family Archives - Chef Charley
  • Love Your Family

    Family Themed Halloween Costume Ideas

    I have always loved dressing up for Halloween. Before kiddos, I would dress up to pass out candy and tell my students to stop by to see what costume it would be. (They of course loved it!!) It’s just so fun, and I’ve passed the fun on to my family! Our oldest is getting to the age where she wants to be involved in the planning with me. It’s family fun and bonding… win win!! When picking a theme I tend to either go with something my kiddos like or something that would work well for our time in life. For example, when I was pregnant I used my belly…

  • Love Your Family,  Love Your Travel

    Our Family Staycation

    I’ve said it before, family vacations are important! And if you can’t getaway somewhere a great alternative is to have a staycation. A staycation is where you do things in your community or things that are near you. We did one this summer, and well, it didn’t go quite according to plan, but it was still fun. The girls LOVED having their Daddy home for a whole week! And honestly, it didn’t matter if we went somewhere they were seriously happy to get some quality time in with him and us. We had plan on an activity each day with the kiddos. We planned it the week of Labor Day.…

  • Love Your Family,  Love Your Travel

    Family Vacations and Why They’re Important

    Speaking to one of my friends from mom group a while back, she had took 3 kids to the Dells by herself for a few days. Just to get away and have some fun. She said it was the most amazing thing! To just be able to enjoy them and not worry about anything else but enjoying the moment. And it is so true. As much as I’d like to spend all day every day enjoying my kiddos, at home there are other responsibilities waiting to be done. That’s why I think it’s so important to get away as a family! It made me think of our last family vacation.…

  • Love Your Family,  Love Your Travel

    Chicago Trip with Kids

    For hotels I would suggest either Hampton Inn Chicago Downtown Magnificent Mile or Hampton Inn & Suites Chicago-Downtown. Both Hampton hotels are downtown, however, the first one has an indoor pool while the second one has a rooftop seasonal pool. With older kids, if they like swimming, pools in hotels are always a good bet! Breakfast is also included for families. If pools aren’t necessary I suggest Holiday Inn Express Magnificent Mile. Day 1: If you drove into the city or took a train, drop bags off at the front desk of your hotel then Uber or take the CTA Red Line to Wrigley Field. Hotdogs are a must as…

  • Love Your Family,  Love Your Travel

    Chicago Trip with Toddlers

    Vacationing with toddlers isn’t always a happy place. Little ones get tired, but they also like to be busy! Planning trips for them and with them may be difficult. I’ve researched some things that we are planning on taking our 2 and 4 year at the end of this summer to do in Chicago. I didn’t make this trip as packed as a normal trip due to the fact that you never know how your little ones will handle it. I did however add a few extra fun things you could do in addition to the itinerary. As long as you accept and prepare yourself that it will be chaotic…

  • Love Your Family

    Family photos

    Do you take yearly family photos? In our family we take them at least once a year, sometimes twice. I’m pretty lucky, though, because I’m a photographer and so is my sister in law, so we can take them pretty much any time we want! My husband loves me oh so very much because of it! Even before we took yearly family photos, I ALWAYS had to capture any and every moment we had. Kids grow and change so much the first few years of their lives that it’s nice to take them a couple times a year. When they get a bit older just once a year will be…

  • Love Your Family

    Sometimes You GET to Be a Human Pillow

    As I think about this year’s Fourth of July celebrations with two young kiddos, I feel exhausted, but extremely blessed. My husband is the president of the Chamber of Commerce in our town, and they run the annual Old Fashioned Independence Day Celebration each year, which is fantastic for our community! However, it means that Daddy is preoccupied for most of the day. We got to listen to his speech and eat lunch with him, but we enjoyed the festivities without him. It was a day spent in the hot, hot heat (we’ve had a heat advisory for the last couple of days!) full of hotdogs, ice cream, snow cones, lemon…

  • Love Your Family

    Creating Family Traditions

    When I think of traditions I often think of the holidays. For instance, the day after Thanksgiving we have a tradition of listening to holiday music and sipping hot chocolate while decorating the Christmas tree. My husband and I also have a tradition of watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” on Christmas night. However, a tradition doesn’t have to be on a holiday. It can be any time of the year and be whatever you want it to be. I’ve read about a family that has a tradition of a “Yes” day every year where they say yes to the kids for whatever they want that specific day. For instance, they…

  • Love Your Family

    Electronics at the Table

    One of my biggest pet peeves is the phone out at dinner time. Call me old fashion, but it really gets me! Many a time my hubby and I have had a disagreement over having the darn thing out. I know in today’s world electronics and social media has become the norm. I personally don’t want to be so absorbed in the online world that I miss some of the most important things happening right in front of me. I feel like dinner is family time. I’ve always felt like it is a nice time to reflect on the day and share what’s happened. And although our daughters are still…