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NWI Parent
NWI Parent

A Fond Farewell

July 30th, 2012 - By Stephanie Precourt

Porter County Fair 2012

The time has come for some of my plates to stop spinning. This will be my last post, as I’m no longer so close to home after all.

We are moving to Ohio- Jeff’s actually already there and I’m here getting us all ready to join him. I’ve been a Northwest Indiana resident all of my life (well, despite the one year in Chicago after high school.) This is a whole new world, Northwest Indiana to Northeast Ohio. But, we’ve been ready for a change for a while, and it’s just time. There’s really no other way to put it.

I’ve enjoyed being part of the Times/NWIparent/Your Family family for so many years. As much as I’d love to dig right in to writing locally wherever I land next, I’m also thinking it might be nice to sit back and just be. We shall see.

Thank you for allowing me to share my words here. My best to you!

Stephanie is Mom to three boys & a girl in Valparaiso, IN and blogs daily at Adventures In Babywearing . Follow her on Twitter- she’s babysteph And be sure to like Your Family on Facebook..

Filed under: parent.

How To Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular Comes to Chicago

July 18th, 2012 - By Stephanie Precourt

Hiccup (Rarmian Newton) and Toothless, photo credit Lisa Tomasetti

Dreamworks presents a dynamic live show of How To Train Your Dragon at the United Center July 26-29. Twenty-three enormous fire-breathing dragons come to life, and kids (and parents!) will love watching a young dragon hunter become a dragon friend. The animated movie is one of my kids’ favorites. We can’t wait to see the live show!

Parking is free, and tickets for the show are on sale now and start at $26.50. A limited number of special premium Dragon Hot Seats, VIP and family packages are available.

Disclosure: we have been provided four complimentary media passes to attend opening night.

Stephanie is Mom to three boys & a girl in Valparaiso, IN and blogs daily at Adventures In Babywearing . Follow her on Twitter- she’s babysteph And be sure to like Your Family on Facebook..

Filed under: parent.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater presents Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

June 29th, 2012 - By Stephanie Precourt

Photobucket

Live on stage this summer at Navy Pier is Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. We are big fans of the Chicago Shakespeare Theater and can not wait to see the show on Sunday! While I think this “tale as old as time” is a story for boys and girls of all ages, Ivy and I are making it a girls’ day out and taking my Mom, sister-in-law, and niece Abby. We’re especially excited that audience members can even meet the cast in the lobby following each performance!

Check out the Chicago Shakes website for fun activities before and after you see the show.

Navy Pier

The show runs through August 26 and tickets are $18–$25, available at the box office, online, or by phone. Be sure to get your parking ticket validated to save 40% on parking at Navy Pier.

We love to grab lunch and walk around the pier before and after the show. Such a great way to take in the city with the kids- and with a classic like Beauty and the Beast, this one is sure to be a hit! Definitely one for the memory books.

Stephanie is Mom to three boys & a girl in Valparaiso, IN and blogs daily at Adventures In Babywearing . Follow her on Twitter- she’s babysteph And be sure to like Your Family on Facebook..

Disclosure: Chicago Shakespeare Theater provided four complimentary passes to enjoy the show.

photo credit: matthew cameron

Elementary Expressionism in Valparaiso

June 5th, 2012 - By Stephanie Precourt

Valpo Redevelopment Committee art project

Last fall, the Valparaiso Redevelopment Committee commissioned their eight elementary schools to decorate the city’s brand new bike lockers. Each school’s art teacher chose an art style and famous artist to inspire the students to paint or draw one of the community’s landmarks for this exciting project.

Kandinsky VU Chapel by Noah Precourt #Valpo

A few pieces from each school were selected and reproduced to be put on the locker. My son Noah did a painting of the Valparaiso University chapel, based on Expressionism and Wassily Kandinsky. His artwork was one of the pieces chosen from Thomas Jefferson Elementary’s art teacher Lori Gathman. You can see it on the bike locker at Campbell and Lincolnway, in the Chicago Dash parking lot! Every locker around town is different- definitely something you’ll want to check out when you’re out and about in Valparaiso!

Valpo plans to do this fun idea again, changing the art every three or four years.

Stephanie is Mom to three boys & a girl in Valparaiso, IN and blogs daily at Adventures In Babywearing . Follow her on Twitter- she’s babysteph And be sure to like Your Family on Facebook..

Filed under: parent. Tags: , .

Key Lime Cove Waterpark offers Behind The Scenes Tour for National Water Safety Month

May 20th, 2012 - By Stephanie Precourt

Ivy at Key Lime Cove

KeyLime Cove in Gurnee, IL - about a two hour drive or so from Northwest Indiana- invites guests to take a sneak peek behind the scenes of the water park. My family was given a complimentary stay last week at the beautiful waterpark, and we enjoyed the special tour open to the public on Friday and Saturday mornings, prior to the waterpark’s opening. Guests on the tour can hear from managers of the Aquatics staff and take a walking tour of the pump room under the waterpark.

“We are conducting tours to educate parents about the water their kids are swimming in,” said Robert Williams, director of engineering. “We are proud of our state-of-the-art ozone disinfection system which provides impeccable water quality and clarity, as well as air quality. Ozone destroys 99.9 percent of bacteria, viruses, spores, fungus and mold. It leaves the water sparkling clear and fresh.”

Behind the scenes tour at Key Lime Cove

My boys even got to turn the waterpark on for the day with the flip of a couple switches! Noah, my oldest, said the pump room felt like he was in the Millennium Falcon.

We are big fans of the waterpark resort- this was our third vacation to KeyLime Cove and our kids are huge fans of the lazy river, kiddie pool, basketball pool, Toukie’s Big Deluge- the massive water-filled playground.

KeyLime Cove is rapidly becoming known as a destination of choice- so awesome that it’s only a short drive away. TripAdvisor®, the world’s largest travel website, recently announced its top Travelers’ Choice® Hotels for Families, naming KeyLime Cove Indoor Waterpark Resort the #1 Family Hotel in the US and #2 worldwide. In addition, KeyLime Cove was recognized by Aquatics International with the “Best of Aquatics” award in the waterpark resort category for 2011

Stephanie is Mom to three boys & a girl in Valparaiso, IN and blogs daily at Adventures In Babywearing . Follow her on Twitter- she’s babysteph And be sure to like Your Family on Facebook..

Filed under: parent.

Listen To Your Mother comes to Memorial Opera House for 2nd year

May 6th, 2012 - By Stephanie Precourt

There’s a fantastic article in today’s Lifestyle section of the Times about Listen To Your Mother - I’m the director and producer of Listen To Your Mother Northwest Indiana for a second year.

Untitled

It’s a thrill to present fourteen amazing local women reading their own writings about motherhood. Some will speak about their moms, some about motherhood- the great and the not-so-great, and all of them will reach the hearts of everyone in attendance.

There are still some tickets available but they are going fast! You can order online, stop by the Memorial Opera House box office or call them at 548-9137 during box office hours, 10am-2PM.

Listen To Your Mother is this Thursday May 10 at Memorial Opera House in Valparaiso, 7 PM.

Stephanie is Mom to three boys & a girl in Valparaiso, IN and blogs daily at Adventures In Babywearing . Follow her on Twitter- she’s babysteph And be sure to like Your Family on Facebook..

Oh Steam Mop, Where Have You Been All My Life?

April 30th, 2012 - By Stephanie Precourt

While staying with my sister-in-law and family over spring break in Michigan, I admired their steam mop. Yes, their steam mop.

It sanitized while it shined their bathroom floor. We left and it’s all I could think about. I had to have one.

So I began researching these magical steam mop things- what kind should I buy? They aren’t that cheap. I wanted to spend wisely. Ultimately I decided upon the Oreck Steam-It Steam Mop. I planned to buy it on Target.com so that I could get my free shipping and 5% off thanks my Target Red Debit card (you do have one of those, right?)

Anyway, I didn’t make the purchase right away and while I was at Walmart one day - there are just some things that I can’t get elsewhere and so Walmart it is - I happened to stop by the steam mops while I was there. And whattya know, there was my Steam-It Steam mop on CLEARANCE. Like, $80 cheaper than the Oreck site. Needless to say, I loaded that baby up in my cart.

I’ve yet to try out all the amazing features, but I’m looking forward to the grout and bath fixtures attachment as well as steam-cleaning the walls (yes walls.) So far I find it absolutely worth making our kitchen and bathroom floors actually visible again.

Do you have a steam mop? What other awesome things can I do with mine?

Stephanie is Mom to three boys & a girl in Valparaiso, IN and blogs daily at Adventures In Babywearing . Follow her on Twitter- she’s babysteph And be sure to like Your Family on Facebook..

The Toydozer

April 19th, 2012 - By Stephanie Precourt

Lots of Legos

I’ve seriously considered buying a snow shovel to be used in our playroom - especially for the all the Legos and “guys” and puzzle pieces and - now that I am in the world of GIRLS - POLLY POCKETS OMG. Tiny everything! How do you keep it picked up? I usually just close the door, and shudder.

And then came along… The Toydozer. With a blade and scoop just like a bulldozer, clean-up time is actually kinda fun.

Toydozer creator Amy Bradley is the mom to 7-year-old Henry and she explains the idea for her genius invention. “At the end of a long day, I dreaded cleaning up all of my son’s toys — whether it was trains, safari animals, Duplo blocks or LEGOS — spread out all over the floor,” Amy says. “After some brainstorming, I came up with a simple tool that made cleaning up easy and fun for all of us and the Toydozer was born!”

To keep the scoop and blade gatherer together, each Toydozer has handy dandy Velcro tabs that attach when not in use. Also genius!

The Toydozer rocks

Find The Toydozer exclusively online ($18.99 with free shipping anywhere in the United States and Canada), available in blue, yellow, and purple. Use code BLOGGER20 for 20% off your purchase! We were sent all three, and of course Ivy only uses the purple. I think The Toydozer is the perfect addition to any gift you give in the future that might involve Legos or tiny pieces. You will be a hit with the parents. Trust me.

What could use some scooping up in your house?

Follow Toydozer on Twitter and Facebook

This post is part of a Toydozer blogger outreach campaign. Participating bloggers have been provided with a complimentary Toydozer to review and have been compensated for their time.

Stephanie is Mom to three boys & a girl in Valparaiso, IN and blogs daily at Adventures In Babywearing . Follow her on Twitter- she’s babysteph And be sure to like Your Family on Facebook..

Filed under: parent.

Healthy You, Healthy Mom, Happy Family?

March 21st, 2012 - By Stephanie Precourt

So, if we can keep this just between us, I’ve been really focused on my health and wellness lately and I really really really hope this time it sticks. I know that it probably won’t, but I only pray that I won’t wait as long next time to get back on track again. But PS I really hope I can finally make it an official lifestyle change. It can happen, right?

I’ve been exercising every day- usually a short cardio workout or pilates On Demand. Or - thanks to this amazing weather - long walks outside. As long as I get some good movement each day, I feel so much better, and when I’m better, my family is happier, you know? And pushing a 3 year old in a big jogging stroller is great for my arms.

Normally I’d totally be intimidated by events like Healthy U (going on this weekend at the Avalon in Merrillville.) I’m just a mom with plenty of yoga pants but they are rarely used for yoga if you know what I mean. I don’t know what I’m doing when it comes to exercise. That’s probably why I hide out and only do it at home where no one can see me. (I lock the door so that even my husband can’t see me!)

But, many of the seminars at Healthy U seem to be geared toward beginners and that makes me not so scared. It’s also a one-time thing… maybe I (hopefully) won’t see these people again? I’d like to eventually join the Y and do not want it to look like I have no clue what I’m doing. I hope this will give me that confidence.

So, I am pretty sure I’m going to go. And I’ve got my eye on the Yoga 101 session and maybe Zumba (I’ve never done Zumba before!) I’m also a huge Nick Verreos of Project Runway fan so that really seals the deal.

Right now if you’re on Twitter, they’re giving away complimentary tickets to the first 50 people to retweet them today. Follow @CreativeSolutnz (disclosure: I help with their Twitter account but it wasn’t until, like, today that I finally decided that I want to go, and they have no idea I am writing this post!) and find out how you can snag a pair of tickets to attend this weekend!

Will you be there? What do you do to stay active every day?

Stephanie is Mom to three boys & a girl in Valparaiso, IN and blogs daily at Adventures In Babywearing . Follow her on Twitter- she’s babysteph And be sure to like Your Family on Facebook..

Filed under: parent.

Have you heard… ?

March 17th, 2012 - By Stephanie Precourt

TOMS - everybody’s favorite shoe that gives back - is giving one customer each week a chance to follow their purchase around the world. Winners will go on a TOMS Giving Trip, and founder Tom Mycoskie plans to join a few of those journeys!

TOMS

“TOMS Giving Trips taken through the TOMS Ticket to Give program will enable winners to experience giving One for One™ first-hand. Giving Trips are not vacations, but journeys into communities of incredible people and enormous need. They are hands-on, face-to-face journeys that, for
those who are giving, are as much about personal transformation as positively impacting the lives of others.” - TOMS.com

The TOMS Ticket to Give contest is open to friends age 13 and up, and you can enter to win at checkout.

From now until Mother’s Day, Hallmark is asking you to nominate someone dear to you for a chance to send them a Blooming Expressions in their Secret Admirer contest. You’ll also be entered to win one of ten $100 Hallmark Gold Crown gift cards. Who would you nominate?

ALSO- have you heard about the new Q-tips® on the block? With pointed tips at both ends, Q-tips® Precision Tips™ have taken cotton swabs to a whole new level- there’s practically nothing they can’t do or reach!

Q-tips Precision Tips Images

Find great tips at their Facebook page and leave your own! What would you do with the new Precision Tips? Heck, I really need to clean out my kids’ ears, but I also wouldn’t mind attacking the bathroom faucets and about a million other hard-to-reach places that need to be cleaned up in my house.

One last thing! Have you heard that tickets for Listen To Your Mother Northwest Indiana are now on sale? You won’t want to miss this fabulous show of live readings about motherhood by local women.

Stephanie is Mom to three boys & a girl in Valparaiso, IN and blogs daily at Adventures In Babywearing . Follow her on Twitter- she’s babysteph And be sure to like Your Family on Facebook..

Disclosure: I was provided with Q-tips® Precision Tips™ cotton swabs and a $25 American Express gift card to enjoy from Rocket XL, and I received a Hallmark Blooming Expressions when I attended the Blissdom blog conference in Nashville last month.

Filed under: parent.

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