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Entries in spring (15)


Go West Guide to Mother's Day Crafts, Celebrations and Gifts

Mother’s Day is on Sunday. What are you making yourself for breakfast in bed? Hee! Hee!

Photo by Carolyn_Sewell on Flickr.There are a number of special events tied to mamas this week, so we thought we’d make it easy for your family by putting them all in one place. Some of these are opportunities for your children to make or buy unique gifts for the special moms, aunts, grandmothers, etc. in their lives.  In other words, you might want to leave your web browser open to this page so your spouse can see it!

If you know of an event that should be included here, please note it in the comments section or let us know by email to editor@gowestyoungmom.com. We’ll update this guide – which is in chronological order -- all week.

Art for Mom: Water Street Studios in Batavia is hosting a unique event called the “Mothers Day Drive Thru” to help you purchase a favorite piece of art for a special mom. Items can be purchased at the studio on Wednesday and Thursday from noon to 5 p.m., with the cost of items dropping throughout the week, along with the range of artwork available. The cost per bag will be $40 on Saturday -- the final day -- from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Crafty Gifts: Michaels Craft Stores in Geneva, Oswego and North Aurora are holding several “Make-It Take-It” events this week tied to Mothers Day. On Wednesday, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., kids ages 3 and up can make mom a handcrafted frame. On Friday, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., kids ages 3 and up can make a clay pot jewelry holder with the purchase of the clay pot.

1890s Mamas: Starting Friday through Sunday, Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago will be holding a “Moms Weekend” with a focus on the role moms played in the 1890s. This is a free event.

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Easy Craft: Let's Bring Back May Day Baskets!

We have a rare Saturday post today, and it’s an idea for an easy craft from my friend Maegen, the creator of Sounds Fun Mom. Her site is an awesome resource for young families in the “Sound Sound” area of the Seattle suburbs – if you have any friends out there, please pass the word!

When I was a little girl, my sister and I loved to celebrate May 1st by making paper cones and filling them with flower bouquets for our neighbors. Part of the fun was making them, and part of the fun was getting to ring the doorbell and run!

Photo by Alyssssyla on Flickr.I’ve discovered that most people in the Seattle area don’t have this tradition. Maybe my mom brought it from the Midwest, or maybe it’s just fading away because the stores haven’t figured out how to market it. Either way, I say: Let’s bring back May Day! It’s such a simple craft and such a sweet way to mark spring.

To be official, you’ll want to wait until Sunday, but round up the supplies now (you probably have most around the house). And, I suppose this goes without saying, but if you’re going to do the doorbell and run method, choose a friendly neighbor!

We make ours like this one from Kaboose. It’s basically a decorated paper plate shaped into a cone and stapled. You’ll want to get some ribbon to make a little handle for the door. The cheap, flimsy plates actually work best, and in a pinch, construction paper will work, too. Then fill it with some lovely flowers and find a neighbor to give it to! Of course, if you want to channel your inner Martha and pretty it up, feel free.


Five Great ... Warm Weather Destinations

One of the great things about living in the Midwest is that we get to experience four seasons. I even like winter, mostly because I love sweaters and also because it makes me appreciate the other three seasons more.

Near Cancun. Photo by perisho on Flickr.But enough with this rainy, cold spring we’re having! On Friday, I felt absolutely chilled to the bone -- and I was inside my house! That started me dreaming about places I’ve vacationed where the temperature rarely dips below 50 degrees. I hope you’ll share some of your favorite warm weather destinations, too. The images will give us strength!

* Hawaii: It wasn’t a “babymoon,” but this was my husband and my last big vacation before we became parents. Absolutely paradise. And we only saw Oahu, the most developed of the islands (home to Honolulu). Next time, I’d love to stay on Maui or one of the other islands. Just a warning: I probably won't come home. 

* San Diego: Whenever we have a sunny, lovely 70-degree day, I think, “This is what it’s like nearly everyday in San Diego.” I wonder if that would get boring? Nah.

* Hilton Head, South Carolina: Liked it so much we kind of considered moving there – until we realized we had no idea how we’d support ourselves. I’d probably be quite a golfer by now if we had relocated, though!

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Weekend Spotlight: Last-Minute Easter Events

The weather last Saturday was just yucky. Unfortunately, that was when a huge number of Easter egg rolls and hunts were scheduled. So the “Weekend Spotlight” falls today on a few last-minute ways to squeeze in some time with the Easter bunny before dressing in your Easter bonnet – with all the frills upon it – for Sunday.

Photo by Big D2112 on Flickr.* The Easter Bunny will be visiting with families on Saturday at Aurora’s Phillips Park in the Visitor Center from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. It’s a free event – bring your cameras!

* The city of Elgin is hosting its free Easter egg hunt on Saturday at 11:15 a.m at the corner of Grove and Kimball. Beforehand at 10 a.m or afterward at 11:30 a.m., you can catch a free performance of “Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing” in the Hemmens Cultural Center.

* The Waterman & Western Railroad is offering free train rides with the Easter bunny on Saturday from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Waterman. If you are wondering what this model railroad is all about, check out this Go West Easy Outing from the fall.

* Cantigny in Wheaton will have its all-ages Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday at 11 a.m., although activities will kick off at 10:30 a.m. at the McCormick Museum, where you can take your photo with the Easter Bunny, make an Easter craft and enjoy balloon twisting. Activities are free, but the parking fee is $5 per car.

* Heritage Prairie Farm in La Fox is hosting its first annual Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon, with the free egg hunt starting at 10 a.m. sharp! Howling Hounds Farm will have its baby bunnies and chicks visiting the farm for the day, too. Make sure to bring your own basket. There will be other craft activities, too.

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Five Great ... Spots to Find Unique Gifts for Easter Baskets

With Easter coming up on Sunday, it seems a perfect time to highlight five places to find gifts for Easter baskets beyond the typical chocolates from the drugstore.

Photo courtesy of Peaceful Parlour.* Peaceful Parlour in downtown Geneva sells beautiful, handmade Bolgatanga baskets from Ghana, West Africa. The baskets are made from a grass local to Ghana and help supplement farmers’ incomes. The shop also offers silks (dyed in Batavia) that you could substitute in a basket in place of plastic grass, as well as eco-friendly egg decorating kits. A makeup-loving teen would appreciate the store's recycled pewter compacts, made in the USA and decorated with fun sayings.

* Graham’s Fine Chocolates & Ice Cream in downtown Geneva and downtown Wheaton carries a chocolate bunny carrying an umbrella, a chocolate bunny carrying a basket, two chocolate bunnies riding a motorcycle. What? Oh nevermind. It’s all delicious Graham’s chocolate. The shop also offers jelly bean "carrots," chocolate suckers, Easter-decorated oreos, etc. I waited in line more than 20 minutes to buy chocolates here a couple days before Christmas, so I’d recommend stopping by early in the week.

* If you’re trying to cut down on the sugary treats, how about a book in the Easter basket? Maybe “The Velveteen Rabbit” or a collection of Beatrix Potter stories? Town House Books & Cafe in St. Charles and Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville are always great choices if you’re looking to support an independent bookshop.


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