Schleich Horse Club

Ever since my youngest daughter was a toddler, she has been in awe of horses. We live near a couple of horse farms and each day we would take a walk and feed the horses some apples and flowers. If I didn't take her to the visit horses, she would cry.

When she turned four years old, the only thing she requested was a real horse. I did the next best thing and signed her up for horse riding lessons. At four years old (and a few days), she got up on her first pony and was in heaven. She took to riding perfectly, even though she had to be led around by the reins and her instructor, she loved riding and the pony.

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Strawberry Jalapeno No Churn Ice Cream

We are in the height of summer here in Chicago and all that is on our minds this week is ice cream. During the steaming July months, the freezer should be loaded with ice cream. My freezer was getting low on ice cream, so I decided to make all the ice cream I could with some amazing fresh fruits from the markets.

Do you know you don't need an ice cream maker to make ice cream?? This recipe is all about strawberries, jalapenos and cooling off. This Strawberry Jalapeno No Churn Ice Cream will cure all your summer cravings. Sweet, cold and spicy - all in one lick.

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Life is a Bold Adventure

“Freedom lies in being bold.” Robert Frost

I think I look to summertime the most of all the seasons. A relaxed routine and a slower pace of the day. I am not focused on time, a calendar or appointments and schedules. I like to think of summer as a stress-free zone and I fully take advantage of the summer season. I have quotes from my favorites readings that I like to think about during the day to keep my life as one big bold adventure. 

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The 5 Best Summer TV Shows

I have been on a bit of a British binge of late with Netflix. My son told me the other day I need to be grounded from all things British. I don't know what the draw is for me, perhaps my love of history. But I do love all these period shows that Netflix is currently streaming. My summer nights have been filled with British and Irish accents.

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Watkins Glen State Park: Little Known Facts You Wish You Knew

When we were planning our family vacation to the east of our nation this year, we were including major cities . . . Washington, DC, Philadelphia, New York and Niagara Falls. There would be long, boring drives between the cities and I knew we would need a respite from skyscapers and museums at some point.

Whilst perusing maps of routes we would be driving I scoured for state parks and discovered Watkins Glen State Park. Right in between New York and Niagara and right along our driving route. This was a last minute add-in and I changed our schedule around a bit, taking a day away from New York City and Philadelphia, but it was totally worth it.

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The SpongeBob Musical at the Oriental Theatre #SpongeBobBway

The SpongeBob Musical opened June 19 here in Chicago's Oriental Theatre and is there through Sunday, July 10. My kids and I had the pleasure of receiving an invite and saw seeing SpongeBob in Bikini Bottom yesterday!

We first discovered SpongeBob whilst living abroad as expats in Beijing. Television reception in China was very scarce and well, we didn't speak Chinese. My daughter, then 18 months, fell head over heels for SpongeBob and has loved him ever since. We watched SpongeBob on DVD that entire year and have been watching him ever since. He never fails to make us giggle with his silly antics.

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FOURTH OF JULY PRETZEL BITES

The Fourth of July is all about gathering with friends and family and celebrating our nation. It is also the time for making sweet treats for all the parties you will be attending. These Fourth of July Pretzel Bites are super simple to make and the perfect July 4th treat for all your loved ones!

Who can resist the salty crunch with the sweet melted chocolate and then another crunch of chocolate candy. These delicious pretzel bites get me every time. These Fourth of July Pretzel Bites are the perfect treat for all your holiday celebrations this July 4th! In addition, they are super simple and fun to make.

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10 Things to Do with Kids In Washington, DC

Washington, DC

We wanted to visit Washington DC when my son graduated from 8th grade with our entire family. We had visited before in 2009, but my children had pretty much forgotten everything about that trip. There are so many activities in Washington DC and we couldn't select everything as we were only there for five days. We skipped the zoo and the aquarium as we have those in our own city and focused on activities that are not readily available to us here in Chicago.

10 Things to Do with Kids In Washington, DC.

A DAY AT THE MUSEUMS

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FREE Summer Reading Rewards Programs 2016 for Kids

School is out! Summer is officially here. I'm fortunate that I do not have to argue with my children about their school work. They know the importance of it and just get it done. Reading can sometimes be an argument though. My girls will read if I ask them, but they are not always keen about it as it takes away from "playing". My son, on the other hand, thinks reading is so boring, right now. It is always an argument to get him reading. So I needed a bit of an incentive to get him and the girls reading this coming summer without any excuses.

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Classic Summer Days Road Trippin’ #NoMoreFORO

There’s no doubt about it — summer is the perfect time for fun. I think the essence of summer is fun. What is it about summer that has such a magical place in our consciousness? Maybe it is the lack of schedules and really, that time holds no special meaning during the summer months. Swimming, playing sports, enjoying the sunshine and the great outdoors—all the things that make summer so awesome, are on our agendas this summer.

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5 Places to Go This Summer

My family has been fortunate to travel to some really amazing locations on this great planet of ours. We have lived in China and presently live in one of the most fabulous cities in this nation - Chicago. Chicago has so much to offer us all year long.

But this summer we wanted to head out east in our nation and let the kiddos see some of these amazing cities. Most Americans take vacations in the summer and we wanted to leave as soon a the kids were out of school. Like 50 percent of our nation, we were headed out for an adventurous summer family vacation.

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Where have you done it?

In the bathroom? Under the covers? Where have you done it?

Now, now, get your head where it should be. Firmly planted on your neck!

Where have you done it? #Netflix #Streamteam

Where is the craziest place you’ve done it?  Where do you sneak off to catch up on your favorite Netflix shows? Me, I simply plop down in my favorite chair after everyone has gone to sleep. My son, he will sit in the bathroom for an hour watching an episode. (by the way - what is up with teenage boys in the bathroom for such a long time??)

There’s no shame in cashing in on a little me-time. Mine just happens when everyone is sleeping because I am an insomniac! Yeah - lucky me! I literally can sit up all night long and watch something I have never eve heard of prior. My brother and I compare shows and tell each other what to watch on Netflix. (we both are non-sleepers)

My family just returned from a two-week vacation and yes, we brought Netflix with us! As long as the hotels had a television with an hdmi connection, we were golden. We discovered a new show to watch whilst we were away. Survivors -- have you seen it. It's long since been canceled, but we were able to enjoy the two season that we streamed.

Where have you done it? #Netflix #Streamteam

Summer is here and we will be streaming new shows and movies we have not had the opportunity to watch during our busy school year.

What will you be streaming on Netflix this summer? Or where is the craziest place you have streamed?

Disclosure: This post is part of my involvement as a Netflix #StreamTeam Member. All opinions are my own. #NetflixKids #Netflix #NetflixMoms Want to learn more about Netflix Streaming? Subscriptions start at $7.99/month.