunning 16th century home with modern updates and almost 10 acres of property and gardens including statues of the famous characters.

The home is where the author lived with his family, including son Christoper Robin and where he wrote his famous stories. The real stuffed animals of Christoper Robin that inspired the characters are on display at the New York Public Library.  If you are interested in wandering through the 500 acre woods, Pooh Corner or Poohsticks Bridge, they are all local locations to the home in Sussex England. To see the real estate listing as well as pictures of the home and grounds click here.

Ahhh if I had a few million dollars I would love to live with Pooh, Christopher Robin, Piglet, Eeyore, Tigger, Owl, Rabbit, Kanga and Roo.

(Image is from Walt Disney Productions)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday 5 List #23-My Kinda Town

Chicago is one of the greatest cities in the World and for the next 4 months or so, it's also one of the most beautiful, busy and HOT places in the USA.
So for today's Monday List here are a few things you'll need for a summer in Chicago.

  1. Sunscreen. Chicago has 26 miles of beaches. Theater on the Lake, beach volleyball, numerous sailing and yacht clubs, Chicago Air and Water Show, music, festivals, markets and more. You'll need lots of sunscreen.
  2. Cash for cabs. Chicago is a City of neighborhoods and on a typical summer day you might go to a Cubs game in Wrigleyville, a street festival in Lincoln Park, dinner in Old Town and drinks in River North. Yes Chicago has an excellent transit system that combines the Metra trains, the L subway and buses, but transfers and delays make cabs the way to go in the summer. Don't even think of trying to park on the north side of the city, the parking meter rates and time limits are ridiculous. Although you might catch a break on major streets like Ashland Avenue for Cubs games and festivals. 
  3. Festival calendars. There is a wide variety of festivals throughout Chicago including Blues, Jazz, Taste of Chicago, Garden Walks and Art Fests. For calendars and locations click here and here
  4. A Hangout. Whether you are a Chicagoan or just playing one for the summer, you need a hangout. Over the years I've been a regular at many bars and clubs, a few of the great ones are now long gone and I still miss the familiarity of them. However the great thing about a city the size of Chicago is that you can always discover a new hangout. Here are a few of my favorites, you will likely see me perched on a bar stool or playing pool.
    1. Millie's. Small, old school street corner tavern with a pool table and darts and the nicest bartenders around. This is a beer bar, don't be an idiot and order a martini. If you see Toni behind the bar, tell her I said hello.
    2. Map Room. Its gone hipster which can be annoying on a weekend but Map Room still has an unparalleled beer selection and stacks of old National Geographic magazines. 
    3. Fernando's. Good Mexican food, great bar. My friend Michael knows everyone in this family owned establishment and it's a great place to watch a game. 
    4. O'Donnell's. We wandered into this bar on St. Patrick's Day and will definitely be back. The true definition of a Chicago neighborhood bar. Pool table, bar games, staff who have been there forever and locals. 
    5. The Museum Cafe and McKinlock Court patio at the Art Institute. As a member I am at AI as often as I can and in the summer, the interior courtyard is a beautiful oasis in the middle of the City. Delicious food and cocktails. Best enjoyed during the day as it closes before 8 pm.
  5. Your I've-Got-Your-Back Person. You know who it is. The person who will do something crazy with you, try experimental food, curl up on a beach blanket and nap after a festival, stop the world from spinning after drinking in the sun, toss you in a cab and take you to listen to great music. I'm lucky to have 2, Diana, my soul sister, world traveling companion, adventure seeker and Paul, my life partner, musician, fellow foodie, pool player, and Chicago lover. Chicago is better with them. If you are looking for your "person(s)"...the City is also an amazing place to find someone. 
Whatever you do in Chicago this summer, just enjoy it and if you are not here already come and visit. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


The definition of Mother's Day on Wikipedia is "Mother's Day is a celebration that honors mothers and motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society". For the 19 years I've been a Mom, I've enjoyed the simple celebrations on Mother's Day such as homemade cards, gifts wrapped in cartoon newspaper and flowers. 

This year it was an important day as it is likely the last Mother's Day I will spend with my son for the next few years while he is serving in the Navy. Mother's Day fell on the last day of my vacation so I changed my flight, took the red-eye from Los Angeles and arrived home in Chicago before my son woke up that morning. My son and a friend made me chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast, we watched movies cuddled up on the sofa, took chocolates to Paul's mother and enjoyed dinner at home. It really was a lovely day. The best part...that my son was happy just to be with me. 

Motherhood has been the greatest gift and adventure of my life. When my son leaves on May 31 for his 4 years of active duty I will try and adapt my daily life without him in our home. I will join the millions of parents who have watched their children leave home for college, military service or to begin their adult lives. I will keep breathing and wait for the day he comes home. 

To all the Moms who wake up in the middle of the night when a baby cries, or a toddler has a nightmare or when your teenager isn't home yet...to the Moms who buy Hallmark cards with silly images and wear spaghetti necklaces and earrings from gumball vending machines...to the Moms who find it hard to live without daily talks and texts from their children, I'm with you. And to the Dads that do the same, especially those that are Mother and Father to their children...I'm with you. There just isn't enough time with our children...

Friday, May 4, 2012

What I'm Reading This Week...

I am reading a great book, Dressing Marilyn: How a Hollywood Icon Was Styled by William Travilla, written by Andrew Hansford. Fans of Marilyn Monroe, her style, movie costumes or anyone who loves the image of her in the famous white dress that blows up over the subway grate will enjoy this book.  My favorite image is a simple one, a black and white shot of Travilla's workroom and Marilyn Monroe's dress form/mannequin with her name written on it. It highlights her generous curves, so iconic of the 50's and so much sexier then the stick figure celebrities of today.

I am leaving for a return trip to New Orleans this weekend for a little fun at jazz fest and more delights of the Big Easy with Paul and our friends, then we go directly to Los Angeles for a special occasion and more fun in the sun. The Marilyn Monroe book is a little too big to throw in my bag for my travels so I'm taking my Nook Color e-reader (and the 650+ books I have on it) to read on the plane and by the pool. I'll update when I get back in mid May.