Chicago mom has ideas for getting in your fun now

Welcome to my new column. Every month I’ll be dishing up a batch of my favorite ways to incorporate more pops of playfulness into the various bits of your every day.

Play with your kids

I am sent loads of the latest toys and games to review for upcoming TV segments and features. So I’m thrilled to share some of my favorites with you.

First up is a helpful educational, yet super-fun way to ease your kiddo into this upcoming school year. It’s the “Are You Ready?” game series by Lakeshore Learning. As in “are you ready for 5th grade?” Set up in a game show format, this kit makes prepping for the next academic year playful and fun. You can pick from kindergarten to fifth grade.


Play with your look

Summertime can be a bit brutal on our beauty routines. Between sun, sand, chlorine and dehydrating travel, our delicate skin takes a beating. I recently discovered an organic skincare and perfume line called Pure Natural Diva Botanicals, whose mission is to “provide an elegant alternative to lab created fragrances.” It’s beauty care scented purely from nature. How lovely is that?

My favorites for summer are the “WHIPPED” organic body butter, the “POLISHED” organic sugar scrub and “WHISPER” body spray—a perfect sweaty-body pick-me-up.

Check out the whole line at

Play with your mate

If you’re looking to add a dash of playfulness and fun to your next date with your mate, this one’s for you. How about tearing down the lakeshore, racing each other atop jet skis? These speedy water mobiles really aren’t as daunting as you

might suspect.

My husband and I actually jet ski a lot throughout the summer, and I gotta say, once you get the hang of it, it’s a complete blast. And if you’re not comfortable on your own, hop on the back of his, wrap your arms around him, and hold on tight. I assure you, he’ll LOVE this date-day idea. is offering HALF OFF Chicago Jet Ski Rentals right now. $39 for 30 minutes (regularly $80). Check it out.

Play with your food

With kids running from one summer activity to the next and families sneaking in the last bit of summer travel this month, snack attacks and bouts of the “hangries” (hungry-plus-angry), can come fast and furiously.

Thankfully, the new all-natural GoPicnic ready-to-eat snack kits are here to save the day. With choices like red pepper hummus and multigrain crackers, edamame kale dip with plantain chips, and cinnamon spread with bagel chips, your kids and you can satisfy those in-between-meals tummy rumblings in a much more healthy way. And they even have gluten free, GMO free and vegetarian selections.

Kits range from $2.99-$4.49. Available at most big box stores and at

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