Chicago Dog

Dogs Chicago

If you’ve never tried Chicago-Style Hot Dogs, you’re in for a treat.  We’ve heard them described as being “dragged through the garden” first, delicious! 


LauriChicago Dog

Early Reading Basics Part 1

reading girl

It can be tricky working with a beginning reader, especially considering that you probably don’t remember learning to read, and even if you do, it was a long time ago! So how are you supposed to know how to coach your kindergartener with their reading? (much less to teach them to read before kindergarten!) Encouraging them to “sound it out, honey” only feels so helpful.

Talking with another mom recently I saw a gap: unless you were a teacher, it can feel quite daunting to teach your child to read. But it doesn’t have to be. Here are some tips.

LauriEarly Reading Basics Part 1

“Mommy, can I send a message?”


If you have an iPhone, your children probably love to use the Emoji* picture language to send messages. Mine do!  I try to make a point of it being a privilege, and warn the receiver (usually daddy or grandma) that a little person is sending this message (though it might be obvious!).  

It is so fun to watch their pre-reading skills in action

Lauri“Mommy, can I send a message?”

Hooked on Cooperative Games

Forbidden Island

​I love board games.  I grew up playing Scrabble and MonopolyYahtzee and Tri-ominos.  Classic games.  But I’m awfully competitive and emotional, quite a wreck of a combination!  I remember my mom saying she cried when she’d lose, but I’m pretty sure it was actually me who cried.  A lot.

I still hate losing!  Early in our marriage, we tried playing chess together, but I couldn’t enjoy the game.  Too much pressure, too much tension (and I think I always lost). I also remember teaching Settlers (a great game!) to some friends, but the competition was so intense that the game wasn’t even fun.  Thankfully, we’ve stumbled into Cooperative Games!

Cooperative Games require players to work together to beat The Game, rather than each other.  Perfect!  

LauriHooked on Cooperative Games

A Lifesaver: Book Time

Reading Together

aving taught in both preschools and kindergartens, I observed that there is a lull after lunch.  Things wind down, and as kids get our their resting mats, they get books to read until Teacher shuts off the lights.  Why not do this at home?  


LauriA Lifesaver: Book Time

In Search of the Perfect Shoe


​I need a new pair of daily-wear shoes.  Shoes that are comfortable, but not running shoes.  I want shoes that are stylish, but not heels.  Shoes that are part of my outfit, but that I can wear all day with a kid on my hip, ones I can get down on the floor and play with my kids and then get up and go out for a meeting…

LauriIn Search of the Perfect Shoe

New Wife Cooking 101


​I keep thinking about several friends who just got married, and I remember my years of marriage learning-curve: managing a home, meshing two people’s habits and schedules and preferences, actually cooking regular meals… oy vey! What do I wish I’d known about cooking when I jumped into this beautiful madness?

LauriNew Wife Cooking 101