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Marlena Renner

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Marlena is mom to 6-year-old Joshua and has been married to her husband, Andy, for 10 years. They reside in Alton, Illinois where he is the head athletic trainer for Alton High School. Her parents both grew up in Kirkwood, and even though she spent most of her childhood in Montgomery City, MO, she had a feeling she would end up in St. Louis someday. She worked in minor league baseball after college, eventually landing for a season with the River City Rascals. She worked for the St. Louis Blues, Stifel Theatre, and Enterprise Center for 13 years before the pandemic stopped so many things. Today she is the email specialist for Caleres, which means shoes … all the shoes.
A mom and her toddler son in front of the Lincoln / Douglas debate memorial in Alton, IL

Alton: A Food Tour to Savor

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Dining out in Alton, IL just got easier, thanks to these recommendations!   It started as a simple question, “Where can you eat in Alton?” And as I started rattling off my list of favorite things...

Spina Bifida Awareness Month: Meet Katelyn

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October is Spina Bifida Awareness month.      "Can I ask why you're in a wheelchair?"   It's a pretty simple question and one that I should have asked years ago.   I met Carrie Carpunky and her daughter Katelyn seven...
Josh and I found books about turtles at the Kidzeum in Springfield, IL.

National Read a Book Day: It’s Not Just for Bedtime!

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        Happy National Read a Book Day! This is quite possibly one of my favorite unofficial holidays on the calendar. Full disclosure: almost every day is read-a-book day for me.   I do not know when my...
a road map of Omaha, Nebraska

Omaha: One Last Road Trip This Summer

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Looking for a road trip destination? Check out Omaha!       Another month, another conference for my husband, Andy. This time we found ourselves in Omaha, Nebraska. We hope you find our list of activities helpful if...
Josh and I posed in the spot in front of the Lincoln home that has been the most photographed.

Exploring the Capitol of Lincolnland

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Learn about Lincoln and have some family fun in Springfield, IL!     My husband Andy and I have a common theme on vacations: find Abraham Lincoln. From Independence Day fireworks at the Lincoln Memorial in D.C....
Josh and I showing off our final Hedwig owls made out of our robe pieces.

International Harry Potter Day: Our Wizarding World Weekend … At Home

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May 2 is International Harry Potter Day!     Sometimes we have the best of plans, and then something happens. In this case, the plan was Harry Potter day at the library. The something that happened was...
Pile of J.R. Liggett's shampoo bars

Seven Ways to a Mother Earth Approved Bathroom

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Have you ever noticed how much plastic is in your bathroom? From shampoo and conditioner bottles to soaps and face care products, plastic is everywhere! I have been changing what we buy and use,...
A collection of 50 books read by our book club.

Take a Look, in a Book … Club

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"How did you start your book club?”   When I started a book club 10 years ago, I never thought I would be asked that question. I also didn’t think we would still be gathering every...
leaves on a tree blowing in the wind

My Corona Lessons

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Almost two years ago, I was texting with my cousin (who is a doctor), asking her if this coronavirus thing was really worth canceling events. Looking back, I feel completely ridiculous even having asked...
Produce in vegetable bags, with UnPaper Towels, fruit huggers and a bowl with a silicone cover.

Small Steps to a Sustainable Kitchen

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How sustainable is YOUR kitchen?   For my resolution last year, I decided I would make a conscious effort to try and reduce some of our waste and plastics. My goal was to replace one thing...