The Good Food Festival is showing how eating clean can be tasty and fun!

The way to my heart is food. Not just any type of food, but good food! So when I was offered the opportunity to become a “Good Food Festival” ambassador I jumped on it. It’s a day celebrating Good Food! Discover new artisanal goods from over 150 exhibitors, learn from workshops and chefs demos, and explore our family-friendly programming!


As a mom I want the best possible food for my family and I crave learning new ways to make eating healthy fun and tasty. The Good Food Festival will have Live cooking demos as well as a kid area so the kids can experience new foods and have a little fun time. This is a win win for me! 

Here’s the major detail for the Festival The admission is FREE with registration


Big time Chefs Christine Cikowski and Josh Kulp of Chicago’s Honey Butter Fried Chicken, whose delicious food much of it locally and sustainably sourcedc will conduct a chef demo on our Chefs at Play stage after a brief awards ceremony. Rick Bayless of the Frontera restaurant group, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year; Rob Levitt, the award-winning head butcher at The Butcher & Larder at Local Foods; Paula Haney of Hoosier Mama Pie Company; and Aaron Lirette of Green River. And there will be an amazing demo by the Artisan Grain Collaborative on growing and milling artisan grain — and then baking the flour into delicious, locally sourced sourdough bread.

There will also be vendors, a food court to eat with your family, and tons of workshops to explore. The Good Food Festival will definitely be full of things to do for the whole family. I was able to sample some of the fun at the Media Preview and I left full and empowered. 

Special thank you to Johanna from MommaCuisine for putting together such a cool collection of Bloggers to be ambassadors. 

A few vendors came to show the media what was in store for the attendees on Saturday and I must say I was impressed! 


I tried the best crepes EVER! Basil Key lime pie that almost made me ask for seconds and pierogies made with braised beef that I’ve dreamed about since.

There is something about eating with family and friends that makes food even tastier. My mother who always helps me at different blogging events attended the Preview and my husband who is the Head Cook at a High End hotel was off work and attended the Preview with me as well. Since he’s a true foodie it was fun to see him try the foods and speak with the other cooks in the place.



My friend Briana came from work to hang out with me and check out some of the vendors.  She’s a working mom and an excellent cook so I’m sure she learned a few new recipes and techniques at the event. As a mom I totally appreciate her arranging a sitter to come out 


My blogger boos always come out to support and we have the best convos! 


Of course my co-ambassador Natasha is my sister from another mother she keeps me laughing and in the loop of the professional blogging world. Her blog has encouraged me in more ways than one. Plus she’s an awesome cook!


My Blogalicious roomie and blogger boo Sharice from This Single Sole who is a foodie and a health enthusiast came out as well. She’s such a supportive soul and I always enjoy hanging with her.


Fashion Blogger Guru Latoya made her fashionable entrance and hung out with us foodies. She keeps me laughing and always sees the potential in my brand and blog so it’s always amazing having her around.


My natural hair blogger boo Michelle checked out the event with her bright smile and warm personality. We just connected last year at a blogger conference, but since then we’ve definitely been working together. 

Joyce who is a Christian mom of 6 (doesn’t look like she’s had one baby) has a blog about food and fitness so the Good Food Festival Media Preview was a perfect fit for her. She came out to support me and since I hadn’t seen her since I was pregnant with Chance it felt really good to just catch up while tasting good food.


Last week’s Media Preview was a success and a really cool snippet to this weekend’s Good Food Festival. I hope to see you there

Easy Cake Mix Christmas Cookies

It’s almost Christmas and the excitement is in the air. As I write this my husband is putting our Christmas lights in the front windows, Christmas music is blaring from Pandora, and Chance is staring at the miniature Santa we have in the dining room. I can’t wait to see Dereon’s face when he comes in from school to see that Christmas is in full effect in the Pyles’ home officially.

Tonight I plan on watching a good Holiday movie while eating some cookies and milk with the family. Last night I made 3 patches of some Cake Mix Christmas Cookies! If you know me then you know I’m not a baker, but my Blogger Boo Natasha from Houseful Of Nicholes had a wonderful idea to do a Cookie Blog hop titled #HousefulOfCookies it’s like 25 days of cookie recipes! This is my second year being a part of the fun. You can check out the cookies I made last year here.


This year I wanted something that wouldn’t break the break and wouldn’t give me a headache either. These cookies are easy, cheap, kid friendly and tasty! I’m all for easy and cheap. Lol. Being a mom of 2 makes you look at your budget a little differently. Who doesn’t want to do a Christmas themed project with the kids for only a few bucks while creating priceless memories. This was the perfect thing to do!


Dereon helped add the ingredients and lick the spoon afterwards to confirm the cookie dough was actually tasty. Dennis helped whip up the batter with the mixer and Chance was sleep thank heavens! Lol. Overall it was fun and once the Cookies came out we decided to make these a staple in our home. 

Make a batch and let me know your thoughts. Also the Cookie Blog Hop has just started so check out the hashtag #HousefulOfCookies to see what other bloggers are baking! 


Cake Mix Christmas Cookies

Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 10 mins

Makes 3 batches 

Ingredients:

1 box of Vanilla Cake Mix

1 stick of Unsalted Butter, softened at room temperature

3 Eggs

2 tsp of Vanilla Extract

2 Tbsp of Confetti Sprinkles

The Instructions 

1) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

2) In a mixing bowl add the cake mix, butter, eggs and vanilla extract, and mix well with a hand mixer. Add your Christmas colored sprinkles and gently fold those in.

3) Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop the dough onto your cookie sheet which you should spray with a nonstick spray.

4) Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. 

5) Let them cool for about 5 minutes and enjoy with a cup of cold milk!

Free Movie tickets? Cheap family date!

Movie-lovers are welcomed to visit any Cinemark theatre on Saturday, August 20, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. local time to view free select DreamWorks Animation movies, including Shrek, Kung Fu Panda 3, Home, How to Train Your Dragon 2 and Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted: the ideal indoor getaway to beat the late summer heat and provide fun for the whole family! 


Select concession items will be specially priced at $2, including small popcorn, 16-ounce soft drinks and all packaged candy. Exclusive ME to WE Rafiki bracelets will also be available for $3 each. Proceeds from the promoted concession items and Rafiki bracelets will be donated to benefit WE Charity, a charitable division of WE. WE is a unique family of organizations that brings people together and gives them the tools to change the world, locally and globally.

School has started back for some and is around the corner for others enjoy a cheap family movie date while giving back! Click here to find the closet location to you.

Ice Age: Collision Course coming to theaters soon!

Me and the kids can’t wait to see the new movie, ICE AGE: COLLISION COURSE! It’s hitting the theaters July 22nd!

Wondering what the movie is about? In the 5th installment of the ICE AGE movies, Scrat’s epic pursuit of the elusive acorn catapults him into the universe where he accidentally sets off a series of cosmic events that transform and threaten the Ice Age World. To save themselves, Sid, Manny, Diego, and the rest of the herd must leave their home and embark on a quest full of comedy and adventure, travelling to exotic new lands and encountering a host of colorful new characters.

To see some previews of the film visit here

A Real Urban Mom riding the 2015 Subaru Legacy

Guys I’m super excited to say this… my family and I are test driving the 2015 Subaru Legacy! We will have the car for a whole week and we’ve already been putting that baby to use. We’ve ran errands, did last minute Christmas shopping, dropped off gifts and picked some up from family and friends. Whew!

The funny thing is the car just fits perfectly in our life. It’s not too big and it’s not too small. Our boys fit comfortably in the back and have some room to move around and Dennis has enough leg room when driving and being a passenger (he’s 6ft.) Since I’m short I love the fact the seats can be moved by a push of a button.

The gas mileage on this car has been amazing, we have been all over Chicago and we still have more than a half tank of gas! I’m impressed. I’ll keep you guys posted on what else the Subaru can do later this week!

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Keep an eye out on us on social media because videos and pictures are being uploaded constantly! We are loving this car and super blessed to have it for a whole week!

Boo! At the Zoo: Halloween fun

Happy Sunday!!

If you are in the Chicagoland area I want to invite you out to the last day of Boo! At the Zoo which is going on now at Brookfield Zoo. Today I’ll be one of the judges for their annual costume contest. I hope to see you and your wonderful family there. Here’s some more information regarding the event:

Brookfield Zoo’s annual Boo! at the Zoo Halloween celebration will be filled with more tricks, treats, and hocus pocus than ever before. The whole family will have a howlin’ good time October 18-19 and October 25-26 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.each day.

Pumpkins will be getting crushed and carved throughout the Halloween celebration. Head over to the West Mall from 11:00 a.m. to4:00 p.m. to witness the Pumpkin Smasher destroying pumpkins into tiny pieces every hour on the hour. Then watch Steve Dahlke, professional pumpkin carver, as he uses a variety of tools to create masterpieces out of gigantic pumpkins that weigh about 1,000 pounds each. Pick up carving tips and tricks during his demonstrations, and you can even carve your own pumpkins.

The ever-popular Boo! at the Zoo costume parade kicks off at 1:00 p.m. in front of Discovery Center. Kids of all ages and their families can join in and show off their Halloween attire. Leading the parade on October 18 will be S.T.A.T of Illinois Baton/Dance Team, and on October 19 Evergreen Park Community High School Cheerleaders will get the parade started. The Bearettes & Twirling Bears from Midlothian and Oak Lawn and the marching band from Reavis High School in Burbank will kick the parade off on October 25. And on October 26, the Hinsdale Central High School Red Devil Marching Band will lead the procession.

Afterwards, you can enter the costume showcase that begins at 1:30 p.m. at the West Mall. Judges will choose winners in four categories: scariest, best animal theme, most original, and best group theme. Radio Flyer and Dulcelandia will provide costume prizes.

Additional activities include finding your way through the more than 7,000-square-foot Crazy Maize corn maze, taking a spin on the Creepy Cowboy Carousel, building a scarecrow at Hamill Family Play Zoo, decorating cookies, and taking memorable photos at the pumpkin patches located throughout the park. New this year, kids can stop by treat stations to receive goodies provided by Dulcelandia (while supplies last). The candy company will also have Halloween-themed piñatas for kids to smash open.

Halloween would not be complete without creepy critters like bats, scorpions, and spiders—oh my! Learn about them and other animals during special Zoo Chats that will be held each weekend. Glide over to Australia House at 11:30 a.m. to learn about Rodrigues fruit bats, which have a 3-foot wingspan. At high noon, staff will share information about the zoo’s Mexican gray wolves, including Ernesta, who recently was released to the wild with her four pups and mate. A 12:30 p.m.spider Zoo Chat will take place at The Swamp. From there, a hoot of a good time awaits at the Hamill Family Play Zoo for a 1:00 p.m. chat about a great horned owl. At 2:00 p.m., discover some unique characteristics about the scorpion at Feathers and Scales. To round out the chats, slither over to Reptiles and Birds at2:30 p.m. to see one of the zoo’s large snakes. And everyone can flock to Hamill Family Play Zoo for a 3:00 p.m. chat about the raven.

Several of the zoo’s animals will receive pumpkins as Halloween treats—. See if the rhinos crush their festive squash at 11:00 a.m.on October 18. The following day, October 19, the orangutans will be treated to pumpkins at10:00 a.m. The grizzly, polar, and sloth bears will receive pumpkins at 11:00 a.m. on October 25, and the lions will be able to enjoy them on October 26 at 11:00 a.m.

Boo! at the Zoo is presented by Bright Start® College Savings and proudly supported by Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores. General zoo admission is $16.95 for adults and $11.95 for children ages 3-11 and seniors age 65 and over. Children 2 and under are free. Parking is $10. (Additional fees apply to some activities.) For further information, visit www.CZS.org/events or call (708) 688-8000.

Can’t wait to take the kiddos to see “To Train Your Dragon 2”!

I love taking my son and little sister to the movies in the summer. The AC is on full blast and we can snack on popcorn and nachos which is pretty awesome to me.

There are a lot of movies I want to check out this Summer, but one that the kids are really pumped to see is “How to train your dragon 2”. It comes out June 13th 2014 and I’m sure it’s going to be just as amazing as the first one if not better.

Make sure you take your kiddos and let me know how you guys enjoyed it!

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