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, reader favorites and lots of helpful tips and laughs.

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IMG_7699 AZ TileDIY_Contest_RotatorHave you walked into a room and realize it needed a change? Do-It-Yourself (DIY) projects are a great solution to revitalize your area. You can involve the whole family or knock them out on your own! Whether you are adding a back splash or building a storage rack out of reclaimed pallets, you can guarantee it will be fun and rewarding.

Here’s a few easy project ideas from Eric Henderson at Modern Countertops to spruce up your décor. Share your best DIY project and enter our contest from Arizona Tile Company & Modern Countertops to WIN a Free Granite or Quartz Remnant for Bathroom Vanity Up to 50″ with Rectangle or Oval Porcelain Under Mount Bowl (Plumbing Unhooking and Reattachment not included). Value $850!

These can be small or medium sized projects…our readers like Quick and EASY DIY!


All entries must be submitted by June 30th, 2016.  Send us your before and after pics; or just your “after” along with step by step instructions and estimated time and budget to complete the project!
We will also draw two winners for two tickets to The Purple Xperience Prince Tribute Band at the PCCC May 28th from all entries received by May 25th.  We won’t choose a winner for the bathroom vanity until July 1st.


PALLETS: Repurposing wood pallets (see above) are a fun way to add a conversation piece to your living or dining room. Build a rustic wine rack!
: Installing a tile backsplash above a bathroom vanity can add pizazz to the area. Check out Arizona Tile Company “Outlet” area for your tile overstock!
: Half walls or small areas where granite or quartz remnants can be installed to freshen up your bathroom or foyer.

Download this handy guide to get started!

Arizona_tile_company banner

We look forward to your DIY results and creative NEW ideas as well!


See our early entry winner of two tickets to the Prince Tribute Band @ PCCC: Katie Anselment’s creative laundry hub DIY!



I recently decided to take inventory of my eating with the goal of improving my health through better eating habits.  I’ve been athletic my whole life so it’s not a matter of exercise; it’s a decision to improve my nutrition and notice the difference! Drive-thru, carryout and haphazard grocery trips were not giving me the results I needed, and I didn’t like the example I was setting for my daughters.  I was spending too much time and far too much money and still not eating right.  I’ve driven by Just Right Eating (JRE) for a few years now, and I finally decided to stop in to see what their program is all about.

Owner Stephanie Johnson is a delight.  She created this business to help others foster a healthier lifestyle.  Whether it’s for convenience and nutrition, weight loss, athletes or disease management, Stephanie will find a meal plan that works for you.  It’s all freshly prepared, packaged and ready to eat, and they will work around any food allergies or gluten-free requests as well.  So when you’re hungry all you have to do is open your refrigerator or your cooler pack.   There are many options if you choose to start small (Dinner only plan or Lunch/Dinner plans.) I decided to start the 5 Day Basic program: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snack for 5 days a week.  For some people, they eat well during the day, but fall off in the evenings.  I like her plan as it has you eating more consistently throughout the day (she suggests every 3-4 hours) so you’re keeping yourself fueled.
JRE_StaffWeek 1 Observations:
I picked up my first bag of meals and came home and stocked my fridge!  How awesome to have so many choices ready to eat with the nutritional benefits of each items printed on a label for each one.  No drive-thru food for me this week!  I figured out the daily cost of my JRE meals was actually less than I was spending out and about!  I also didn’t have to drive anywhere or wait in line!
It’s about $24 a day for the 5 Day Basic Meal plan which is less than I was spending on groceries as well. You don’t have to eat less; you just have to eat right.  There was plenty of food!  Did I occasionally add a snack or have a piece of graduation cake over the weekend?  Yes, but with the 5-day plan I have some flex options!  I lost a few pounds the first week just from the benefits of a balanced diet, and reduced sodium intake.  I’m so excited to see what next week brings!  I encourage you to stop by and meet Stephanie and talk about your goals.  You can start small and even enjoy Grab & Go carryout meals if you want to sample some of the meals.
JRE_Grab_Go_RefrigeratorMy favorite meals Week 1:  Blood Orange Parfait, Steak Cobb Salad, Chicken Stir-fry and Chicken Parmesan.
On to week two…and pizza is on the menu :-)
Learn more about Just Right Eating and their coupon offer.

UnknownSoon to be a major motion picture by Steven Speilberg, The BFG, by Roald Dahl is a great read to share over the summer with your children.  Recommended for grades 3-5, you can read the book aloud together or read separately and then come together for discussion.  Our book club allows readers to engage with their children over the summer in a meaningful learning experience and also offer a designated bonding time, that is all to often hard to find.  Read at your own pace.  The discussion question and activities are listed below by chapters.  Feel free to message us about your experience.


The BFG (The Big Friendly Giant) by Roald Dahl is available at your local library as well as in stores or online.

Summary of the BFG: The BFG is no ordinary bone-crunching giant. He is far too nice and jumbly. It’s lucky for Sophie that he is. Had she been carried off in the middle of the night by the Bloodbottler, or any of the other giants—rather than the BFG—she would have soon become breakfast. When Sophie hears that the giants are flush-bunking off to England to swollomp a few nice little chiddlers, she decides she must stop them once and for all. And the BFG is going to help her!


Chapters 1-3.  This selection deals with first impressions.  Sophie experiences many new characters in these chapters.  Discuss your own impressions of The BFG.  Talk about how his physical appearance at first shaped how one would feel about him.  Then discuss his personality traits and how perhaps that changes how Sophie feels about him.  Talk about the other giants.  Describe them and talk about how they also behave.  But what about Mrs Clonkers?  How do you think she looks?  Does she look scary on the outside?  But what about her personality?  Talk as a family about how judging a book by it’s cover can hurt others and hurt you as well.


Unknown-1Chapters 5-8.  These chapters deal with unlikely friendships as well as creating silly vocabulary.  Roald Dahl likes to invent words in his books.  For example Snozzcumbers takes the word cucumbers and makes it into something silly.  As a family create a few new words that only you know.  Use it throughout the summer.  Perhaps you have a favorite recipe that you often make.  You could rename it.  Then make the meal as a family.  You could change the name of a room in your house etc.  I guarantee your kiddos will get a big kick out of this.  Any chance they have to be in on a joke with you, they eat it up.

Discuss with the children that the BFG felt different because of the way he spoke, and that made him feel sad. However, when Sophie praised the BFG’s way of speaking, he felt really good about himself.  Then discuss ways you can celebrate differences with friends or people we meet.


Chapters 9-11 Deals with bullying.  This is a critical topic to discuss with your kiddos.  Talk to your kids about how to deal with bullies.  Ask them why they think people bully.  Make a family plan for what you  would do if someone or your child is being bullied.


Chapters 12-17: The Topic is Dreams.  Talk about what dreams are discussed in the book.  Why does theimages BFG want these dreams?  Talk about a mixed dream. Ask your kiddos to come up with a short plot to their own mix dreams. Make your own dream jar as a family.  Talk about personal dreams/goals and put them in a jar all together.  Talk about how you can all help each other obtain your dreams by working together as a family.


Chapters 18-21 New People/New Places.  Imagine you are new to a place you have never been before.  How might you feel?  What things would you want to do?  What things would scare you?  Now imagine someone very different comes to visit you.  They have never been here and they speak a little differently.  How could you make them feel more comfortable?  What would you want to show them?


Chapters 22- 25 Discuss the ending of the book.  Did you like it?  What were your favorite parts of the story? What was your overall favorite part of reading together?  What did you learn about each other?  Keep using your made up words and go watch The BFG in theaters.


Local kids are featured in the Get Well Network tour video for HSHS St. John’s Children’s Hospital.

Great to see the kids perspective on the quality care on the 5th floor at SJCH a Children’s Miracle Network hospital.

LiveWell Cube 200x120Every parent wants their child to be happy and healthy. They want them to play with friends and to be carefree. Unfortunately, not every child feels this way. Some children may struggle with mental health issues such as depression.

Memorial’s LiveWell online magazine encourages parents to speak to their children about the importance of emotional and behavioral health.

sad childAmanda Chahalis, MSW, on-site school clinician with the Children’s MOSAIC Project, a program of Memorial Behavioral Health—Springfield Children’s Center offers advice on how to notice signs of depression in children and warning signs, as well as when to be concerned and behavior is normal.

Full story here.

Woman Sitting in MeditationYoga is an ideal practice for all stages of pregnancy. During a time of rapid physical and emotional changes, prenatal yoga provides relief from common discomforts of pregnancy and time for deep relaxation. Each class is tailored to meet the unique needs of pregnant women. No prior yoga experience is necessary.

Classes introduce:

  • Gentle postures and toning essential for pregnancy
  • Breath work cultivates calm and confidence in preparation for labor and childbirth
  • Relaxation practices foster a deep connection with your growing baby.

Classes provide a safe and supportive environment for expectant mothers to connect with their changing bodies, with their babies and with each other.

Please wear comfortable clothing and bring a pillow and a yoga mat to class. Ruta Kulys is a certified yoga teacher and a certified prenatal yoga teacher. She is also a psychotherapist who specializes in mind-body medicine and women’s issues. Classes meet on Thursdays for six consecutive weeks beginning on the date above. The fee for the six-week session is $72.

For more information call Memorial Medical Center at 217-788-3333.

Time: 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Instructor: Ruta Kulys

Location: YMCA Gus and Flora Kerasotes Branch, 4550 W. Iles Ave., Springfield

Memorial Health System

It’s Time to Focus on Keeping Children Safe Around Watersafety around water header ymca

There is a list of basic life skills all parents instinctively know they must teach their children to keep them safe and healthy. It includes habits like looking both ways before you cross the street, washing your hands with soap and water and eating the right amount of fruits and vegetables every day.

For too many parents, safety in and around water is not on the list; and that’s something we need to change.

Fatal drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages one to 14 years old. The problem is particularly acute among minority communities. African American children ages 5 to 14 are three times more likely to drown than their white counterparts. The disparity is partly due to the lack of swimming experience among these children.

According to a recent national research study conducted by the USA Swimming Foundation and the University of Memphis, 70 percent of African American and 60 percent of Hispanic children cannot swim, compared to just 40 percent of Caucasian children. Almost 40% of the approximately 15,000 children enrolled District 186 are African American.

ymca logoAs part of the swim lesson program, the Springfield Y provides scholarships to children from low-income and underserved communities to participate in lessons. The lessons teach young people valuable skills like what to do if they find themselves in the water unexpectedly, a situation every child should be equipped to handle. In District 186 alone, 67% of children come from economically disadvantaged homes.

These classes are just one of the many swim programs that millions of people from toddlers to adults take advantage of at the Y’s more than 2,200 pools across the country. In 2015, the Springfield Y taught swim lessons to 2,026 children. Through swim lessons from beginner to advanced, parent/child classes, the Special Needs Aquatics Program, and the Strong Kids Scholarship Fund, the Y hopes to further bridge cultural and access gaps that can prevent some children from learning important water safety skills.

If you know how to stay safe in and around water, swimming can be a lifelong source of fun and exercise. Instead of keeping your children away from water, help them learn fundamental water safety skills by enrolling them in lessons. These classes can provide them a new, exciting way to keep active and meet new friends.

To learn more about the Y’s swim program, please visit

Kids and boatingSignificant changes in Illinois have gone into effect when it comes to kids and boating as of January 2016. Penalties may be imposed against the parents and children in violation of the new law:

  • No person born on or after Jan. 1, 1998, shall operate a motorboat with more than 10 horsepower unless that person has a valid Boating Safety Certificate issued by the IDNR or an entity or organization approved by the IDNR.
  • No person under 10 years of age may operate a motorboat.
  • Persons at least 10 years of age and less than 12 years of age may operate a motorboat with more than 10 horsepower only if the person is under direct onboard supervision of a parent or a guardian, who has valid Boating Safety Certificate, where the parent, guardian or designated person was born on or after Jan. 1, 1998.
  • Persons at least 12 years of age and less than 18 years of age may operate a motorboat with more than 10 horse power only if the person has a valid Boating Safety Certificate, or is under the direct onboard supervision of a parent or a guardian, who has valid Boating Safety Certificate, where the parent, guardian or designated person was born on or after Jan. 1, 1998.

Best advice if you are a family that spends a lot of time on or around the water? Visit the website for the IDNR and read up on the changes to the law. Safety boating courses are always a good idea and cover rules, regulations, weather, emergencies, communications, boat handling and safety measures. The courses provide students with excellent background information for safely operating a boat. Certificates are issued to individuals who successfully complete the course.

IDNR: 800-832-2599

United States Power Squadron

Land of Lincoln Squadron. Phone: 217-891-2870

Happy Mother’s Day! moms-happymothersday

At SpringfieldMoms, we strive to help area families. We guide you to events, opportunities and resources, and today we’re sharing ideas on how to celebrate Mother’s Day.

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

  • From the archives — SpringfieldMoms’ founder and president Kim Leistner shares her favorite gifts from past years.
  • Check out our Pinterest page on Making Mom’s Day – including recipes, activities and gifts

moms-pinterestMother’s Day Crafts

Mother’s Day Activities

Local Mother’s Day Events


pile of papersThe last day of school will be here soon bringing with it tons of papers, projects and left over school supplies. Quickest strategy? Stuff all of the “stuff” into a closet to be forgotten about until fall. Or you can tackle it now. Whatever you decide, here are some organizational tips to help you muddle through the stacks.

When and How to Sort

There are 2 schools of thought:  

Option A – do it right away and by yourself. Some of us moms can’t help but tackle the task at hand as soon as the backpacks hit the door. If this is you, follow the tips below to help guide you.

Option B – do it in late July with your kids. Help ease the kids back into the school mode. You can assess what school supplies they can use again next year, review the progress they made from the year before. This is a fun way to spend a really hot afternoon or a rainy day. Plus it’s a great opportunity to teach children to make decisions on what they should and should not keep. Some kids want to keep everything, so hopefully the guidelines below will be helpful. Maybe a treat for ice cream cones after the project is done!

Decide What to Keep

1-2 favorite art work pieces

1- 2 achievement tests

5-10 pieces of written work (journals-interesting writings)

Memorable notes from teachers or friends

Final Report Card

Date Everything (Name, Date, Age and Year in School)

Decide What Not to Keep

Classroom specific information

School policies


Spelling/Math tests

Just be selective!

How to Store Kids’ Stuff

1 binder for each child (divider for each year in school)

1 accordian file for each child (divider for each year in school)

1 medium size box memories (if you use a box, you can include school memories, little mementos, etc. – just try to limit items to the size of the box)

Larger Projects

Frame the art with inexpensive frames.

Portfolio holder

Take a photo of all the art work and turn into a collage.

Scan papers/artwork to make into a DVD slide show or upload photos onto Snapfish and make an album for that year.

1-school supplielsLeftover School Supplies

I have noticed some of the supplies that come home at the end of the year are practically new! I rescue “like new” folders, notebooks, erasers, water colors etc. and put in the School Supply Area. If you don’t have a “School Supply Area” – you should! Keep your overstock of loose leaf paper, notebooks, markers and all the school supplies in one place. Plus you can stock up in August when they are on sale real cheap.

I have been able to recycle or re-use pencil boxes, rulers, etc. I usually test out the leftover markers to decide if they are worth saving. I put all the mix-matched markers, crayons, pencils, pens into containers to use on a daily basis.

If you have tips that work for you, email us.

Meanwhile, enjoy the summer and the break from the daily paper avalanche!

Submitted by Springfield Moms contributor and professional organizer Amy Peterson who is mother of three and co-owner of The Closet Guy, Inc. with husband Brooke Peterson.