BP Valentin

BP Valentin is a Chicago-based freelance writer and humorist. Her column, The Plate Spinner Chronicles, appeared regularly in the Chicago Tribune from 2008 to 2012 and snagged her a runner-up spot in the Erma Bombeck Humor Contest. Barb writes feature stories for the Tribune Media Group and Mom.Me, a Berman Braun online publication. Between all of this and working a full-time day job, she still finds time to ramble at her award-winning blog, Platespinning 101.

Get Your Sunday Dinner On

When I was a kid, adhering to my family's Sunday routine was non-negotiable - Mass in the morning, dinner with the extended family in the evening.As much as I hated having to drag myself out of bed in the morning, then suffer through pinched cheeks and a seat at the "kiddie" table with my younger cousins, I'd give my left arm to be able to relive just one of those Sundays. Read on......more

Spin It Forward

Happy Friday, my plate-spinning peeps!For many of you out there, it's the last day of your work week and all you want to do is chill before tackling your lengthy weekend to-do list. Maybe your plans for the day include going out to lunch with your on-the-job buds or taking your kids to the movies tonight because they've been stuck inside all week....more
While it doesn't quite qualify as spontaneous, I spent my lunch hour with a group of amazing ...more

My Dog Ate My Blog

Okay, well, that's a lie. I don't even have a dog, but I had to come up with a really good reason for being away for so long, right? Loyal readers, you know I'm an exceptionally busy girl. Five boys, a full-time job, aging parents, a dark chocolate habit to fund, 8ks to run. These things all take time. Lots and lots of time. Oh, and did I mention I wrote another book? Read on......more

Stomach Flu and Mondays Really Get Me Down

It started yesterday morning when my second youngest, who is rarely sick, said he felt "weird." He then made a mad dash for the bathroom and spent the remainder of the day frequently visiting it....more

5 Reasons to Love this Long Winter

Apparently March has arrived. Huh.Looking out my window, everything as far as the eye can see is still covered with a thick layer of white stuff. And my foyer is a jumble of snow boots, hats and gloves. Don't even get me started on my banister. It's been stacked high with puffy parkas since November.This winter seems to be going on for-ever. (continued...)...more
I just found out the area I live in is supposed to have below average temperatures for the next ...more

A Thanksgiving Carol

It's hard to believe Thanksgiving is just a week away. But, then again, I'm not hosting this year. You'd think that would give me plenty of time to come up with a brand new Thanksgiving ditty for you, right?  (continued)...more

Aching for the Eighties

I miss the eighties. There. I said it....more

Sunday Night's a Beach

With the weekend nearly behind us and the new week looming, the tension in my house spikes right after dinner. It never fails. Right around 5pm every Sunday, my mood grows dim.Why, you ask?Well, that's when my kids start their mad scramble to (continued...)...more

Give Your To Do List a Rest

It's Saturday! A day off, right? Most plate spinners use Saturday to get an upper hand on their to do list. I know I do. But, in robbing ourselves of some much-needed down time, we're just begging for burn out. And who needs that?I know I don't. (continued...)...more

A Dear Blog Letter

Dear Plate Spinning 101 -I'm sorry it's taken me so long to write.I haven't come to make excuses. You deserve more than that.But, please, give me a chance to explain. Remember that new, full-time day job I told you about? The one downtown? That keeps me away from home for upwards of 12 hours a day?Well, I got wrapped up in it big time - meeting new people, starting new projects, learning new software (nothing as awesome as you, I swear), meeting tight deadlines......more