Quick trip to Chicago

This past weekend we decided to make the trek into the Windy City with another family to attend a June & January event at The Land of Nod.

We loaded up the car and got outta dodge early Saturday morning and I will admit, it was an aggressive timeline with two young children. We arrived around one o’clock and hit the ground running with a trip to the city’s completely FREE zoo in Lincoln Park.

Chicago201701Chicago201702After letting the kids run around for a bit we ventured down to our hotel. After having spent seven years living in Chicago, I forgot how crazy downtown can be. We valeted the cars and unloaded our gear into shoebox size rooms – a little hotel bed jumping may have happened…Chicago201704Chicago201705After we unpacked ALL THE THINGS (traveling with children is no joke) we hit the streets. And again were reminded how traveling with young children in a busy city is very difficult. Especially when your child (I’m looking at you Ev) is a bit of a runner.Chicago201706We made a stop into Eataly just down the street from our hotel to browse. Again, amazing store but not exactly toddler/baby friendly. Marcus and I joke later on that night that we both could have stayed in that store all day just eating and drinking.Chicago201707
After quite a rough night (Everett fell out of the bed and kicked me in the back more times than I can remember), the boys sported their skeleton jammies down at the free breakfast. Nothing like scarfin’ down some free food before the rest of the world is up…Chicago201708Chicago201709After getting ready, we headed to the event and I have to say, even though Everett didn’t want to fully cooperate with me – mask issues, no hat or tie) I’d say he still looked pretty darn cute. If it wasn’t obvious (HA) he was supposed to be Hamburglar and Fitzie was the cutest little cheeseburger ever. Our friends’ daughters dressed up like Minnie Mouse.Chicago201712Chicago201710The photo above is of the aforementioned ‘runner’ comment. Doesn’t matter if he is indoors or outdoors…

Guys, how amazing is this little costume?! My mom is a magician and whipped this up for me. Ugh, she’s the absolute best!Chicago201713After the event we were thoroughly exhausted, so we hightailed it out of the city and decided to stop in Naperville for lunch. I did a quick Google search for local restaurants and happened to find Two Brothers Brewery. The adults had a much needed craft brew while the kids enjoyed using forks to pick up crayons. The food was top notch too!

Chicago201711After lunch, we hopped back into our cars to drive home and complete our crazy, less than 48 hours, round-trip. And obviously we couldn’t drive past the world’s largest truck stop without a leg-stretch session…Chicago201715Chicago201716

All in all, we are still tired (and it’s Wednesday) but had a good time. But there is good chance we won’t be heading back into the city for a few years with the boys in tow.

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Little looks: Halloween jammies 2017

With less than a month to go, it was high time I bust out my Halloween jammie round-up for the year. The boys have been sporting their matching skeleton one-piece pajamas for over a month now (eek!) and it’s pretty much the cutest thing ever!

I may or may not already have their Christmas jammies (well, one pair) already locked in 😉 #sorrynotsorry


1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9

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Friday faves


[love getting these videos from grandma]

We are less than 100 days away from Christmas (it’s technically 85!) and I’m already thinking about those hard to buy for people. You know the type. Well, I’m here to tell you that those people would love to have a framed photo to treasure from Framebridge. And you’re in luck because if you order before December 15, you can use the code tomorrowstodos15 for 15% off your first order!

I recently came across The Home Edit and my type-A, organized self about lost her damn mind. Seriously, this is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. A clear, organized pantry + fridge? #goals

This genius product was popping up on my Facebook news feed everywhere this past week and it combines two of my favorite things: counting down to Christmas + wine. Now, if only it would come stateside.

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Mo’s fall faves 2017

You know I love when I can hand the reigns of the blog over to someone else for a change. And there is no one more willing to help a sista (literally) out annually than who my boys lovingly refer to as Momo.

Take it away Morgan.

Starbucks has released their fall cups, the temperatures are starting to drop, and I’m more than ready for crockpot recipes & fresh baked goodies on a Sunday morning. I didn’t move into my Beaverdale Brick until March so I’m excited to see what colors my leaves turn and plan on making a few updates to the exterior now that I won’t melt the second I step outside. Fall FTW.


Something you want…

  • Cute workout gear. Luckily, Target is there for me, per usual. JoyLab – Where Fashion Meets Function – is headed to my second home on 10.1.17. Can’t wait!

Something you need….

  • A girls weekend away. Luckily, my two best friends & I are headed west to San Francisco for a long weekend at the beginning of November. A little sightseeing, a lot of wine, and (I’m sure) a little shopping are in the cards.

Something to wear…

  • A sweatshirt that makes me HAPPY. I popped into H&M while in D.C. last week and was immediately drawn to this yellow beauty (similar). I have a feeling it’ll get me through the dark, dreary days of winter that aren’t too far away.

Something to read…


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3rd Annual Branstad Fall Festival

I’m exhausted from a weekend of fest-ing hard!

We hosted our third (hard to believe that!) fall fest this past Saturday out at the house, and whew, it was a hot one! Mother Nature did not get the memo and served up a whopping 90+ degree day – not exactly how I envisioned our FALL festival going, but we rolled with it.

Kids and beverages were a-plenty and I know our friends and family made some pretty great memories – as did our boys!


How do you kick off the new season? Perhaps a visit to a local pumpkin patch is in your very near future? I’d love to hear how you celebrate fall in the comments!

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Hello Fall printable

Happy first day of fall!

Confession: I already put up my fall/Halloween decorations….like a couple weeks ago.

And you know what, I don’t even give a rip because I get to enjoy them longer. My husband thought I was crazy, but Everett loves it! Just the other day he tried to load up a few jack-o-lanterns to take to grandma’s house so that she could have a little Halloween in her life (super early) too!

Living in a log home, our surroundings are perfect for the fall and all of its decor.


But anyone can pull together a simple fall scene buy bringing items from the outside in, including branches (faux, like these from Pottery Barn, if you don’t have real), pumpkins from a local farm, shed antlers (those we have plenty of!) or even a found object or two from the yard.


You can download the print below (just click on the image or link). It’s perfect for your favorite 5×7 frame! HELLO FALL!

HelloFall2017[download free printable]

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Crated with Love

Marcus has been out-of-town a lot late due to both work and hobby commitments. So after he came back from a week-long elk hunt in Colorado preceded by a weekend gator hunt in Louisiana, we needed a date night. STAT.

Only problem was that I was exhausted and didn’t really feel like getting ready and going anywhere, let alone jump through hoops to find childcare for the boys.

Enter Crated with Love.


Crated with Love was created to help you keep the best part of your relationships alive and thriving through love and laughter with creative, simple date ideas shipped right to our doorstep.


Unlike other subscription boxes, every item in each box has a designated purpose in building skills in your relationship. Crated with Love has one clear goal: to help build a community of couples while improving relationship skills through their date activities.


Marcus and I really enjoyed these two activities from our date night in a box. The first of which was fun to think back to our first date and when we first met, Mad Libs-style. After completing the questions and filling in the blanks, we reminisced about our earlier, pre-kids selves. We were so young!


I could definitely see us pulling out the Perfect Pairs deck of cards again! The reasoning for some of our ‘matches’ was quite comical.

All in all, it was a fun, easy way to take time to reconnect on a week night when a date outside the home just isn’t in the cards.

CratedwithLove2[date night in a night-gown = sexy]

This post was created in collaboration with Crated with Love.
Thank you for supporting the brands we love at Tomorrow’s To Do’s!

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