Quick Synopsis:  I am Amanda Simkin, a thirty something woman raising two rambunctious little boys in Chicagoland. While taking a break from teaching, it is my goal to explore my beautiful hometown through the eyes of my children, devouring the delicious sights, eats, and adventures in the most beautiful city in the world. But at the same time, I don’t want to lose myself and instead all that Chicagoland has to offer for busy moms like myself.

The Long Version:  Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved to tell stories.  Sad, funny, true, made-up…I loved them all.  Once I got a bit older, I started to write them down with dreams of one day being the author of my own shiny book on display at the library and bookstores that I loved.  Well, this blog is my baby step to achieving this lifetime goal of becoming a published writer.  Actually, since WordPress makes you hit a blue button clearly labeled “Publish,” I guess I technically AM a published writer.  Just with lots of room to grow.  I mean, look at my first blog post.  Only place to go is up, eh?

The other area where I have lots of room to grow?  Being a mom.  Like most families we have good and bad days, days when I question being a WAHM, and days when I can’t wait for them to wake up from their naps so we can tackle a new adventure together.  But the one thing I am sure of is my enduring love for these little men who make my life more full than I ever thought it could be.

And now that they are older, I love taking them to some of my favorite places that my parents used to take my sister and I when we were little.  So this blogging adventure is a way for me to combine my love of writing, my beloved Chicago, and parenting in a way that celebrates the great childhood memories my parents provided for me while creating new ones for my boys.

I will also include lots of tips for my fellow mamas who are just starting their parenting journey, since I was the one who took the plunge first in our group of friends, as well as for mamas all over the world (I absolutely LOVE that I have readers in other countries….hello, international friends!).  I also look forward to reading your comments and learning what you do to be a “rock star” mom.

And since there are so many mommy-blogs out there, here are a few things that I think make me unique, and in turn make my storytelling one of a kind…

*I am sarcastic.  Very sarcastic.  I am actually related to a very famous and sarcastic Ghostbuster, so it must have rubbed off on me.  I think this is what made my husband fall in love with me.  And no, the movie star was not invited to the wedding.

*Cooking is my stress relief, but I don’t cook like most people.  I hate following recipes and instead “eyeball” ingredients, all the while dancing to music, enjoying a glass of wine, and zooming cars all over the kitchen floor with my boys.

*I have watched someone I love lose a battle with cancer and it has given me great perspective in life.  The little things that used to bother me just plain don’t anymore.

*All I wanted for my birthday this year was to ship the boys off to Grandma’s house, eat Pizza Hut, and binge watch “Orange is the New Black” in the basement.  It was amazingly awesome.

*I can’t describe it, but I get a thrill each and every time I walk into a bookstore.  They just make me so darn happy.

*It drives me insane when people misquote/misinterpret Robert Frost’s most famous poem.  You English majors know exactly what I am talking about.

*It has taken awhile, but I am now at a point where I have weeded out the toxic people in my life and am surrounded by supportive friends who I would do just about anything for.

*When an elderly lady called my 9 month old son a girl at the grocery store (even though he was wearing all blue and playing with a football), I didn’t have the heart to correct her.  When she asked the baby’s name, I replied without skipping a beat, “Sarah.”

*I can make a song out of any situation.  It might not be a very good song, but it will have a melody and will undoubtedly make my boys smile.

*I have the most wonderful husband in the world.  Seriously.  I can’t believe he puts up with me and I am so incredibly thankful for him…even if he forgets to put his socks in the hamper on a daily basis.  Check out my Instagram page to see his work as Chicago’s best Instagram Husband.



Red Tricycle Chicago featured me as one of 11 Chicago Moms to Follow on Instagram,” Mommy Nearest loves my Instagram account, too, so don’t hesitate to check out what we are doing on Instagram! And if Chicago Parent Magazine thinks you should check out my blog, believe them. 😉

Don’t miss a post…follow me on Blog Lovin’.
Send me an e-mail!  queenofthelandoftwigsnberries@gmail.com


  1. Mary Hoell says

    Hi Amanda….I see you have your own blog now! Good idea…you have lots to share with all the mom’s in your area! Have fun with it and if you don’t mind, I’ll proofread your stuff now and then….you spelled thirty wrong. That’s all I found for the moment…Lol, haha and roflmao……;) Love, aunt Mary

  2. Katy says

    The Robert Frost drives me nuts too! Thank you for mentioning it! I am also an English major, and the lone female in the house– three boys, one amazing husband– and I wouldn’t trade it!

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