Fab mama


Kate Pancero


Tales from the trenches

Life as a mom can, at times, seem like the craziest voyage. A break sometimes only lasts for a few moments. That’s why Somebody’s Always Hungry: Essays on Motherhood by Juliette Johnson is a perfect escape. It is full of short adventures from the stay-at-home mom. From her son’s birth to their first pet and its demise, the California mom of three takes readers along for the ride of her life. The paperback book, according to the book’s Web site, www.somebodysalwayshungry.com, "is designed to make moms feel less crazy" and is available for $15.


A topic of conversation

Spending time with your girlfriends is always special. Next time you gather to giggle and gaggle, take along a conversation tin from Always a Girl’s Girl, www.alwaysagirlsgirl.com, $12.95.

Each tin is filled with little round cards that will have you, as the little tins boast, "talking, laughing, connecting." The questions, such as "What do you prefer? A $1,000 shopping spree or jewelry designed by your husband?" will have the gals chatting for hours.



Fab sites on the Web

Shopping can be the best therapy, plain and simple. Finding deals on your purchases, not always that simple. The site www.bradsdeals.com might help. It has the latest deals on household items, clothing and more, alerts users and visitors to sales and supplies them with online shopping codes. Now that’s a great way to shop guilt-free. Well, almost.



Destination relaxation

With all of the energy it takes to be a mom, it’s time to find some peace, relaxation and Zen for yourself, if only for a weekend. Gather a few of your girlfriends and head north to Destination Kohler.

There you will find the Carriage House, home of the Kohler Waters Spa, and the American Club, the main inn at Destination Kohler. Although Kohler is known for its world-class golfing, one of the biggest draws to Destination Kohler is its spa and signature bathing treatment, the H2O Experience, $95, $115 on Saturdays.

The 50-minute treatment begins with a scalp and shoulder aromatherapy massage while your feet soak in a copper vessel topped with soft rose petals. After an exfoliating massage and shower under six different heads, a 20-minute soak in the River Bath engulfs you in two simulated gentle river currents. Other spa services include the Highland Fling, $140, $160 on Saturday, an invigorating treatment involving a Vichy shower while warm water is thrown over your body.

If you’ve had enough lounging around, take a stroll down the road for a little shopping therapy at the Shops at Woodlake. The chic maternity and baby boutique With Child has plenty of fabulous finds. There is also a whimsical toy store, The Nursery Window Ltd., featuring classic wood toys, a doll adoption center and a castle filled with dress-up costumes. End the day with a delicious Italian dinner and a glass of wine at Cucina.

If Wisconsin is too far from home, visit the Kohler Waters Spa in Burr Ridge.

For a list of the treatments and amenities the spa offers or hotel information and reservations, visit the Web site, www.DestinationKohler.com



Giving five

The While on her honeymoon in Bali, Chicagoan Christine Hutchison met her future business partner, I Made Kichen. Kichen shared with her his story about good karma and how $5 from an American tourist gave him a new outlook on life. "I was overcome by the feeling that I wanted to help the local people," Hutchison recalls of their first meeting.

Today, Hutchison works with partners who travel around the globe working with organizations in Guatemala, Honduras, Rwanda, Cambodia and Bali. Her signature Bali line includes bags named Night and Sand, made from bamboo. The Coconut collection is made of squared pieces of the tropical fruit. The line from Honduras is made from recycled potato chip bags.

Bags range from $25-$120 and are available at www.fiveaccessories.com.

Kids Eat Chicago

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