lifestyle

Dining alfresco

Looking for a special place to for a celebratory dinner al fresco? Here’s a rundown of area restaurants with outdoor seating. Note that while these restaurants cater to parties and groups, the outdoor seating may not accommodate the maximum party size as the indoor seating …

Sweet tooth

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You’d be hard-pressed to find an occasion that isn’t made better with cake. Birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, graduations, bar mitzvahs, major sporting events: all are celebrations deserving of cake. Even sad occasions — visitations, wakes, shivas — generally include baked sweets. Bakers across the North Shore …

It’s a family tradition: These three magical locations fill the holidays with lights and wonder

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Make sweet wintertime memories and spend quality time with family and friends by visiting one of these spectacular places. Morton Arboretum Located in Lisle, the Morton Arboretum is going out on a proverbial limb by hosting Illumination: Tree Lights at the Morton Arboretum for the …

From bored to board: Explore the Seven Wonders

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Seven Wonders is a Resource-Collection game where players try to accrue the most points using a number of different strategies. Each player has a board named after one of the Seven Wonders of the World that lends itself to a particular play style. The game …

From bored to board: Dig up Settlers of Catan for your next game night

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Usually, when I tell people I am spending the evening playing board games, they say: "You mean Settlers of Catan?" First published in 1995, of all the Euro Games one is likely to encounter Catan is certainly the most common. Gameplay revolves around Resource Management. …

THEATRE REVIEW: This is not your country’s war

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A poignant review of the play This Is War, which is being shown at the Signal Ensemble Theatre in Chicago

Home project? There’s an app for that

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Whether you’re renovating your entire home or painting an autumn accent wall, the days of hauling heavy fabric sample binders and garlands of paint chips are long gone. The scores of smartphone and tablet tools designers, architects and homeowners now have at the tips of …

How to spring life back into your home

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With winter almost behind us, everyone’s minds have turned to spring and warmer months. Suddenly, our homes look like us: dull and gray from enduring a long winter. Chunky knit blankets now seems too heavy, paint colors from years before looks drab, and remnants from …

Sprightly spring container gardens

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Whether you have lots of space or barely any at all, container gardens can spice up the inside or outside of your home. Use container gardens to decorate the front stoop, to provide a dynamic backyard spot for entertaining, to beautify the facade of your …

How does your garden grow

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When selecting your plants, make sure that they all have the same light and water necessities. Pansies and violas are traditional favorites due to their bright colors, hardiness and reliability. Whereas many spring flowers are delicate and in need of covering when frost is on …

The Big Clean

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Spring cleaning includes getting rid of dirt and grime on surfaces as well as getting rid of bigger pieces such as clothing and furniture. For both, we’ve tapped two local experts for their advice. If you’re getting ready to hose down the kitchen, consider paring …

Cleaning tips from the experts

As you start assessing your spring-cleaning plan, you may consider a professional service for long-neglected or larger tasks. However, for manageable projects that anyone in the family can do, here are a few tips from local cleaning experts. Violet Cleaning Service in Barrington recommended the …

Flaunt your family’s story through eclectic modern design

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Eclectic modern: a worn, lived-in look that gets better with age, knowledge and wisdom. It is a storyboard created through your home; it is a display of personal objects, gathered over time, that tells your family’s story. The items might make you laugh, smile, remember …

8 small tweaks that create a big impact in your home

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On the occasions when you want to update your living spaces, sometimes you can’t bring yourself to paint an entire room or buy new furniture. So, what do you do when you want a change, but you have little time or commitment issues? Here are …

How to plan for unexpected company

You may have been in a situation where a friend/relative/long-lost roommate decides to pop over for a visit. This is fine when your house is clean; but, of course, it never works that way. After hanging up the phone, you may see dirty dishes, scattered …

Turn your clutter into cash: April 28 at the Oak Park Library

Life gets cluttered for most of us. Each day, our homes accumulate more stuff. Whether it’s paper, clothing, furniture, decor, equipment or even food, clutter makes its way into our life. However, it rarely seems to leave. Carolyn Miller, professional organizer and owner of Mind …

Chicago Fashion Engage: Summer 2013

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What is Fresh Fashion and what do the words "Made in Chicago" mean to you? When was the last time you bought local from a designer or artist? Knowing whose making a difference in the community is what Chicago Fashion Engage is all about. With …

Not your average mother; not your average gift

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Flowers, perfume and jewelry are fine for some moms, but not yours. Your mom is exceptional — brilliant even — and she deserves a gift that reflects your adulation for her and something that she wants most of all: time spent with you. Here are …

All Hail Kale: Chefs, health gurus praise the superfood

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Kale is the new bacon. Think that’s going too far? Kale chips, kale salad, braised kale, fried kale, kale and eggs, pickled kale, kale soup, kale pizza, kale pasta, kale pie, kale pancakes, kale juice, kale smoothies, kale cocktails, kale ice cream and kale everything else are showing up on menus all over town.

Hardcore Pawn: Chicago keeps it real on truTV

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Last week, the second installation of the hit television show, Hardcore Pawn, which runs on the network truTV, broke out on the block with sky-high ratings. Some might say it has to do with the personality of the show's new pawn stars. Hardcore Pawn: Chicago …

Goodbye June serves up southern comfort

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Southern Rock has found its savior. More importantly: American Rock ‘n' Roll has gotten the kick in the pants it needs. It's all thanks to guitarists Tyler Baker and Brandon Qualkenbush, and vocalist Landon Milbourn, who together make up Goodbye June. CVR Music released the …

Wrap it up

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Make sure your gift stands out amid the sea of presents. Create festive artwork that will leave the recipient fantasizing about what lies beneath. “When gift wrapping, we recommend first dividing items by design, pattern or color to ensure that all packaging coordinates,” said Emily …

Keep your pet happy on Howl-O-Ween

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Halloween isn't just for kids. Pets are joining the festivities by dressing up in fabulous costumes. In addition to picking out a costume, pet parents should keep their pet's safety in mind as well. Here are some safety tips and costume ideas to help ensure …

For South Korean men, makeup a foundation for success

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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Cho Won-hyuk stands in front of his bedroom mirror and spreads dollops of yellow-brown makeup over his forehead, nose, chin and cheeks until his skin is flawless. Then he goes to work with a black pencil, highlighting his eyebrows until …

Cycling enthusiast Todd Rickets, part owner of Cubs, launches Wrigley Field Road Tour

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Todd Ricketts is known by most in Chicago as a member of the family that owns the Cubs, and as a member of the team's board. However, not everyone knows about his other passion: biking. It all started when he was a kid in Omaha. …

8 ways to work exercise into your work day

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People who have families, children and commitments other than work have a tough time finding time to exercise. Abide by these eight simple tips and get in a quick workout throughout the day while at work.