Tag Archives: family time

Things That I Am Thankful For…..

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…..more giving thanks! This week, I was especially thankful for my eight hour, round trip, road trip on Tuesday to snag Nick for Thanksgiving break (I’d gladly walk over hot coals to be with him). Wrigley was “Wrigley excited” when we got to campus and after much badgering (from me….who is the grown up here?), Nick finally relented and allowed Wrigley to take the grand tour of his dorm and check out his digs. The scent of smelly boys was, apparently, spectacular!

There was a lot of fun to squeeze into a few short days.

I’m thankful that over his 19 years, Nick has developed rich and rewarding friendships. He made a bee-line for B-Dub’s (aka…Buffalo Wild Wings) to meet up with his high school pals. Wednesday was devoted to a brother/sister outing with Nick’s oldest friend, Miguel, and his kid sister, Mrs. McGoobles (who happens to be one of Amanda’s nearest and dearest’s), with the evening reserved for a visit with Chuck’s parents; pasta and looking at family pictures. It was perfect.

I’m thankful that while dragging a teenager out of bed in the morning is never an easy task (particularly on a holiday), Nick was remarkably agreeable in joining me and my girlfriends for our Turkey Trot. There’s nothing quite like starting the day with a 5 mile run! The rest of our morning was spent over breakfast and the most recent episodes from our favorite TV program, Modern Family. Thank God for the DVR! Later, we stuffed ourselves with turkey and all the fixin’s with my family. We were especially thankful that Wrigley managed not to swipe a single item off the dinner table. Not because he was good, but because he was on a very short leash (we of little faith).

 I’m thankful for moments spent with my best gal. As it turns out, Amanda is sometimes her mother’s daughter. We rolled out of bed at 3am to hit the Black Friday sales with a trip to the outlet mall. There were people EVERYWHERE! The wait to get into the Coach store alone was an hour and twenty minutes, at four in the morning. Talk about shop ‘til you drop!

I am thankful for the world’s greatest mom and most generous step-father. In celebration of George’s 70th birthday, it was my pleasure to do the cooking as they entertained 40 friends and family in their home. We feasted on shrimp cocktail, crab bisque soup, smoked salmon and caramelized onion dip, steak crostini’s, chicken Caesar salad spears and gourmet pizza. The most touching part of the night was when Nick and Amanda spoke about their Boppa and lead the crowd in a rousing rendition of Cole Porter’s You’re the Top!

I’m thankful that the five of us had part of a quiet day together Sunday morning. We watched old family movies, snuggled with Wrigley and had lunch together before we loaded Nick and his laundry back into the car, headed for College Town, USA.

I’m thankful that Chuck took one for the team by attacking the round trip road trip, because there is little worse than leaving Nick behind at school.

However, I’m most thankful that we’ll all be together again in a few short weeks for Christmas!

More time together, more Modern Family marathons, more turkey with all of the fixin’s, more reasons for Thanksgiving……

To schedule and Interior Design appointment or Life Style consultation, or for any comments or questions, please email me at moreismoremom@aol.com


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He’s Baaaaaack…..

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……having more of a full house! In the eight weeks since we’ve dropped Nick off at college, Chuck, Amanda, Wrigley and I have settled into a new, if not quieter, routine; all of which went by the wayside this past week when Nick was home for fall break.


While Amanda and I were out stocking up on orange juice (we haven’t consumed a single drop since Nick’s been at school), cookies and snacks, Chuck zipped out to rendezvous with Nick’s carpool home. We were all “Wrigley excited” (there’s excited, then there’s Wrigley excited; drool induced tail wagging and body wiggling) to see him. When he stepped through the door he looked taller, more mature and even more self assured than before he left. Not to worry. He’s still the same boy he’s always been; he kicked off his shoes, flung his baseball hat on the island where he dropped his keys, wallet, cell phone, scorecards, golf balls, tee’s, souvenir’s from the course he played in French Lick, IN, and slung his pullover, slacks and shirt (inside out) over a stool at the counter. I’ve missed my boy.


The race was on; squeeze in all the visiting, sleep, and normalcy that could be had in eight days time. Number one on his list was to catch up with the fellas that were also home for break and those that go to school nearby. College Town, USA is sorely lacking in civilized dining, so Nick’s first stop was Chipotle. He was in Heaven playing pick-up basketball, golfing and popping in to see his friend’s families. In fact, while visiting at Miguel’s, his mom measured Nick on the family wall, just as she has done since he was in grade school. Apparently he’s grown an inch and a half since he left for school in August (Nick was thrilled!).    


What a great week. We all got a little Nick time, even lunch and dinners with both sets of grandparents. The best parts though, were the time we spent just the five of us. Truly, I didn’t even mind the near fist fights between Frick and Frack at the health club over who performs the exercises better.


It’s funny how we slipped right back into sync; family dinners, our Modern Family marathon and snuggling Wrigley. But all good things must come to an end, at least for now. Sunday, we all piled into the car; clean laundry, golf clubs, back pack, retainer and Wrigley, headed back to school. Amanda finally got to visit campus, on a private brother/sister only tour with Nick, while Chuck and I were relegated to meandering around on our own with Wrigley. After introducing Amanda to the famous garlic burgers at Marvin’s, we squeezed Nick one last time and hit the road; homeward bound. Fortunately, Thanksgiving is just four weeks away.


More returning to normal, more family moments, more time with Nick……. 

To schedule an Interior Design appointment, a Life Style consultation or a speaking engagement, please email me at moreismoremom@aol.com

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On the Road Again…..

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……more college road trips! What a crazy ride. After visiting numerous college campuses, staying in hotels without Pay-Per-View movies, disappointingly never running into Donny Osmond (as in Martin Lawrence’s classic comedy; College Road Trip), filling out applications and writing a dozen essays, Nick is thrilled to have made the decision to attend Tiger University. Chuck and I couldn’t be happier!

For the past year, Nick has been all over becoming a Red Hawk. You see, they eat, sleep and breathe hockey. With an enormous ice rink right on campus, it’s as simple and convenient as rolling out of bed and lacing up your skates; a hockey fanatics dream come true! There wasn’t a school that we visited that could possibly compare to the Red Hawk’s motto of all hockey all the time.

There was one last school we had yet to visit; Tiger University. What a difference a year makes! When we arrived on campus, Nick just felt like he was home. It was beautiful; gracious red brick buildings, lovely landscaping, nice kids and curiously, not an ice rink in sight. That’s when I really knew that Nick was growing up. He was seeing the school for what it could be for him and how he could grow as a student. It was awesome!

Wednesday, Nick and I headed back to Tiger U for an interview. Only this time, we made it a mother-son road trip with Nick’s long time pal Andrew and his mom Claire. It was great; the boys were having big dorm overnight fun and we were planning a girl’s pajama party with wine and movies at the hotel. The boys were getting there things ready to hit the dorms and my Nick teasingly remarked, “While I’m here, I’m going to get a senior girlfriend.” To which Claire replied, “If you get stuck I can help you out, because I’ve got an AARP card!” Nick’s a lucky guy to have a friend that’s got his back!

His visit was amazing. He sat in on an Econ class. He was invited to attend a golf practice, as he’s planning to try out for the golf team. He met a great kid from the golf team that was his host, who showed Nick a big time, including a super fun fraternity party. He enjoyed his interview and attended a lecture series. And best of all, he loved every minute of it!

Nick is so funny and genuinely excited about all that the future holds. He’d like to make a big show of the whole thing by wearing a Tiger University t-shirt and baseball cap while I take his picture for his own personal “signing day.” While I’m thrilled that he’s so happy and looking forward to all that the future holds, I hope I can hold it together as I snap away. I’m sure going to miss him.

More golf fun, more great kids, more exciting endeavors, more growing up……..

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Spring Has Sprung at Target!

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…….more beautiful and inspiring weather! Finally, after a long and dreary winter, it seems that the last of the snow has melted. In fact, it may nearly be time to pack away the Ugg’s in favor of cute and sassy flats, so get your tootsies ready!

Wrigley and I were just in our backyard, admiring the bunnies (you would think that nature would be cautious, maybe even intimidated, by a 92lb animal, but they’re really not terribly concerned. He loves his fellow animal…bunnies, chipmunks, birdies, even foxes. All are welcome and my nibbled to the nub Hosta’s can prove it!), checking out which plants seem to be coming back. I was so tempted to take the covers off of my patio furniture, but I thought, why tempt fate? I certainly don’t need to be the reason Chicago gets more snow!   

Tuesday afternoon, I was at one of my all time favorite stores; Target. Now that many Target stores host full blown grocery stores, I don’t have to ask the question; Target fun or feed my family? These days, I can do both! I can pick up meals and movies, produce and pop music, cooking supplies an clothes. Yay!

While I was cruising the aisles (you know I hate to miss out on anything), I came upon an entire display of outdoor party-ware; dishes, tumblers, serving pieces, lighting. I know that the weather is just starting to break, but I was so excited and hopeful for all of the opportunities to come; family dinners, lunch with friends, cocktails on the deck….the possibilities are absolutely endless! I couldn’t help myself. I snagged a few of my favorite pieces…..


The colors and patterns were great, but for me, the most inspiring thing about this collection was the patterns. I was particularly taken with the dessert plates with the bold, wavy stripes in apple green, turquoise blue, bold red, deep intense yellow and citrus orange. This kind of bold color palette offers a huge variety of options for entertaining this spring and summer, be it in our house or on our patio.

There is always an element that serves as inspiration, and for me, it was that wavy stripe. What I like about it is the variety of color and the size of the pattern; it completely lends itself to complimenting a huge number of other patterns and colors. I was actually immediately struck by how amazing the striped plates would play against my bright orange, Harlequin inspired, medallion pattern runner from Pottery Barn (clearance, several years ago). It was a bold burst of happy color!


While at Target, I picked up turquoise round placemats and topped those with red square, rounded corner, acrylic dinner plates. On top of that I placed my striped plates and a green apple at each setting. As a rule, I’m in favor of cloth napkins, but when dinner is messy or extremely casual, I can live with a sassy paper napkin. These orange napkins with the white lattice pattern embellishment were a great tie in to my orange runner. Cobalt blue plastic tumblers did their part to compliment the bright, energized tone.


A coordinating tray is one of my favorite vehicles for corralling smaller items while making a statement. In this case, the blue pitcher would be filled with delicious fresh squeezed lemonade. Also on the tray is a red flatware caddy; perfect for containing all of your silverware on a buffet, on the patio or at a picnic.


I fell in love with these charming decoupage bunnies; orange with Swiss dots, apple green gingham and turquoise blue pattern. I placed the orange Peter Rabbit on the tray with a grouping of tangerines (love, love, love the organic quality of fresh fruits and vegetables as decoration), while the green and blue bunnies found a home next to the white, solar powered, lanterns. Wavy striped salad servers coupled with a fashion forward Lucite bowl screams modern sensibility!

With inspiration, like at Target, everywhere, now’s the time to hunt and gather. If we can just hold out a little longer, I know we’ll be outdoors spending time with family and friends in no time!  

More warm weather, more outdoor living, more time with family……

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President’s Day: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Leonardo DiCaprio!


As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about………more days off of school! While a snow day is an unexpected gift, it’s fraught with obligation and work, namely; snow removal. On the other hand, a scheduled day off of school is something to dream about and look forward to. I, for one, am enormously thankful to our forefathers, Presidents Washington, Lincoln and the like, not only for their ground breaking contributions in providing our nation with freedom and liberties, but for being so very fabulous as to merit a national holiday!

There’s nothing like fantasizing about all of the possibilities for celebrating a three day weekend; enjoying an unexpectedly fantastic meal, entertainment, staying up late, sleeping in, shirking your every day responsibilities (one can dream…). Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the kids had a great time catching up with friends, going out to eat, going to the movies and a high school basketball showcase game (way to go Be All and End All Academy!). But Monday was the bonus day. The question was how to spend it?

Even with Monday off of school, Nick still had his weekly 6am hockey practice. The alarm clock going off at 5am is a total fun kill, though ice time is ice time. After a quick shower (thank God. Hockey players STINK!), Nick was back in bed by 7:45am. The kid can be as efficient as a fireman when necessary. Amanda, on the other hand, was blessed with the gift of slumber.

Somehow, Monday was my lucky day. Throwing household chores to the wind, I had the unexpected pleasure of having a little time with each of my teenagers. Rather than Amanda and I going to the health club, parting ways and doing our own thing, she suggested that we do one of Nicks favorite work out DVD’s at home; P90X, with crazy Beach Body personal trainer Tony Horton. Of course, as we laced up our gym shoes, Wrigley was under the mistaken impression that the three of us were going for a run. He was sorely disappointed when we were forced to put up the gate, preventing his access to the room. He’s not a great workout companion; jumping around makes him bark incessantly, doing mat work makes him think that you require assistance, necessitating him to wrap his enormous mouth around your arm, trying to help you up, and his subsequent exile behind the gate makes him whimper. Amanda and I had a fine time however, as we panted, push-upped and cursed that darn Tony Horton.

When Nick awoke for round two of his day off, he made me an offer I couldn’t refuse; do you want to watch a movie, just the two of us? The paperwork, the laundry and the cleaning be damned! I had a chance for a little extra quality time with my fella. Nick has always been the kind of guy that wants you to enjoy some of his favorite experiences, which includes his obsession with all movies Leonardo DiCaprio; The Departed, Shutter Island, Inception. Inception?!? Yay. It was on my Academy Award list of movies to see by Sunday. As a total bonus, Nick, having seen it two times before, was able to explain to me the very confusing and convoluted plot.

A little rest, a work out and a movie with two of my all time favorite people; what’s not to celebrate? God Bless the United States of America!!

More freedom and liberty, more rest, more P90X, more Leonardo DiCaprio……….

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