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Does your family love apple picking, cornfield mazes, hayrack rides and all things pumpkin? Well, then this guide is for you! Here’s a list of special seasonal activities and festivals related to autumn, harvest, pumpkins and Halloween. We’ll have info on costume parades, Halloween storytimes and trick-or-treating events next month. And if you’re interested in apple picking, we’ll be updating our specific guide for that, too.

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Vibrant colors coupled with cooler temperatures make fall the most popular season for family portraits in the Chicago area. But when you have young kids, it’s easy to stress about everything that could go wrong during your family photo session – toddler meltdowns, crabby babies, uncooperative kiddos… to name a few.

Western suburbs photographers (and moms) Lauren Enright Photography, Cheryl Lynn Milan of Cheryllynn Photography and Leslie Campins of Tiny Bubbles Photography are here to help. Use their pro tips to ensure a great photo session and check out their top spots for gorgeous family photos in the western suburbs.

7 Tips for a Fabulous Family Photo Session

1. Stick to your routine.

For a smooth session with a professional photographer, it’s important for kids, especially young ones, to stay on their normal schedule, says Milan. That means getting a good night’s sleep, eating regular...

8 great trails & paths to run with your stroller in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Spring has sprung and that means it’s time to break out the jogging stroller and take our workouts (and our kids) outside. These running paths and trails in the western suburbs of Chicago offer the perfect antidote to a long winter cooped up in the house. So grab your baby and your running buddy, and check out some of these options for stroller-friendly running in the western suburbs.

Read FIT4MOM's guest post on Go West, Young Mom.

8 tips and tricks for make-ahead freezer meals

Busy moms know how hard it is to get a healthy, home-cooked dinner on the table each night. Despite our best efforts and intentions, we often find ourselves reaching for a prepackaged meal or picking up the phone and calling for delivery. But there is another way. Make-ahead freezer meals save time and money and will help you stay on track with your healthy eating goals.

Not sure where to start when it comes to freezer meals? We talked to Cindy Bielik, owner of The Dinner Club in La Grange, who shared her secrets for successful freezer meals. Cindy would know. Her business takes all the guesswork out of planning, shopping for and assembling freezer meals. With The Dinner Club, you can choose 8-12 meals from their monthly menu, then sign up for a two-hour session where you’ll prepare your meals in their kitchen. (Bonus: You don't have to clean up.) And, if you’re too busy to visit The Dinner Club and prep the meals yourself, they can do it for you.

But if you’re ready to tackle the process at home, Cindy has given us her top...

8 tips for moms who want to fit fitness into their busy lives

As a mom, making a commitment to a regular fitness routine and healthier lifestyle is not easy. You’re already juggling multiple priorities, and adding another one can feel daunting, even impossible.

But while it takes some shifting—for you and your family—it is possible for moms to make their fitness goals a priority. In our Body Back program, moms who have a lot on their plates are finding ways to step up to the challenge, so we asked them how they do it. These tips come directly from our Body Back moms, who are all at different points in their fitness journeys and have made the commitment to themselves and their health.

Tips for Moms: How to Fit Fitness into Your Busy Life

1. Get support from your family.

Without the support of their families, most moms wouldn’t have the time or the energy to make their health and fitness a priority. Our moms have found that talking to their significant others before taking the plunge with a new fitness routine is critical. Be specific about the kind of support you need—whether it’s emotional support, a commitment to...

Get fit with your stroller!

When you become a mom, your daily routine gets complicated, to say the least. I remember thinking, “How hard could it be?” Or rather, I don’t remember thinking at all because the first six months of motherhood are pretty much a blur for me. Between feedings, diaper changes, swaddling, laundry and an influx of visitors, you’re exhausted.

Oh, and did we forget to mention sleep deprivation? Needless to say, your personal well-being comes in dead last on the priority list. But then you remember your pre-maternity clothes no longer fit, so you resolve to eat healthy and get some exercise. I’m tired just remembering that period in my life.

The good news is that you already have a fitness tool right under your nose – your stroller. Most moms get out daily with their strollers, but few realize that it can be a great workout. Increase your stroll into a power walk or light jog and you’ll get a cardio workout. Do exercises like stroller squats or lunges for your strength workout. You can even create your own gym outdoors, using benches and fences at your local park.


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