Discover the Hidden Gem of the Chicago Suburbs – Oak Brook Hills Resort

Disclosure: We were invited to attend the transformation reveal event and given a night stay. All opinions are our own, honest opinions. #hiddengemofthesuburbs #resortwithasoul #oakbrookhills

It’s time to check out the newly renovated Oak Brook Hills Resort in Oak Brook, IL.

We were invited to attend the transformation reveal event at the Oak Brook Hills Resort and really enjoyed the renovations they have made.


They have rooms to accommodate families, business travelers, guests for special events, just about a room for any occasion!

Standard king room

Presidential Suite


The amenities are also fabulous and include:

Fitness Center

Outdoor and indoor pools

Executive lounge for Gold and Diamond Hilton Honors members

Golf course


If you are planning a special event, like a wedding, anniversary, birthday, etc., you will love their ballroom:

They also have special events throughout the year. We were treated by a performance from THE Dean Martin.

Join them on New Year’s Eve when the Rat Pack is back! Tickets are on sale here.

When you are at the Oak Brook Hills Resort, you will feel like you are walking the red carpet from the moment you walk in…


Trip Advisor

Tell us – which is your favorite about the Oak Brook Hills Resort and when are you planning your visit?

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclosure policy for more information.

Chicago and Suburbs Attractions

Chicago is a city filled with lots of fun things to do. Whether you grew up in the city or suburbs like us or plan to visit on your next vacation, check out our list – most of them are free or inexpensive!

Museums and Other Attractions:

– Aurora – Blackberry Farm – Illinois residents get free admission on Family Fun Days on May 10, May 24, June 7, June 21, July 6, and August 9.

– Aurora – Red Oak Nature Center – Admission is always free.

– Aurora – Sci-Tech Museum</a – Free admission for everyone on the first Friday of each month from 6 pm to 8 pm. Children 3 years old and younger are always free.

– Bensenville – Fischer Farm – Admission is always free.

– Chicago – Adler Planetarium – Illinois residents get complimentary general admission on June 5 to 9. Illinois teachers (pre-K through 12) and active military personnel receive free general admission which can be applied to any admission pass.

– Chicago – Art Institute of Chicago – Illinois residents get free general admission every Thursday from 5 pm to 8 pm. Admission is always free for children under 14. Admission is free for Chicago teens under the age of 18. Active-duty military and their families receive free admission to the museum from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Current Illinois educators, including pre-K–12 teachers, teaching artists working in schools, and homeschool parents.

– Chicago – Chicago Botanic Garden – Admission is always free.

– Chicago – Chicago Children’s Museum</a – Free admission for all visitors during Target Free Family Nights on Thursdays from 5 pm to 8 pm. Free admission for visitors 15 years old and under on the first Sunday of each month. Veterans and active military receive free admission every day. Teachers, police officers and firefighters receive a discounted admission price of $5.00.

– Chicago – Chicago History Museum – Illinois residents get free admission on July 4 and every Tuesday* from 12:30 to 7:30 pm (excluding December 19 and 26).

– Chicago – The DuSable Museum of African History – Illinois residents get free admission on Tuesdays. All Military Duty Personnel, all Branches, receive complimentary admission. Children under 5 years old are always free.

– Chicago – The Field Museum – Illinois residents receive complimentary basic admission on June 21, 22, and 23.

– Chicago – Garfield Park Conservatory – Admission is always free.

– Chicago – Millenium Park – Always free.

– Chicago – Museum of Contemporary Art – Admission is free for Illinois residents on Tuesdays year round. Admission is free for members of the military, police and fire departments and veterans.

– Chicago – Museum of Science and Industry – Illinois residents receive free admission from June 5 to 9, June 12, September 5 to 8, September 11 to 15, September 18 to 22, September 25 to 29, and October 2 to 5. Active duty military, Illinois POWs, Chicago firefighters, Chicago police officers and Illinois teachers (pre-K through 12th grade) receive free admission.

– Chicago – Navy Pier – Admission is always free. You just have to pay for the activities or meals there.

– Chicago – The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum – Thursdays are suggested donation days for Illinois Residents. Children under 3 years old are always free. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, active duty service members and their families can enjoy free admission.

– Chicago – Shedd Aquarium – Illinois residents receive free general admission or discounted upgraded admission on June 5, 6, 12, 13, August 28, 29, September 5, 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, 26, October 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 25, 26, 30, 31, and November 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21. Educators from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin can receive a complimentary Shedd Pass by registering online. Active-duty military personnel, Chicago police officers and firefighters receive a free Shedd Pass with proper ID. Guests who present a valid Bank of America/Merrill Lynch ATM, credit, or debit card, along with photo identification, will receive one free general admission on the first full weekend of every month: May 6-7, June 3-4, July 1-2, August 5-6, September 2-3, October 7-8, November 4-5, and December 2-3.

– Elmhurst – Elmhurst Historical Museum – Admission is always free.

– Glenview – Kohl’s Children’s Museum – Children under 3 are always free. Military receive buy one, get one free admission for their entire party.

– Glenview – Wagner Farm

– Libertyville – Lambs Farm

– Naperville – DuPage Children’s Museum – Free admission for children under 1 year old.

– Naperville – Naper Settlement – Free admission for children under 4 years old. Naperville residents get free admission with proof of residency. Active duty military personnel and their families are eligible for free admission to Naper Settlement between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

– Rockford – Discovery Center Museum – Free admission for children 1 year old and younger.

– Wheaton – Cantigny Park

– There are per car parking fees.

* Borrow the Museum Adventure Pass from a participating library and get free admission to select museums and attractions.


– Aurora – Movies in the Park – Paramount Theatre – Classic movies on Mondays for only $1 per ticket.

– Aurora – Movies in the Park – Phillips Park – Always free admission.

– Chicago – Movies in the Park – Always free admission.

– West Chicago – Cascade Drive-In – Children under 5 years old and pets are admitted free.

– Everywhere – Marcus Theatres – Two free passes to Kids Dream movies.

– Everywhere – Classic Cinemas – Wednesday Morning Movie Series.

– Everywhere – Regal Entertainment Group – Movies for only $1 per ticket.


– Everywhere – Kids Bowl Free – Sign up to receive 2 free bowling passes per day per child.

– Everywhere – Kids Skate Free – Sign up to receive 2 free roller skating passes per week per child.

– Chicago – Chicago Cubs

– Chicago – White Sox Kids Club – Sign up for a free 2017 Kids Club Slugger Membership and receive a voucher to get two free Upper Reserved game tickets to one of select White Sox game dates.

– Geneva – Kane County Cougars

– Schaumburg – Schaumburg Boomers – There is a Family Sunday Deal where you’ll receive 4 tickets, 4 hot dogs, and 4 sodas for only $44.

Water Parks:

– Aurora – Splash Country Water Park – Free admission for hildren under 2 years old. There are Twilight discount admissions.

– Des Plaines – Mystic Waters Family Aquatic Center – Free admission for children 2 years old and younger.

– Gurnee – Hurricane Harbor

– Gurnee – Key Lime Cove – There are many special packages, which include waterpark admission.

– Rockford – Magic Waters Waterpark – Free admission for children under 1 year old. Tuesdays all admissions are $12.

– Yorkville – Raging Waves – Free admission for children 2 years old and under.


– Aurora – Phillips Park – Always free admission.

– Brookfield – Brookfield Zoo – Free admission for children under 3 years old. Free admission for all active, reservist, and retired members of the military.

– Chicago – Lincoln Park Zoo – Always free admission.

– Wheaton – Cosley Zoo – Free admission for children 17 years old and younger. Free admission with a Wheaton Park District Universal Resident ID.

* We’ll continue to add more to this list as we find more events and attractions in the Chicago-area to help you have a wonderful vacation or staycation! Check back often for our updates. Leave a comment for us if you have any ideas on what to add to our list.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclosure policy for more information.

Meet Joey McIntyre in Chicago

Back in my high school years, there was a new boy band that emerged and took the world by storm. Their youngest member, Joey McIntyre, became a heartthrob and had many fans swooning at the sound of his voice and at the sight of him on many magazine covers. When my husband and I started dating, our first song was “I’ll Be Loving You (Forever)” by New Kids on the Block.

Now, Joey McIntyre is back with a new show that will have you laughing.

About Return of the Mac:

A new comedy, Return of the Mac, stars New Kids On The Block’s Joey McIntyre as a version of himself alongside his real-life family. As he embarks on a hilarious quest to be taken seriously as a legit actor, Joey is thrown into the reluctant role of a talk-show host at a fledgling cable network called the Comfy Channel.

Where and When to Watch Return of the Mac:

Return of the Mac premieres Wednesday, April 12 at 8:30P/7:30c on Pop. Learn more about the series and find your channel at

Check out this clip:

Watch Chicagonista LIVE:

Tune in and watch the Chicagonista LIVE Show with Joey McIntyre on Wednesday, March 29 at 4 pm here.

Meet Joey McIntyre:

Here’s the coolest part – you can meet Joey McIntyre IN PERSON! He will be at Studio Xfinity in Chicago on Wednesday, March 29 from 5:30 pm to 7 pm, meeting and greeting fans. The event is first come, first served. Availability is subject to time limits. There is a limit of two autographs per person.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclosure policy for more information.

Congratulations to the Chicago Cubs – World Series Champions!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Chicago Cubs World Series Champions

Last night was a late night for many people, including us. It was a fantastic game 7 of the World Series and so awesome to see the Chicago Cubs win! Even though I’m not much of a sports person, I watched the World Series with my husband, kids, and friends because it brought me back to when my grandma would watch the Cubs play. You could feel how the city of Chicago (and most of the country) was really rooting for the Cubs to win and break the dreaded curse. It’s only fitting that my grandmothers were both born in 1908 (the last time the Chicago Cubs won a World Series) – I know they were partying it up in heaven celebrating the win. Kudos to both teams and their fans for showing respect for one another and showing others how to be gracious in victory and in defeat. The world needed to be able to hope and believe and this was a great way to bring people together.

If you’re celebrating and want something to commemorate this very special event, check out the Cubs gear available:

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclosure policy for more information.

Hispanic Heritage Month – Parade, Activities & Coupons

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions expressed are my own.

Hispanic Heritage Month

About Hispanic Heritage Month:

It’s Hispanic Heritage Month! The observation of Hispanic Heritage started in 1968 with the creation of Hispanic Heritage Week. In 1988, it was expanded to a month long observation. Hispanic Heritage Month begins on September 15th and goes through October 15th. Mexico’s Independence Day is on September 16th. Hispanic Heritage Month also celebrates the independence of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, Chile and Belize.

Mexican Independence Day Parade:

In Chicago, there’s many ways to celebrate the rich Hispanic culture. The Mexican Independence Day Parade is this Sunday, September 11th, beginning at 11 am at 26th Street and Kostner Avenue, Chicago, IL 60623. According to the current forecasts, the weather should be great for a parade this weekend.

Activities and Coupons:

While you are out celebrating, make sure to find local coupons on If you are in the Chicago area, check your Valpak envelopes for more information about Hispanic Heritage Month. Throughout Hispanic Heritage Month, visit for activities, facts, music and more!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclosure policy for more information.

Road Trip Necessity: RavPower Chargers Up To 70% Off on

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

RavPower Pin

When we went on a road trip to Florida last month, which took about 24 hours, we wanted to make sure we were equipped with a cell phone charger that was portable, easy-to-use, can charge multiple devices and fully charge the devices before needing to be recharged itself. We decided to purchase a couple of theRAVPower 13400mAh Portable Chargers on after reading the reviews and when they were at a good price. It was one of the best purchases we’ve ever made! We are able to charge our smartphones and tablets with it from 0% to fully charged without the charger being completely drained. It also seems to charge a lot quicker than other chargers. We decided to get two – one to keep in the car in case of emergencies and one to take with us around Walt Disney World. It made our trip less stressful since we also used our phones as our main device to take photos. We never worried about running out of battery.

It’s on sale for 61% off on today with free 2-day shipping with Amazon Prime. It also makes great gifts! Other RavPower chargers are also on sale for up to 70%!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclosure policy for more information.

10 Reasons to Love Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa


#10 – Characters & Kids’ Activities

Beaches is a family resort and kids of all ages will feel welcome from the minute you get there. From Sesame Street characters appearing throughout the resort to XBOX consoles in select rooms to the variety of activities available throughout the resort, your kids will not be bored.

Beaches Characters

#9 – Red Lane Spa

As if the natural scenery weren’t enough to get you relaxed and rested, there’s also the Red Lane Spa at Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa. Get a manicure, pedicure, treatments and massages. They even have glow-in-the-dark nail polish for fun effects when the sun goes down!

Beaches Spa

#8 – Nightlife for Everyone

When you visit the different villages throughout the Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa, you’ll find there are plenty of things to do when the sun goes down. You’re able to get drinks from various restaurants and bars. One of my favorite nighttime activities is dancing at Club Liquid. There are times dedicated to teens and tweens, so they can also enjoy the nightlife scene. It’s also fun to make new friends while singing karaoke at The Cricketers Pub in the Italian Village.

Beaches Nightlife

#7 – Water, Water, Water

The beaches at Beaches are purely breathtaking. Besides sitting on the beach and taking in the view, there’s plenty to do in the water. There’s a kids’ camp, unlimited scuba diving, hydrobikes, snorkeling, kayaking, windsurfing, paddle boarding, swimming, optional island excursions and my favorite, the waterslides at the Pirates Island Waterpark!

#6 – Opportunity to Give Back

With the Sandals Foundation Pack for a Purpose program, you are able to make an impact when you visit Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa. Bring school supplies when you travel and give them to the front desk to be distributed to schools in the region. You may also get involved and give back while on vacation with the Reading Road Trip through Island Routes (find out more information here). You may also make a monetary donation through the Sandals Foundation to help schools in Turks & Caicos.

Beaches Giving Back

#5 – Happy Employees

The employees I encountered while visiting Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa were all friendly, knowledgeable and had smiles on their faces. The thing that really impressed me is when asking any of them for directions somewhere, they not only tell you how to get there, they will even walk you there.

Beaches Employees

#4 – Unlimited Food & Drinks

You will never go hungry during your stay. There are over 20 restaurants with a wide range of selection. I ate American, Japanese, Southwestern, British cuisine. You also never get thirsty during your stay. Your fridge is stocked with beverages, which are all included in your room cost.

Beaches Food

#3 – Gorgeous Rooms

The rooms also vary in size and view depending on the village. All of them have great amenities. My room in the Caribbean Village was fabulous.

Beaches Rooms

#2 – Beaches

You will want to bring your camera to take photos of the miles and miles of beautiful beaches in Turks & Caicos. Every view looks like it should be on a postcard. The water is so blue.


#1 – It’s All-Inclusive

My absolute favorite part about Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa is that it is all-inclusive. It was refreshing to not have to bring my wallet with me wherever I went since practically everything is included (including gratuities). It also made the experience even more enjoyable because I was able to try out activities and meals without having to worry about the cost. With a family, it makes the trip less stressful because you can accommodate the different tastes of those traveling with you. You can try out a new restaurant (or two) for every meal. You can make a quick stop somewhere to have a snack or drink without the added expense. Having so many activities included in the cost is also fantastic because it gives you the freedom to spend your vacation ON vacation!

I would highly recommend Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa for families, as well as for a girlfriends’ getaway. As the sign says below, I wish I could stay there forever!

Beaches Sign

Disclosure: I attended the Social Media on the Sand Conference, which was sponsored by Beaches Resorts. I paid a conference fee to attend. I was not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own, honest opinions.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclosure policy for more information.

Speak Like a Whale Day – June 11

#SpeakLikeAWhaleDay #FindingDory

Are you ready to speak like a whale today? Pixar Animation, Walt Disney Studios and Disney Parks declare June 11 “Speak Like a Whale Day.” As Kaitlin Olson, the voice of Destiny in Finding Dory says, “The secret to speaking whale is making the words as long and ridiculous as possible. That’s how all whales talk, right?” Watch her and Ty Burrell give tips on how to speak like a whale here:

You are encouraged to take part in Speak Like a Whale Day by speaking whale wherever you go, uploading videos of yourself and tagging #SpeakLikeAWhaleDay. You’ll also see programming related to Speak Like a Whale Day on Disney channels, including ABC, ESPN, Disney Channel, Radio Disney and Freeform.

    In addition:

– Guests of the theme parks at Disneyland Resort in California, Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disney Cruise Line ships will receive a complimentary button to celebrate the day, while supplies last.
– At the Downtown Disney District in Disneyland Resort and Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort, families can dive into undersea themed activities, including a live DJ, games and giveaways. Also throughout the day, young guests can attend “Whale Speak University” and give speaking the language a try.
-At the Seas with Nemo & Friends in Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort, guests can learn about the real-life counterparts of the characters from the film and see the in the massive 5.7 million gallon saltwater aquarium home. Experts from Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment Team will be on hand throughout the day to help guests find Dory and her friends and get a closer look at their world.
– Dory and some of her new friends from Disney-Pixar’s “Finding Dory” have joined Crush at the Turtle Talk with Crush attraction at Epcot and Disney California Adventure park. Guests can now meet Destiny, Bailey and Hank.
– Select theater chains will give away buttons during Speak Like a Whale Day, while supplies last. Participating chains include Goodrich Quality Theatres, Marcus Theatres, Megaplex Theatres and National Amusements.

Don’t forget to watch “Finding Dory” when it comes out on June 17. I watched the first 30 minutes of the movie at the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration last month and I can’t wait to see the rest of the movie! The movie is about Dory, who’s living happily in the reef with Nemo and Marlin. When Dory suddenly remembers that she has a family out there who may be looking for her, the trio takes off on a life-changing adventure across the ocean to California’s prestigious Marine Life Institute, a rehabilitation center and aquarium. Follow “Finding Dory” on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #FindingDory to find out more information!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclosure policy for more information.

Earn Free Lou Malnati’s Pizza with New Rewards App

Lou Malnati's App

Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria has a new free app that will help you earn rewards for even more Lou Malnati’s deliciousness! (If you’re from Chicago, you know how good it is!)

With this new program:
– There is no signup fee
– You earn 1 point for every $1 spent
– 250 points = $20 reward
– Rewards do not expire
– Redeem one reward per transaction
– Redeem rewards Monday-Thursday
– Earn points in the Lou Malnati’s app when you use your linked credit or debit card
– Manage your account in the Lou Malnati’s app or online
– PLUS, you’re able to order online right in the app!

If you were a member of Lou Malnati’s Deep Dish Dough program, any points you currently have on your Deep Dish Dough card will transfer over. Your rewards dollars will NOT transfer, and you will have until October 11, 2016 to redeem any rewards you currently have on the card before they expire. If you have a stockpile of rewards, be sure to use them before they’re gone!

Use your referral link to invite your friends to the new rewards program. You’ll earn 10% progress for each friend that makes their first purchase and once you hit 100% (10 friends), you’ll get $20 off your purchase Monday-Thursday. BONUS: Each friend you refer gets $5 off their purchase!

Sign Up Here

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclosure policy for more information.

Free Spring Movies at Goodrich Quality Theaters

Goodrich Quality Theaters

Take your family to the movies as part of your staycation. Here are the free movies for FMG members this spring for all ages on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 10 am. These are playing at Goodrich Quality Theaters.

3/4-3/6: Home
3/11-3/13: Goosebumps
3/18-3/20: Minions
3/25-3/27: Pan
4/1-4/3: Hotel Transylvania 2
4/8-4/10: Max
4/15-4/17: Ice Age: Continental Drift
4/22-4/24: Norm of the North
4/29-5/1: The Princess Bride (1987)

If you are not a member of their free Frequent Moviegoer Club (FMG), sign up here or at the movie theater! You’ll receive up to 6 free admissions for the shows above with your FMG card per show. Non-members will be charged $1.00 per ticket. Plus, you’ll receive points from your movie ticket and concession purchases towards rewards.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclosure policy for more information.