And the Oscar Goes to…

Oscar statue

If you want to win your Oscar betting pool, now's the time to place holds on the nominated films. On Sunday, March 2, the 86th Annual Academy Awards will be handed out to Hollywood's shining stars. Captain Phillips is nominated for six awards including Best Picture. So I should probably see it. Tom Hanks plays the real-life captain who battled Somali pirates. Modern-day pirates? I'm in. […]

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Home Workouts That Work

Source: Aasimovic, Wikimedia Commons

You're determined to keep your 2014 resolution to make it to the gym five times a week. But your car is still stuck under a pile of frozen snow from two weeks ago. So get some cardio: Walk to your local library and pick up a workout DVD. The best DVD I've found is Jillian Michaels' Ripped […]

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Crochet Something Cozy

crocheted stitches

We've survived the worst of Chiberia this week, but we've got a long way to go until spring. Why not crochet a scarf to keep yourself warm and alleviate cabin fever? I may be in the minority, but I find crocheting easier than knitting. But if you need a primer, Debbie Stoller's The Happy Hooker offers the […]

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Sort Stuff Out in 2014

I'm determined to organize all areas of my life in the new year. But if Unclutter your Life in One Week sounds too intimidating, perhaps the One Year to An Organized Life series will prove more realistic. Author Regina Leeds offers books to clean up finances, work life and most relevant to me, life with a baby. Since […]

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Olympic-Sized Moments

Ice skaters legs and feet, and their shadows

It's almost time to ponder the mysteries of curling and the difference between a triple toe loop and a triple salchow. The Winter Olympics in Sochi begin February 7, and I will be glued to my flatscreen to catch every possible moment of hockey, figure skating, luge and bobsled. Of the memorable moments in recent Winter Olympics history, […]

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Bing-le Bells

After seeing White Christmas at the Music Box's Annual Christmas Show this weekend with my family, I remembered how much Bing Crosby's holiday songs warm my heart this time of year. Of course the title song is great, but my favorite Bing Crosby song is his version of "Jingle Bells" performed with the Andrews Sisters. I challenge anyone to stay […]

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The Story Behind “The Coreys”

I shyly asked my coworker to check out the book for me, avoiding eye contact. (Whenever I'm reading something I consider "trashy," I'm afraid my fellow librarians will judge me.) But her face brightened and she said, "You'll have to let me know how this is. I was a Coreys fanatic too!" Yes, I am reading Coreyography by […]

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Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Like any lifelong Chicago resident and child of the ’80s, I will watch any John Hughes film they show on cable, no matter how many times I've seen it before. But Planes, Trains and Automobiles holds a special place in my heart. Every Thanksgiving my family sits down to watch it after we've stuffed ourselves with traditional […]

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Parenting Books: The Good, the Bad and the Hilarious

Photo by Michael Boyd

A year ago, I started my uncertain journey into motherhood by reading the classics, What to Expect When You're Expecting and What to Expect the First Year. When my son was an infant, I found some tips on sleeping and eating patterns from On Becoming Babywise and The Happiest Baby on the Block helpful. But I quickly realized that my kid […]

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Audiobooks for the Busy Reader

One of my fears about becoming a mom last year was that I wouldn't have time to read. As a lifelong bookworm, I couldn't imagine my world without intelligent chick lit, celebrity biographies and historical fiction. Every day I gazed longingly at the piles of unread magazines and growing stacks of overdue library books on the kitchen […]

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