Sunshine Sam: Whimsical Gifts, Decor & Party Supplies

Chicago Mom Blog Favorite StoreI have to tell you about my friend’s sister’s new business. It’s so fun!

Sunshine Sam is the brainchild of five-year old Sam and his mom, Marlene. They sell their favorite clothing, gifts, decor and party gear online.

It all started with Marlene’s penchant for giving unique gifts that have that special touch. If she saw the perfect present, even if that person’s birthday was far off on the calendar, she’d still snag it and store it in her “Gift Closet.”

Then Marlene started making party decor and supplies for Sam. Soon other friends wanted Marlene to make the same capes, party crowns and other novelties for their kids too. That’s when Sam decided they were going to open their own shop and Sunshine Sam was born.

If you’re on the hunt for cute, creative kid stuff, definitely check it out! Through the end of the month Second City Mommy readers receive 20% off! Use code FRIENDS20 at checkout!


What I Learned From National Blog Posting Month 2012

Hooray! It’s November 30 and this is the last post and last day of NaBloPoMo! I posted on this blog every day for a month straight. Are you sick of me yet?

What did I learn from this little blogging experiment?

  • I really love writing this blog. I let it go for a while when I was pregnant and moving from the city to the suburbs, but writing every day has renewed my interest in mommy blogging.
  • People are reading. I’ve seen my site visits shoot way up this month and so many people have told me in person they read my blog. I’m flattered.
  • If you put it out there, you’ll get it back.  I received some great pitches (and not so great – doomsday preppers I am not interested in your guest post). I’ll be writing about a few cool products and doing my first giveaways soon…stay tuned. I also snagged a new writing gig at My Daily Find Chicago – I’m a parenting/family contributor for the site.
  • Writing every day is really hard. While I certainly will try to blog more frequently, I don’t think a post every day is necessary. Unless, of course, I have something to say.

Thank you for reading along!



Making Friends

Up until this point in Mia’s life, the friends and play dates we have are really the result of me being friendly or having relationships with the playmate’s mother. Play dates after all are really for mom. A chance to pass some time in your long day and have a minute of adult conversation.

When Mia started coming home every day from school talking about her classmate “M” and then we went to parent/teacher conferences and was told that her and “M” buddy around all the time, I realized that Mia made a friend all on her own.

Then I did something I had never done before, I scheduled a play date on behalf of Mia. I had met “M”‘s mom in passing at pick-up and she seemed very nice. I looked at the class list and sent her an email and we arranged to go to lunch at Northbrook Court after school with the girls and the babies (“M” has a baby sister about Lana’s age).

Mia and “M” had a blast. Mia took all her fruit from lunch and put it in her water bottle and offered it to “M” to drink, which she promptly did. Then they played a game they made up themselves, called “what.” They each took turns saying “what” to each other in funny voices.

We went to the treehouse at NBC after lunch and Mia and “M” ran around playing Cinderella and pretending it was the “stroke of midnight.” Then we ran the girls around the mall and they stopped at Teavana, where “M” showed Mia that they have “free samples!” Mia couldn’t resist a free beverage and the girls drank passionfruit iced tea to their hearts’ content.

Then they ran around some more giggling and hugging each other and talking in a language that only three year old big sisters can understand.

It was so adorable and it made my heart sing to watch. This was a friend that Mia had found all on her own. After watching them together I could totally see why they’ve become besties.

Oh and “M”‘s mom is super cool too. Which is a bonus for me!

A Forced Blog Post

Today was nice, but long. We had a play date at the mall this afternoon, which I thought would totally wear the girls out. Wrong. Mia wouldn’t take a nap and the baby is still crying on and off and won’t go down.

I am ready to call it a night.

If it wasn’t still November, there would be no blog post today. There are just a few more days left and I really couldn’t skip a day now. Could I?

Instead I bring you a photo dump. The mom blogger’s answer to I have nothing to write about so look at cute pictures of my kids.


Cutting in Line

“Hey, he cut!”

Do you remember being a kid and waiting in a line for something and some punk ass kid in your class would cut in line to get a turn faster? I hated that.

As frustrating as it was when you were little, it’s even worse to experience it as an adult. Gosh darn it, grownups should know better.

Today I was waiting at the host stand at a restaurant during lunch. A couple in front of us was on their way to be seated and the hostess acknowledged my party and said she would be right with us when she got back.

Then two ladies who lunch strolled in while we were waiting for the hostess to return. They looked us up and down and then scooted over to the side and walked past the host stand so they were positioned ahead of us.

I know your game, ladies.

Of course a different host returned before the hostess we were waiting for, saw the ladies  standing in front of us and asked “Can I help you ladies?”

Thank goodness at that exact same moment the hostess returned, saw what was up, called those lunchy ladies’ bulls*** and seated us first.

I think that behavior stinks. Don’t be a cutter. It’s not cool.

The Hardest Word For Me To Say

I haven’t had to rely on the NaBloPoMo prompts for most of this month’s little writing experiment, but I have to be honest, writing something every day is not easy.

A wedding and a national holiday have provided some fodder, but I needed to turn back to the prompts today. It’s a Monday after a long weekend and my brain is jelly.

So without further ado, the prompt is…

“What is the hardest word for you to say?”

I’m taking this question very literally, as in what is the hardest word for me to pronounce. Hands down it is the word:


I stumble over it all the time or totally mispronounce it.

I’ll put a long “e” on it, like sub-see-quently.

My husband laughs about it all the time and we wonder why I can’t say that word.

What’s the hardest word for you to say?

Do I Really Need Cable?

I used to love crap television. This of course was before I had two kids. I could sit around and watch crap all day long. Now I just watch The Soup on E! and Joel tells me all I need to know about the ridiculous things that are on television.

A few months ago we got Apple TV and then subscribed to Netflix. We started watching some great television shows that we had missed the first go around like Downton Abbey and Mad Men. Plus they have great shows and movies for kids – all the Dora and Diego you can get.

Outside of a few shows that are currently on television (some network and some cable), I hardly watch TV any more. I’m usually able to find something on Netflix to watch, or I’m too tired to do anything and just go to bed.

I used to love The Real Housewives franchise, but honestly if I didn’t have cable and needed to purchase a season on iTunes for $20, I’d probably save my money.

And really, if it weren’t for football, my husband wouldn’t need cable either.

So the question we’ve been asking ourselves lately is…should we cut the cord?

Right now the status is we’re in a two year contract with DirecTV, so can’t really do anything about it at the moment. However, come July 2013, we’ll need to reevaluate.

Have you ditched your cable box? If so, how did it go?