Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin

Are you a Dupage Mama?

Welcome to Dupage Mamas! This blog is a place for Mamas to connect, share their experiences, and recommend great finds and ideas (or let us learn from your mistakes!) If you are raising kids in Dupage County, then we'd love to have you along for the adventure!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

We've Moved!!

We are SUPER EXCITED to tell everyone about the new look of Dupage Mamas!! We got a makeover courtesy of my fabulous hubby!

Come check out our new look!

Please update your reader or any links to us with this address. All future posts will be at the new site and we don't want you to miss a thing!! As always, we welcome your feedback- what do you love, what do we need to add/change,... Let us know! We will soon be announcing some giveaways and contests especially for subscribers so be sure to get in on that action early! And tell your friends too!

We have loved having all of you on this new adventure so far... please continue to join us as we
Guide Our Kids through Our Community!!



Friday, August 7, 2009

Winter Hats?- WPF

My toddler wanted us all to wear hats yesterday. He picked out one for me (his winter hat) and for himself and for his brother. We played "Polar Bears" for most of the morning. And then we took off the hats and pretended to be sharks. :) I tried to capture the three of us with our hats on with my cell phone camera. It happens to be the only camera I have right now. Obviously, I am not that good at self-portraits with my cell phone. Maybe I should practice more. Or maybe I should just buy a new camera. We could call it my 1yr. old's birthday present (which is next week-Ahhhh!!!). Anyone have a good point-and-shoot they could recommend? I was thinking about getting a Nikon 'cuz I have had bad luck with Canons. (But it might just be me.) Any thoughts?

If you'd like to join in, post your own Weird Picture Friday photo to your blog and link back to us. Then, leave a comment so all the Dupage Mamas can stop by your blog and have a laugh. Don't have a blog? No problem. E-mail us the picture and we'll feature it right here in an upcoming Weird Picture Friday post!

We would love to get some pictures from all of you. Please send us your own weird pictures. You know you got em'!!


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Enjoying Summer- Dupage Links for August 6th

The weekends of summer are quickly counting down. I don't know about you, but I feel like it took us so long to get into the swing of summer that now I want to cram as much fun in as I can before the weather turns cold again. And with all that is going on around us in the next few weeks, it seems I am not the only one trying to pack on the fun.

All night Garage Sale- Friday August 7th 9am through Saturday August 8th 4pm
Wheaton Drama Playhouse 111 N. Hale Street, Wheaton
Admission is free. Come see what treasures may await... at 1am!! :)

Veggie Fest 2009- Saturday August 8th 11 am - 8 pm and Sunday August 9th 11 am - 7 pm
Science of Spirituality Meditation Center, 4S 175 Naperville-Wheaton Road, Naperville
This free event features cooking demos, over 100 food vendors, and health talks by medical professionals... all centered around eating vegetarian and making healthy lifestyle choices. There will also be events and games for kids, live music and a food drive collecting non-perishable vegetarian foods to be donated to the People's Resource Center. I was perusing the video and comments about the event last year. It seems pretty cool. Are there any vegetarian DupageMamas out there that want to check this out and take some pictures to share?

Poochapalooza- Sunday, August 9th 1pm-4pm
Spring Avenue Dog Park, 185 Spring Avenue, Glen Ellyn
Fun for your whole family, including your canine friends. There will be pet vendors and demonstrations and a performance by the Purina Incredible Dog Team. The cost is $5 per pooch and you can register at I am for sure taking my Beagle down for some puppy-fun. If nothing else, maybe he'll learn something from the highly trained Purina dogs. It can't hurt to try.

Children's Flea Market
- Wednesday August 12th 10-11:30am
Geneva Public Library Youth Services Department
A place for kids to sell their unwanted toys and trinkets and browse other kids' unwanted treasures too. All items must sell for $1 or less. Visit for more info and to register. What a great idea!! Although, with my will-power I would leave with more toys than I came with.

League of Women Voters of Glen Ellyn's Annual Wine and Cheese Event
- Thursday August 13th 7pm
Hungry for some stimulating conversation and some free wine and cheese? This event is for you. The Glen Ellyn League of Women Voters is holding their annual new member's event. The focus of the evening is talking about ways you can get more involved in local and state politics and discussing current issues that affect us all. The event is free and open to the public but is held in a private home so send an e-mail to to find out the event details.

"Surviving the Recession" Workshops- Saturday August 15th 8:30am - 1:30pm
DuPage County Administration Building, 421 N. County Farm Road, Wheaton
Information about different programs in DuPage county that can help resolve issues regarding health care, employment, and food assistance. Also advice on how to avoid home foreclosure and stay afloat in these challenging financial times.

County Fair- Saturday August 29- Sunday August 30th
Kline Creek Farm County Farm Road Winfield
A recreation of an 1890's county fair, complete with a flea circus. :)

Also at Kline Creek Farm, don't forget their regular children's story hours and chore times for some classic summer fun.

Other great resources for Dupage summer fun:
Outdoor concerts, movies, and more at the Arboretum
A very extensive list of events around Dupage County courtesy of the DupageConvention and Visitors' Bureau

Wanna take your kids to a ballgame but don't want to drive? Check out the Pace Bus routes to Wrigley and U.S. Cellular Field.

And as always, be sure to check with your loal park district to see what summer fun they have planned for the next few weeks. Then just get out there are enjoy the last few weeks of summer with your family and your community!


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Organic...or not?

No sooner did I write this post about when to buy organic foods than I heard the shocking news: Organic food might not be any healthier than conventionally grown foods.

Ok, so I wasn't shocked. This isn't the first time that the label "organic" has been called into question. Its become such a popular term that everyone is looking to slap "organic" or "natural" stickers on their products, often without really meeting the standards the consumer is hoping or expecting.

I have a lot of questions though. For instance, the study suggests that the nutritional content is not higher in organic food than in conventionally grown food. That makes sense to me. But what about benefits that come from not having exposure to pesticides? Was that studied as well?

I've never been converted to the full organic lifestyle, though I do try to make that choice when it is affordable, convenient, and seems important to me. But intuitively, food grown without chemicals seems better to our entire eco-system than food with chemicals.

I'm not the only one with questions - an entire industry has been put on edge by the news. I have a feeling we'll be seeing more studies in the near future.

In the meantime, Organic gardening is all the rage this year, studies or no studies. After Michelle Obama planted an organic garden at the White House with her own hands, there was literally a run on organic seeds and plants at Garden Centers all over the world. Even the Queen of England started a garden at Buckingham palace, for the first time since World War II.

Now, my friends and I planted an organic garden this year as well, even before Michelle put her's into the ground. Who's to say that the Queen wasn't equally influenced by my garden?

Yeah, I guess not.


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Lucky Find- Hot Spot Hot Dogs

Have you ever found a truly awesome place to eat or shop totally by accident? Whenever I find myself in that scenario, I always feel so proud of myself, like somehow my good taste helped me maneuver my way into a lucky find. When in actuality, it is just that. A lucky find.

After a recent trip to a very cool park with my boys and some good friends, we ventured out to find some lunch near by. One mom knew of a great little local sandwich shop, but when we got there we realized it had fallen victim to the poor economy and closed down. So, being in an area that none of us were all that familiar with, we were forced to go with what was in the same strip mall. Lucky for us, we stumbled into Hot Spot Hot Dogs.

Located in a strip mall near the Fountains of Carols Stream (near the corner of Gary Ave. and Leis Rd.), Hot Spot Hog Dogs is a small little eatery with big flavor. The unassuming exterior may lead you astray. But once inside, the food is great! Hot dogs, burgers, Italian beef, and tamales (yes, tamales!) are the mainstays of the minimal menu. We tasted a little of everything between those in our group. It was all fabulous. The extras are amazing too. The fries are unpeeled, home cut, and fried to be a little soft and perfectly salty. I got some pasta salad with the intention of feeding it to my 1yr. old and ended up eating most of it myself. It was de-lish!!!

The cool factor gets taken up a notch when you pick your beverage. You can certainly order the run-of-the-mill 12oz. soda in a can. But, they also have all kinds of old-school sodas in bottles cooled in big metal tubs. Orange Fanta, Root Beer, yummy sweet tea. HotSpot has dozens of different bottled drinks to quench your thirst and give you that little bit of nostalgic flare.

The prices are reasonable, probably because they haven't invested too much in seating for their customers. The only downside of my new favorite lunch spot is their lack of table space. They only have two picnic tables and a few bar stool tables for those of us who like to eat-in. It seemed that most of the constant stream of customers had their food packaged to-go. But what they lack in atmosphere, they more than make up for in taste and friendly service. They do have a super cool metal representation of the Chicago skyline on the wall.

It is a lucky find, indeed. One I will be going back to again and again and telling all my friends about. It was that good. And I was that lucky to find it.

HotSpot Hot Dogs

1030 Fountain View Drive
Carol Stream, IL 60188

(630) 690-3644
Mon-Sat. 10:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Sun. 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.


Monday, August 3, 2009

Improving my diet, one BPA free meal at a time

This is the next post in our new series on Feeding our Family. If there is a specific idea or post topic you would like to read about as part of this series, e-mail us at dupagemamas(at)gmail(dot)com.

When it comes to feeding my family healthy-not-harmful food, I've long since decided that "perfect" isn't going to be my goal. Instead, I'm shooting for marks like "improvement" or "better." When I shoot for perfection I realize it doesn't exist, so I fail and get discouraged and end up doing less. When I shoot for taking baby steps towards improving I succeed and get excited and end up making real progress.

So, I'm always looking for rules of thumb or tips I can follow. I recently came across the three tips that EWG suggests for feeding your family. They suggest you limit your exposure to foods with pesticides, foods with BPA, and foods with growth hormones.

Ok, that sounds about right. But how?

Avoiding pesticides typically means buying organic, which I find is often easier said than done. The single most helpful "hint" I've found is this document, which lists the "Dirty Dozen" - the 12 items of produce that carry the most harmful pesticide residue - and the "Clean 15". So if you can only afford to buy some organic foods, this list will help you know what to prioritize and when its ok to buy conventionally grown foods.

Then there's the little matter of BPA. The main place where this nasty chemical will show up in our diet is in certain kinds of plastics and basically all canned products. The way to avoid it is to be sure that the plastics you use for storing water and food are BPA free. The worst plastic for BPA is the kind with a #7 recycle label, while those with a #1, 2, 4, or 5 do not have BPA. As for canned goods, by fresh or frozen instead of canned whenever possible. That goes for veggies, fruit, soup, pasta, beans...if it comes in a can, it has BPA.

As for growth hormones? These may be showing up in your non-organic meat and dairy, but cannot be used in meat and dairy that is labelled as organic. I personally haven't made this leap yet, and its a costly one.

So here are the rules of thumb for healthier eating:
  • buy organic produce, at least when shopping for "the Dirty Dozen"
  • avoid using #7 plastics for food or water and stick to #1, 2, 4, or 5
  • avoid canned goods when possible
  • consider buying organic meat and dairy
This isn't going to make my family's diet perfect, and I won't be following this perfectly either. But these tips have helped me improve our diet. One step at a time.

Do you have any rules of thumb or quick tips for improving your family's diet? Please share! You can leave them here in the comments or, better yet, write your own musings on feeding your family and we will post it as part of our series.


Friday, July 31, 2009

Weird Picture Friday- Photo Booth Fun

Cath and I went to a swanky party last weekend for Chicago Moms Blog. They had this fun photo booth for the guests and we decided to take full advantage. It was so fun to get dressed up and go downtown for a little solo-fun. As much as I love my babies and even love having them in the sling, I do love to have some time when I am my own person with no little person hanging on me. We had some good conversation, good laughs, and good cocktails. It doesn't get much better than that!

If you'd like to join in, post your own Weird Picture Friday photo to your blog and link back to us. Then, leave a comment so all the Dupage Mamas can stop by your blog and have a laugh. Don't have a blog? No problem. E-mail us the picture and we'll feature it right here in an upcoming Weird Picture Friday post!

We would love to get some pictures from all of you. Please send us your own weird pictures. You know you got em'!!


FEEDJIT Live Traffic Feed

  © Blogger templates Psi by 2008

Back to TOP