Kim’s Blog


Kim’s Blog combines home front experiences with informative updates on area events, unique opportunities and of course, dynamic deals!  For daily updates, Get Social and Follow SpringfieldMoms on your preferred Social Network for event reminders, coupon links and lots of helpful tips and laughs!.

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teal pumpkin halloweenThanks to Springfield Moms reader Jamie Kaufman (also known as the Milk Allergy Mom) for alerting us to The Teal Pumpkin Project™ (launched internationally last year) by Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), which provides an alternative for kids with food allergies, as well as other children for whom candy may not be an option.
Joined by the Celiac Disease Foundation and other organizations, the campaign has gone viral at #TealPumpkinProject on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. We’d love to see your teal pumpkins posted to the Springfield Moms FB, Instagram and Pinterest pages, too!
FARE’s goal in 2015 is to have 100,000 households pledging their support for the Teal Pumpkin Project™. Participants provide non-food treats for trick-or-treaters. They paint a pumpkin teal on their front porch to let children know that your Halloween treats will be safe for kids with allergies.
It’s a fun and safe way to celebrate Halloween, and we hope you’ll join in!  Additional information here.


Reader favorite!Easy-Pizza-Dip-by-Cravings-of-a-Lunatic-2

Thanks Megan G. for sharing this recipe with us…delicious!

Megan’s familyl used zucchini, tortilla chips and breadsticks for dipping, and she also recommends using pretzel bites or carrots.

Visit the Cravings of a Lunatic blog for the recipe!

u of Il footballoctoberpumpkin patch

Football, pumpkins and the beautiful colors of fall are all around us!  It’s our favorite and busiest time of year at SpMoms.

Why?  There are SO many events going on that our What’s Happening Calendar is overflowing so much that we organized all of the guides you need to soak in every piece of fall fun in ONE handy online guide.  Our staff, Lisa Whelpley, Lauren Coleman and loyal helpers like Kari Thevenot and Julie Kaiser ensure that we ALL have the info we need at our fingertips.

Our family always tries something new, and this year, I just may swallow my fears and do a haunted hay ride!

moms-spookyThe All Things Spooky Guide is one my youngest daughter can’t wait to experience; so I need to swallow my fears and go! We love to hear your feedback and most of all if we’re missing one of your favorite fall stops, please share!

breast cancerSpringfield Moms is proud to be part of the Beautiful Bras fundraiser at BJ Salon.  It’s become a tradition in our community to raise funds and continued awareness in a creative, inspirational and overall feel-good campaign. We would appreciate your support and $5 Vote to show local moms we’re behind them and supporting them at every step.  As I was designing the bra and burning my fingers with my hot glue gun, I looked across my room at the Mother’s Day Medal my daughter had made me.  The pink ribbon and “Best Mom” medallion has hung on my jewelry stand since that day.  I decided to integrate this medal into my design.  We all know someone who has battled breast cancer and we’ve seen the effect it has not just on those strong women, but their families. Cancer is a word, not a sentence, and we’re here to support you! #Hope #Family.

You can vote for #329 online here!

There are numerous creative entries so feel free to spread your votes’s all for a wonderful cause! Proceeds from the Beautiful Bras event will be used to purchase hair loss accessories including wigs, hats, and scarves for wig boutiques in Champaign and Springfield, Illinois.

sp moms selfieWe all have them!  Favorite this, don’t miss that, you have to see/read/do….(fill in the blank!)  Help our SpMoms Staff and Contributors learn where you want us to focus content updates and research gathering!

  • What are you go-to resources on this website? Looking for your top faves…check out our A-Z index! 
  • Where do you need MORE info? Where should we be focusing NEW or updated resources?


#SpMomsFaves as of today….

Fall Family Fun Guide

Birthday Party Directory

Kids Eat Free Dining Guide

Our Pinterest Board

Our Facebook page (grows weekly!)

Day Trips

Share any of YOUR fave post links on Facebook or Twitter #SpMomsFaves or Twitter @springfieldmoms and keep the conversation going.  We will draw random winners from all who join our hashtag trail!

SA_cat_inthe_hatAfter all of these years, I still want that fabulous clean-up contraption that the Cat in the Hat brought to their home to clean up all of their adventures right before the Mom came back home….genius!  We’re fortunate that UIS Sangamon Auditorium prioritizes Family programming in their season planning, so support this show and join the fun Thursday October 23rd!

FREE lobby activities start at 6:00pm and the show starts at 7:00pm.  Youth tickets are $12…a fun and memorable night for all!

mini-share-and winIf you want a chance to WIN a family 4-pack of tickets, email us your favorite at home Birthday Party Games or Activities for Kids preK-Teens.  For example, we played “Ghost in the Graveyard” in the back and front yard and supplied the guests with flashlights as the party favor….lots of shrieks and tons of fun…and FREE!

Email your creative ideas to by Friday October 9th to enter!

If you’re ready to secure your reserved tickets now…buy tickets



ALPLM 10thAnnfwksLogoThis fall, embrace the jewel in our very own backyard. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is pulling out all the stops this year. Coming up are two events that will captivate your kids … and you! Both offer free admission.

October 3, 2015:  Cannon Fire.  Guns bursting. Screaming.  Yelling.  Battle was a loud place, and the best way to tell your troops where to go or what to do was by using bugles and drums.  Today we’ll experiment with the science of sound by playing musical​ instruments and learn about the young soldiers who took their musical talents to war. Students ages 8-12 are welcome to participate. Students must be checked in with the Civil War Tech instructor before their parent or guardian leaves. Civil War Tech is a monthly program series presented by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and museum thanks to generous support from At&T.  Event is from 10 – 11 a.m. in the Library classroom. There are a limited number of spaces available. Free  To reserve tickets.

Family Day on October 10, 2015

Where: Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library

The Library will merge science and history, two areas of study not often united but undeniably connected. Families are invited to see first-hand the science and innovation of Civil War technology. Free admission.

McAdamis 3How to Help Your Older Children Welcome Baby Into the Family

Emotions can run rampant when you are three or four years old, and change is in the air. It’s “baby this” and “baby that,” and everyone is so excited! Earlier this year, two SpringfieldMoms readers, Katie McAdamis (Chatham) and Natalie Van Dyke (Rochester) helped older siblings welcome babies into the family.

Here are some strategies they used to help prepare their young children for a new reality.

  • Casual conversations. Let the sibling set the pace. Natalie remembers how Ava (then 3) was somewhat quiet about the baby at first, and that was okay. Katie made sure to keep conversations light and in a positive light: “All of the differences would be good differences.”
  • Put it in perspective: Katie looked for ways to make comparisons that her little ones would understand. When you get your weekly emails updating the current size of the baby and what is happening that week, share it with your child. Trust me, he/she will share your enthusiasm as you hold a lemon and talk about how their baby brother or sister is that big!”
  • What to expect on Birth Day: Map out the plan for older siblings. If grandparents are coming to stay, play up how much fun it will be to stay with Grandma and Grandpa. Also, let the older sibling help prepare the nursery or the playroom for when the baby comes home.
  • Storybook Recommendations: Berenstain Bears Baby Makes Five by Stan and Jan Berenstain; I’m a Big Sister/Brother by Joanna Cole; Olivia, A Guide to being a Big Sister by Natalie Shaw; The New Baby by Mercer Mayer.
  • Sibling classes. Memorial Medical Center offers regular classes for “I’m Going to be a Big Brother/Big Sister” targeted to 3–7 year olds. An “Older Sibling” class for kids 8 – 11 is offered as well.

McAdamis 2Once the baby is born, the real relationship-building (and fun!) begins.

“When Ally (4) and Grace (2) met their brother, Liam, for the first time, the looks on their faces were complete and utter awe,” Katie said. “Ally came right up to him and said, ‘Hi there, little cowboy.’ Gracie kept looking at me, saying,‘Hug? Hug?’ because she wanted to know if she could give Liam a hug.”

For Ava, it was a polite “hello” to her new brother at the hospital, although early on, when he was crying, she told him “Oh, Judah! Stop crying. It’s just a poopy diaper!” laughed Natalie.

The sibling adjustments will continue – for a lifetime! But a positive beginning is a great start.

Processed with Moldiv

Processed with Moldiv

This Saturday, pack up your pet and head to Union Square Park, across from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum from 11 am – 2 pm

While there, be sure to:

  • Meet Captain Canine of the APL and Smokey, the Jacksonville firehouse dogPitWH_WebBanner
  • Participate in the pet parade (patriot theme) – (Prize package from Scheels)
  • Pose in the photo booth
  • Have your face painted
  • Watch canine demonstrations
  • Have your pet’s nails trimmed
  • Make a toy for your cat or dog
  • Learn about Presidental Pets
  • Buy local pet treats, clothes & gifts

Vaccinated and leashed pets are welcome.

Pets In White House Flyer

bday party 5Eleven years of birthdays! Have you done it all in terms of birthday parties? Springfield Moms reader Holly Dahlquist shares details from her tween daughter’s recent party.

“We have held family parties, swim parties, Chuck E Cheese parties, Glow Golf, Bounce House, bowling, Skateland, the Nelson Center and Washington Park.

This year, my daughter wanted a sleepover with a few of her closest friends, but we wanted something fun that would be different than years past. What does every preteen girl like to do? Shop! So, I offered to take them to the mall, but I took it a step further and hosted her actual party at the mall complete with dinner in the food court, cake, presents, shopping and a scavenger hunt. Below is how I put our plan into action.

  • Pick a non-crowded night so the workers might be more willing to help in the scavenger hunt if not super busy with other customers.  We got there around 5:45 p.m.
  • bday party 1Explain the rules. Ours were basic. The girls had to stay together, not run or be overly loud, and be courteous to anyone not on board with their scavenger hunt. (Side note: I was extremely surprised at how excited the sales associates were to help the girls. Employees loved reading the list and even offered suggestions!) I did not place a time limit on the hunt and told them they could also shop while doing the hunt.
  • In lieu of party favors/treat bags, I gave each girl $11 since the birthday girl would turn 11. One girl immediately quipped, “Best take home favor ever!”

Off they went with their list and cash. The girls did half the list in 45 minutes, and then we had dinner/pizza in the food court. (I brought drinks to save money). They took another 45 minutes to finish the list. We then had cake/presents back at the food court. The rest of the night was spent shopping! We closed the mall down at 9:00 p.m., which I would call a successful evening. We arrived home for a traditional sleep over with dancing, ghost stories, giggling and fun.

The highlight for me was when my daughter hugged me tight and thanked me for giving her a great night.”


Scavenger Hunt List

  • How many bathroom stalls are in the food court restrooms?
  • How many dressing rooms are in Gymboree?
  • bday party 4Find out what the most expensive piece of jewelry is at Kay’s Jewelers.
  • Get a Kay’s Jewelers credit card application.
  • Have a random shopper take a group picture in the elevator.
  • Get a shoppers autograph with words of advice.
  • Get a shopping bag from Build A Bear.
  • Everyone must high five a sales person in Aeropostle.
  • Ask to sample a pickle at Subway.
  • Ask for a price tag from any store.
  • Make a duck face holding an item with a duck on it.
  • Perfume sample from Macy’s.
  • Buy something under a $1.00 and pay with all pennies.
  • Spell out YMCA with the help of two people you do not know.
  • Have one person try on the same outfit as a window mannequin in Justice.
  • Get a napkin from a food court restaurant (not Subway).
  • Get an employment application from Tilly’s.
  • Buy something that you can all share for under $10 from Bath and Body.
  • Sample of tea.
  • Get a mall directory.