Author - Amanda Simkin

Simkin fall mini session 5

Amanda Simkin, a lifelong Chicagoan, created her blog ( to share how she celebrates motherhood in Chicago. She offers “insider’s guides” for both well-known and off-the-beaten-path family-friendly gems. Her fans include Red Tricycle Chicago and Chicago Parent Magazine.

Kid birthday party etiquette—for parents

Every party, big or small, has a pooper—don’t let it be you. What am I talking about specifically? Birthday party etiquette for parents. If you are in any local Facebook mom groups or have checked out the NPN forum, you will see that parents are making party fouls left and right that end with tears from both kids and adults. Here’s how to avoid kid birthday party blunders:


If you're throwing a party...

No one likes to be left out. So err on the side of caution and invite ever...

Posted on March 18, 2016 at 1:27 PM by Amanda Simkin

Potty training doesn't have to be a battle

Oh, potty training. It’s something you look forward to (hello, end of diapers!) but in reality it is like you are going to war. And the worst part? You are under the command of a temperamental toddler who couldn’t care less about your expensive furniture or about taking a break from playing to sit on a cold, hard toilet. But here’s the thing: You will get through it. How? By being flexible, investing in some great carpet cleaners (and a bottle of wine if need be) and maintaining a sense o...

Posted on February 13, 2016 at 9:42 AM by Amanda Simkin

How unplugging made me a happier parent

Photo credit


A few weeks ago while hanging out with my boys in their playroom, my four year old looked at me and said, “Mommy, I’m so glad you’re playing with us and not with your phone.” There it was, the punch in the gut that totally and utterly changed my social media habit.


You see, I’m a blogger, so social media is absolutely VITAL to my business. But here’s the thing. I wasn’t keeping my work life and home life separate—it creeped in every day through me checking my ...

Posted on January 18, 2016 at 9:59 AM by Amanda Simkin

Celebrating the holidays as an interfaith family

After we got engaged and heard an ongoing chorus of well wishes and congratulations, the first question came—then another and another, always from different people, typically those we had never expected. It was shocking. After all, the way we planned to raise our interfaith children, who didn’t even exist yet, was none of their business. But questions are inevitable when you have an interfaith family.

My husband was raised Jewish and I was brought up in a Catholic home, but to be perfe...

Posted on November 30, 2015 at 1:11 PM by Amanda Simkin