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BrenĂŠ Brown Where to Eat When You Shop The Grinch, Scrooge and Liza Minnelli

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MINGLE AT REBAR Christmas Dinner

Christmas Eve Sixteen promises a culinary adventure lead by Executive Chef Thomas Lents. Indulge in either a five or ten course hand crafted delectable tasting menu. 5:30pm – 10:00pm Five courses: $150, $225 with wine pairings Ten courses: $195, $295 with wine pairings

Christmas Day Brunch All of the joy and wonder of the holiday season will come to life during an all-day brunch at Sixteen. Guests will indulge in a buffet laden with everything from artisan breads to vegetables, deli carving stations and dessert delicacies. 10:30am – 3:30pm Adults: $135 Children under 8: $30

Festive traditions will come alive with hearty items and holiday spice. Executive Chef Thomas Lents and Executive Pastry Chef Patrick Fahy are sure to inspire the holiday spirit with this three or five course tasting menu. 6:00pm – 10:00pm Three courses: $150, $225 with wine pairings Five courses: $195, $295 with wine pairings

New Years Eve: Bubbles & Pearls Celebrate the new year with a culinary journey while enjoying the breathtaking views of the Chicago Skyline. 1st Seating: 5:30pm – 7:30pm Five course menu: $135, $185 with wine pairings 2nd Seating: 8:30pm – 10:00pm Ten course menu: $340, $480 with wine pairings

Ring in the new year in style at Rebar; featuring a festive & modern interpretation on the classic Broadway show Chicago.

New Year's Eve: Rebar 2013 & All That Jazz ROXY PACKAGE: $625 (4 people) 1 bottle Krug Rose paired with a sweet or savory food option Prime window seating

VELMA PACKAGE: $475 (4 people) 1 bottle Krug paired with a sweet or savory food option

STAY AT TRUMP HOTEL Get away for a night or weekend with one of Trump Chicago's holiday packages. Enjoy a relaxing getaway or experience the acclaimed shopping along Michigan Avenue. Guests may also take advantage of our in-town chauffeur driven Audi house cars.

Baby it's Cold Outside – rates from $465

Winter Family Getaway – rates from $750

Oh the weather is frightful! Escape the cold with this warming package. Included is a one night stay in a Deluxe guestroom, two Hot Toddy's or other warm cocktails, an American breakfast for two and two Trump robes to hold off the chill!

Trade the winter chills for thrills at Trump Chicago. Bring the family and experience a Winter Wonderland. Included is an overnight stay for four in a Deluxe Suite, Shop the mile Discount Certificates from The Shops at North Bridge, holiday cookies and milk at turn down, premium access to the Winter Wonderland at Navy Pier with indoor ice skating, Children 12 and under eat free in-room or in Sixteen when accompanied with an adult entrée, and VIP access to our in-town chauffeured Audi Q7.

To make reservations for any of these special celebrations, call 877.458.7867 or visit

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At Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, we are committed to helping each cancer patient blossom into a survivor. Our multidisciplinary teams provide individualized treatment through state-of-the-art diagnostic tools and clinical expertise. Find an Advocate physician at 1.800.3.ADVOCATE (1.800.323.8622) or visit Advocate-Aug12Digital.indd 2

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contents VOLUME 4, ISSUE 1




2012 Better Gifts


Festive Foodie Finds By Julie Chernoff

30 32

Glam Gifts for Her By Evangeline Politis

34 35

38 40

42 43

Goods for Gents By Evangeline Politis Tech Mama Gifts for Men By Kimberly Carroll



Girlfriend Gifts By Marjie Killeen







Travel Gadgets By Tate Gunnerson Get Gorgeous Gifts By Laura Hine Gifts for the Great Outdoors By Christy Coughlin Gifting the Kids By Kelly Konrad For Tweens By Kelly Konrad Totally Tech, Totally Hip By Kimberly Carroll


Nathaniel Perry COOKIES BY

Deerfields Bakery


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december 2012


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in every issue 12

editorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s letter


make it better column


you said it






recommended events


holiday highlights


theater guide


music by val


book list


give time, give things, give support


closing thoughts

Carrying forward the best of magazine

MISSION STATEMENT The mission of Make It Better is to be the most-trusted, easiestto-use community resource and magazine that helps you make your life, and the lives of others, better.

52 80 family



Daring to Be a Different Kind of Parent By Kelly Konrad


Washington D.C. in a Weekend By Kelly Konrad


Navigating Play Dates with Stayat-Home Dads By Melanie Kalmar

dining and entertainment

52 56


58 Make It Better North Shore (ISSN No. 2151-0431) is published 11 times per year by Make It Better LLC, 1150 Wilmette Ave., Suite J, Wilmette, IL 60091-2642. Phone: 847.256.4642. Copyright 2012 by Make It Better LLC. All rights reserved. Application to Mail at Periodicals Rates is pending at Wilmette, IL and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Make It Better, 1150 Wilmette Ave, Suite J, Wilmette, IL 60091-2642. Make It Better is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Copyright 2012 by Make It Better LLC. All rights reserved.

Transitioning the Tudor By Tate Gunnerson

a better you

64 66 72

80 82 84

Pucker Up! By Evangeline Politis 40 Easy Ways to Burn 100 Calories this Holiday Season By Christy Coughlin Shop Smart This Holiday Season By Meghan Streit

Belly Q Modern Asian BBQ By Julie Chernoff Where to Eat When You Shop By Julie Chernoff The Grinch, Scrooge and ... Liza Minnelli? By Kelly Konrad

Good Sex is Important in More Ways Than One By Marjie Killeen

make a difference

Winter Fashion: Icy Hot By Evangeline Politis


Daytripper: Roscoe Village By Jenny Muslin


Better Makers and Their Impact Saving Lives Old Irving Park Community Clinic By Laura Tiebert

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on l i n e

Our better half is online

what’s hot on food & drink

4 Ways to Reinvent the Dinner Party better you

Tackling the “Mean Girl” Network on the Job and in the ‘Hood relationships

Holiday Party Panic: Go Forth and Be Fabulous movies & tv

Chicagoan Ed Swiderski of “Bachelor Pad” on Finding the One fashion & beauty

DIY Sparkle Pumps

the better letter

We update content on daily, so to find out what’s going on around the site, sign up for our weekly email Better Letters.

bake and win a $25 gift card to whole foods!

Enter your best holiday cookie recipe in our 2012 Cookie of the Year contest! Post your recipe, photo and a quick description of your cookies to our Facebook page by Wednesday, Dec. 12. The winner, who will be announced mid-month on our website, will score a free copy of “Simply Sensational Cookies” by Nancy Baggett (recommended by our Dining Editor, Julie Chernoff).

Sign up today at  m better-letter

contribute to Make It Better We’re looking for the following from our readers:

 Ideas and innovations: March is our ideas issue. Who is changing the world on the North Shore? Send your ideas to  If you’ve recently experienced a major weight loss or body transformation, we want to share your story! Send a brief description of your journey and a before and after photo to

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make it better on the iPad

If you have an iPad, you’ll want to download our app, which gets you each month’s magazine for free! It has lots of interactive features, including videos, photo galleries and click-through purchasing.

iPad exclusives for december:

 Cranberry-Apple Crisp recipe  Holiday classics movie recommendations for your DVD queue  Chicago holiday theater reviews, with photo galleries of the productions

win one of three gift baskets! We’ve got a few goodies, including some of our Gift Guide items, that we want to share with you. Simply download our December issue on your iPad using Make It Better’s app, and you’ll find the entry form. Fill it out by 5 p.m. on December 7, and you’ll be entered into a random drawing. Good luck! Download the free iPad app today at MAKEITBETTER.NET/IPAD

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e di tor’s l et t e r

gifts for you by laur a hine

Picking out the perfect gift for someone is a thrill. Knowing that your friend will love what you’ve chosen for her, and that it isn’t something she would get for herself— hurrah! That warm and fuzzy feeling is why every culture around the world has a tradition of gift giving. And it’s why we start in August, rounding up our lives made editors and deciding on this better year’s themes. We think 82,582 about people we love—the $$ raised road warrior, outdoor enfor nfps thusiast, techy kid and fash$1,811,122 ionista—and we shop for you with them in mind. Start on page 27 and be inspired! But we also know that the holiday season is a lot more than just shopping and exchanging presents. Senior Editor Kelly Konrad gives you ideas for what to do with family and friends from the perfect downtown adventure to theater and concert outings. And


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while you’re shopping or celebrating, check out Dining Editor Julie Chernoff’s ideas for where to eat near the big shopping destinations. Brilliant! Just in time for the Inaugural Ball comes this month’s travel story: a bucket list family trip to our nation’s capital. If you’re going to D.C. in January, our fashion editor Evangeline Politis found gorgeous coats and accessories to brave the chill. Even if you’re just staying in Chicago, you’ll look winter fab! Finally, in the spirit of Make It Better, we have ideas for how you can give back to your community this holiday season starting with the nine charities on pages 90 and 91. Our website,, has lots more. We wish you and your family the best this holiday season. Enjoy, love and laugh— the best presents of all.

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1150 Wilmette Ave., Suite J, Wilmette, IL 60091, 847-256-4642

Founder & Publisher Susan B. Noyes Editor in Chief Laura Hine Senior Editor Kelly Konrad

Art Director Jessica DeJong Designers Karilyn Owens Sarah Philippart Dining Editor Julie Chernoff Fashion Editor Evangeline Politis Finance Editor Meghan Streit Fitness Editor Christy Coughlin Home Editor Tate Gunnerson Make a Difference Editor Laura Tiebert Senior Living Editor Stuart Greenblatt Sex & the Suburbs Editor Marjie Killeen Contributing Writers Melanie Kalmar Jenny Muslin Lead Photographer Nathaniel Perry Contributing photographer Tate Gunnerson Web Editor Lindsay Roseman Interns Talia Beechick Jody Buck Proofreader Julie Chernoff Creative Director Cheryl Berman CEO Kimberly Carroll Co-founder & Vice President of Marketing Mindy Fauntleroy Chief Financial Officer Sandy Tsuchida

Ad Sales Director Michelle Weiss

Directors of Community Development Sandra A. Miller irector of Special Projects Suzy Guyot Hilbrant D Senior Account Executives Patti Augustyn Megan Holbrook Account Executives Julie Carter Jenny Newman Make It Better Foundation Sharon Krone Got feedback? E-mail To advertise: Contact

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october 2012


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the best gift—family dinners BY SUSAN B . NOYE S REQUIRING FAMILY DINNERS together

is the greatest gift you can give your children. It’s also likely to be the best gift you give yourself—at least in hindsight. When you’re harried, trying to prepare a healthy meal, tripping over clutter to set the table, helping with homework and worried that the dog hasn’t been walked, family dinner feels more chore than gift. The data is unequivocal though; children who regularly dine with their parents are less likely to smoke, drink, do drugs and engage in early sex. A recent 2012 survey by Columbia University’s National Center On Alcohol and Drug Abuse (CASA) shows that youth who do not have regular family dinners are three times more likely to drink, and twice as likely to smoke and use illegal drugs. Adolescent girls who participate in family dinners are far less likely to develop eating disorders too.



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“If I could wave a magic wand, I would make sure that every child in America had dinner with his or her parents at least five times a week,” declares Joseph A. Califano, Jr., CASA Founder and former U.S. Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare. “Dinner serves as an ideal time to strengthen the quality of family relationships and helps kids grow up healthy.” If mothers could wave a magic wand, home cooked food would appear on a beautifully set table, no one would ever spill, kids would never fight, and the dog wouldn’t get sick from the food our spouses surreptitiously feed him— despite their promises not to do so. Intriguingly, growing up with regular family dinners is also the single most common denominator in high achieving adults—including National Merit Scholarship winners and CEOs of the Fortune 500 companies. A 1996 Harvard study claimed that family din-

ners are more important than play, story time and other family events in young children’s vocabulary development. At a recent gathering of the Make It Better Preschool Council, leading early childhood development experts affirmed their support for family dinners. The children who originally squirm and complain will eventually grow to love the traditions, stories and sense of connection these meals evoke. Just think about how liberating these statistics can be for your family life! The surest road to success lies not in an extreme extracurricular schedule, lots of expensive tutors or achieving Eagle Scout status. Rather it lies with simple participation in a family mealtime ritual. Writing on the familydinnerproject. org, Anne Fishel, an associate clinical professor of psychology at the Harvard Medical School, says, “Over the past 15 years researchers have confirmed what parents have known for a long time: sharing a family meal is good for the spirit, the brain and the health of all family members. Recent studies link regular family dinners with many behaviors that parents pray for: lower rates of substance abuse, teen pregnancy and depression, as well as higher grade-point averages and self-esteem.” For the mothers working so hard to bring those family dinners to life, the old adage—that you get back what you put out in life—holds true. There is usually at least one moment during each family dinner where you can look at everyone gathered around the table and feel satisfaction, love, joy. It’s shortly before or long after the belching, bodily function talk, spilled milk and fights between siblings. And when those empty nest days eventually arrive, you will look back on a tradition of family dinners as the best gift that you gave yourself.



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you said it

you s a i d i t

We love to hear from you—so please send us your stories, comments, opinions, ideas, reviews and resources!

l’Ecole de Choix / the School of Choice (Haiti)

I just wanted to take a moment, in what feels like these last few minutes before our Saturday Benefit for l’Ecole de Choix/the School of Choice (Haiti), to express our very deepest gratitude to Make it Better for all that you have done on our behalf and over the past few months. The reason that this is so important is that you are ensuring that the voices of the 183 Haitian students of l’Ecole De Choix are heard. These children who are working so hard deserve to be heard. They have independent thought, they have important ideas and, one day, I truly believe, they will be the future leaders of the Haitian nation. I just wanted to be sure that you knew how much all of your work means to all of us. Thank you, again.

Prof. Laura Pincus Hartman DePaul University

O P - ED

Can Big Government Learn from Community Government? by Brad McLane, Winnetka

The non-partisan caucus system has a lot going for it as it focuses on the greater good of the community. So, if Tip O’Neil was right and “all politics is local,” then the big question is how do we get our local politics to work at a county, state and Federal level? education options: k-12

Thank you for publishing the informative article, “Primer on Education Options: K-12,” in your October 2012 issue. However, parochial school tuitions were greatly overstated. At St. Athanasius School (K-8) in Evanston, single student tuition ranges from $6,000 to $7,200 depending on whether the student is a parishioner or non-parishioner. Other Catholic Schools on the North Shore also have tuitions that are far less than were reported in last month’s article. Sincerely,

Susan A. Castagna, Principal St. Athanasius School

Editor’s Note: The tuition range we listed reflected pa-

rochial high schools, not elementary or middle schools. We apologize for not making that clear.


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To read more of Brad McLane’s Op-Ed about transforming government through local ideals, go to makeitbetter. net/magazine.

Re:Work III

Thank you for a vibrant, powerful and inspiring Re:Work III workshop at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Your content, professionalism and guidance clearly impressed the women attending, and all of us here appreciate the gift you offer to women seeking fuller and more satisfied lives.

—Jackie founder’s Note: Download our RE:WORK Guide at or get it free when you purchase “Nothing But The Truth So Help Me God” from Amazon

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con t r i bu tor s









Since we were hard at work on our annual “Better Gifts,” we asked our writers and our lead photographer (he’s responsible for the gorgeous gift guide pictures) to tell us about a favorite gift that they received. 1 | Kimberly Carroll Des Plaines Kimberly’s favorite gift was a United Club membership, which makes her many airport hours comfy and productive.

2 | Julie Chernoff Evanston Her favorite recent gift was an anniversary trip to Tuscany with Zingerman’s Food Tours. Cooking classes, great wine, unlimited Parmesan, pasta and prosciutto... what’s not to love?

3 | Christy Coughlin Wilmette Christy’s best gift was a Chocolate Lab puppy, Mabel, from her husband, confirming that he was a dog lover, too.

4 | Tate Gunnerson Chicago Tate still loves and displays the vintage Bakelite radio that his now late grandma gave him just because he admired it (even though she still loved it herself).

5 | Kelly Konrad Glenview Kelly’s best gift? Her firstborn, Zack. He was born on Christmas Day, after all. Seriously!

6 | Susan Noyes Wilmette Susan’s best present this year was the first CD with her favorite songs by her son Pat’s band, Sidecar Static (it’s now available at sidecarstatic., too).

7 | Nate Perry Evanston Nate couldn’t believe it when his family bought him a brand new camera. This was different from any other gift he had ever received because it was a sign of confidence and support in his photography.

8 | Evangeline Politis Chicago With tasty, petite sweets and a glorious, gigantic tree, Evangeline’s most recent favorite has been her mom’s treat of taking her to tea at the Peninsula. Nothing like a ladylike afternoon to kickoff the holiday season!


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fr e sh

b y Ta l i a B e e c h i c k a n d j u l i e c h e r n o f f

The Benefits of Bikram Check out the only Bikram Yoga studio north of Evanston. Each class is 90 minutes long in 105-degree heat, with classes scheduled all throughout the day, seven days a week. Certified instructors are there to help beginners, and the facility offers showers, relaxation areas and mat storage. bikram yoga: 1926 Waukegan Rd., Glenview, 847-9986030, -TB

The Alcove At 400 square feet, it may be the smallest bar in Chicagoland, but that’s how proprietor Scott Bradley of Evanston likes it. “It’s a place for adults to get a cocktail and a bite,” he shares. With just 12 seats, it’s intimate and charming, along the lines of a cool local spot in Brooklyn or even Paris. You won’t get bogged down with choices – just four wines, one beer on tap, and a full bar of classic cocktails. “There are plenty of choices in your everyday life. This is a respite,” offers Bradley. The Alcove: 516 Main St., Evanston; Monday – Saturday, 4 – 11 pm; closed Sunday, Cash only -JC


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december 2012

alcove Photo by julie chernoff

Kaufman’s Is Back! Hard to believe it’s only been a year since the devastating fire that closed the beloved Kaufman’s Deli; it feels like an eternity since I had a really good corned beef sammy. But Kaufman’s is back, better than ever. The new, modern build out has an expanded kitchen and new menu items. Owners Bette and Judy Dworkin are thrilled to be back for their loyal customers. Now please excuse me while I go order a smoked fish tray for the holidays! Kaufman’s Deli: 4905 Dempster St., Skokie, 847-6776190, -JC

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e v e n ts

r e c o m m e n d e d dec 2012

B y K e l ly K o n r a d

editor’s pick: downtown family cheer It’s the holidays, so make a day of it! Pack the family up and head downtown to visit three hot spots in a single daylong adventure. Start with … Christkindl Market Through December 24 Daley Plaza, Chicago After the museum, make your way to Daley Plaza for schnitzel, potato pancakes, marzipan and sweet cheese fritters. And while you are chowing down, check out the gorgeous glass ornaments and other holiday musthaves. dec


“Unboxed: Adventures in Cardboard”  Ongoing | Chicago Children’s Museum, Navy Pier | Everyone knows when you’re young, the best thing about the holidays is the box the gift comes in. Let the kids go crazy in the Cardboard Studio, crawl their way through a box maze and more. dec


Chicago Trolley & Double Decker Co. Holiday Lights Tour Through December 31 | Downtown Chicago | Let someone else do the driving this year—take a trolley ride through and to Chicago’s biggest “lights” venues, including the Lincoln Park ZooLights, the Mag Mile, State Street and even the windows at Macy’s. Special 30-minute stops are incorporated at the Christkindl Market and Lincoln Park Zoo. dec


Renegade Craft Fair 1 7th Annual Holiday Sale December 1 & 2 | Pulaski Park Fieldhouse, 1419 Blackhawk St., Chicago Serious fun for serious hipster crafters— dec


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this is not your run-of-the-mill craft show. Expect big crowds, great food and drink and gift ideas that’ll impress even the biggest curmudgeon on your list this year. Evanston Dance Ensemble: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe November 30 – December 2 Josephine Louis Theatre, 20 Arts Circle Dr., Evanston | Mix up the holiday routine with a visit to Narnia this weekend—the Evanston Dance Ensemble has been in business since 1997 and never fails to entertain—it’s top-notch dance theater on the North Shore. dec


Judith Owen & Harry Shearer’s Holiday Sing-a-Long December 4 | SPACE, 1245 Chicago Ave., Evanston | Can’t sing in tune? We doubt anyone will care at this fun-filled evening with the former “Saturday Night Live” star and his songwriter/humorist wife. Psst … there’s even a super-secret special guest. dec


Winter Wonderwalk December 5 | Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart, 760 E. Westleigh Rd., Lake Forest | Get into the holiday spirit with a holiday house walk and gift boutique. Want a little inspiration? Check out home editor Tate Gunnerson’s write up in our November issue. dec


photo courtesy of chicago children’s museum

An Evening with Mandy Patinkin 1 and Nathan Gunn December 1 | Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Dr., Evanston | “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya …” Everyone has their favorite Mandy Patinkin performance, from Broadway to Hollywood—and Nathan Gunn’s baritone will bowl you over. Don’t miss this exclusive North Shore appearance that benefits the Over the Rainbow Association. dec

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Chick Corea and Gary Burton  December 6 | North Shore Center for the Performing Arts Jazz fans, rejoice—Chick Corea and Gary Burton are in town this holiday season with the “Hot House Tour with the Harlem String Quartet.” dec


One of a Kind Show and Sale December 6 – 9 | Merchandise Mart, Chicago | It’s a one-stop shop for everyone on your list, with more than 600 artisans, craftspeople and designers on hand at this popular show. Grab a girlfriend and head downtown for the day, see the sights, enjoy the lights and get that shopping done! dec

photos courtesy of north shore center for performing arts and light opera works


Lyric Opera of Chicago: “Hansel & Gretel Opens December 7 | 20 N. Wacker Dr., Chicago | Time for a new family experience—a night at the opera. Introduce your kids to a classic cultural event with this family-friendly rendition, complete with food-fighting action. dec


HoliDose December 9 | River East Art Center, 435 E. Illinois St., Chicago A foodie and fashion paradise at the perfect time of year to indulge—go crazy and shop for friends, family … even yourself. dec


Joffrey Ballet: Nutcracker Family Dinner December 15 | Palmer House Hilton, 17 East Monroe St., Chicago Help “The Nutcracker” celebrate its 25th anniversary with a one-of-a-kind experience. Spend the day in style, with a knockout ballet and a family dinner at the Palmer House that includes fun activities for the kids, too. dec


Randolph Street Holiday Market 15 December 15 – 16 | Plumbers Hall, 1340 W. Washington Ave., Chicago A last-minute shopper’s paradise, especially when your list includes the hardto-buy-for crew. From fun to funky, it’s all under one roof. dec

Oliver!  December 22 – 31 | Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson, Evanston Is theater a holiday tradition for your family? Light Opera Works continues its own tradition of putting on family-friendly theatrical programming during the holiday season with this favorite musical rendition of a Charles Dickens classic. dec


Dave Specter Holiday Blues Party with Tad Robinson December 12 | SPACE, 1245 Chicago Ave., Evanston | Get into a holiday groove with frequent blues guitar guest Dave Specter. dec


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e v e n ts l ist i ng

holiday highlights B y K e l ly K o n r a d

holiday shows and museum events

holiday shopping

Jingle Jazzin’ Evenings December 16 – 23 Shedd Aquarium, 1200 S. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago

73rd Annual Holiday Concert December 8 & 9 Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Dr., Evanston

Lambs Faram Holiday Lights Gift and Craft Fair November 30 – December 2 Arlington Park Racecourse, 220 W. Euclid Ave., Arlington Heights

Hanukkah Concert December 9 Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe

Winter Farmers Market December 2 Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe

Christmas Bingo: It’s a Ho-HoHoly Night December 17 Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights

Central Street Holiday Open House December 2 Central St., Evanston

Buddy Valastro Live: The Cake Boss December 7 Genesee Theatre, 203 N. Genesee St., Waukegan Shedd Holiday Breakfast Saturdays, December 8, 15 & 22 Shedd Aquarium, 1200 S. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago “It’s Christmas Charlie Brown! The Live Musical” December 8 & 15 Wilmette Theatre, 11122 Central Ave., Wilmette

Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light Through January 6 Museum of Science and Industry, 57th St. and Lake Shore Dr., Chicago

Grayslake Antique Market December 8 & 9 Lake County Fairgrounds, 1060 E. Peterson Rd., Grayslake

sponsored listings

Breakfast with Santa Sunday, December 2, 2012, 8:30 a.m. Our Lady of Perpetual Help School Playdium, 847-724-6990, Jingle! Jingle! Catch the Christmas spirit and take the perfect family photo with Santa. Donuts, coffee, and milk will be available for purchase. Guests are asked to bring a wrapped gift marked with age and gender for needy children.


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The Nutcracker: Duke It Out! Saturday, December 8, 2012, 9 a.m. Open House: 9 a.m. | Family Concert: 10 a.m. Music Institute of Chicago, Nichols Concert Hall, 847-905-1500, Enjoy a morning with MIC. Following a festive open house, enjoy the Ellington/Strayhorn vs Tchaikovsky version of this holiday favorite in a side-by-side spectacular with Foster Dance Studios dancers.

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holiday fun Ice Skating Ongoing Westfield Old Orchard, Skokie Caroling at Cloud Gate Friday evenings through December 21 Millennium Park., Chicago Holiday Cheers! Seasonal Tasting December 5 Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe Hot Chocolate with Mrs. Claus December 8 Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe Winter Wonderland Holiday Light Show Through December 31 Cuneo Museum, 1350 N. Milwaukee Ave., Vernon Hills Holiday Magic Through December 31 Brookfield Zoo, Brookfield

photo courtesy of lincoln park zoo

ď ° ZooLights Through January 1 Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago Wonderland Express Through January 1 Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe Winter WonderFest Through January 6 Navy Pier, Chicago

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october 2012


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2012 BETTER GIFTS photos by NAT H A N I E L P E R RY



deck the halls, fry up the latkes or bake the gingerbread, and buy the presents. No matter what holiday you celebrate—busy times are upon us! To get you started, our editors have combed local stores for the best gifts we could find in these categories: local food, hostess and friend, fashion, technology, travel, beauty, outdoor sports, kids, teens and tweens.

Buying for a best friend, child, husband or maybe looking for a little something for yourself—we’ve got you covered. And to make your shopping really easy, download our iPad app, and you can click through to buy almost everything you see on these pages. Get the free download at or in the iTunes app store. We wish you a happy December, filled with family, friends and celebrations!

Please note that prices are average retail, and are rounded to the nearest dollar.

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festive foodie finds by julie chernoff

So many parties to attend, so many hostess gifts to buy. Poor you! Why not freshen up your go-to gifts with some locally made products that anyone on your list would be thrilled to receive? Here are some of my current festive Midwestern favorites for holiday giving:

The Spice House Ethnic Chicago Neighborhoods Gift Box I love this place! There’s no substitute for Tom and Patty Erd’s freshly ground spices; they add so much flavor to every dish they grace. This gift box features Bridgeport, Pilsen Latino, Ukrainian Village and Back of the Yards spice blends, plus cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and whole nutmegs. $21, The Spice House, 1941 Central St., Evanston, 847-328-3711,

Rishi Teas Taste of Taiwan Gift Set Beautiful, carefully curated gift sets filled with exotic loose leaf teas and classic and classic tea accessories are available online from Milwaukee’s Rishi Tea. $88,

Jo Snow Syrups Fruity Gift Set Melissa Yen was bored with the coffee syrups she had at her café, so she started making her own. Add them to cocktails, coffee, tea, lemonade… or to gild a snowcone! With flavors like Ginger Passion Fruit, Hibiscus-Basil-Orange Blossom, and Kickin’ Cream Soda, you can go wild. $22, Binny’s, Crate and Barrel, and Whole Foods,

Three Tarts Gingerbread Houses This shortcut to sweet architectural success is a huge holiday boon, and a great family activity. The houses are pre-fab; icing and decorations are included. $20 - $43, Three Tarts Bakery and Café, 301 S. Happ Rd., Northfield, 847-446-5444,


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Katherine Anne Confections Daily Candy Treat Collection Lord have mercy, the truffles! Flavors like Goat Cheese-Walnut and Peanut Butter-Apple are just the beginning. Add her local Illinois wildflower Honey Caramels and the sinful Salted Caramel Marshmallows and you‘ve got yourself a party. $43, Katherine Anne Confections, 2745 W. Armitage, Chicago, 773-2451630,

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City Provisions Gift Baskets Ground zero for local fare: food guru Cleetus Friedman has brought together all the best vittles in the Midwest under one roof, and supplemented them with house-cured deli meats, unique prepared foods and even his own beer, brewed with local craft beer makers. The gift baskets are legendary. Gift Baskets, $40$200. City Provisions, 1818 W. Wilson Ave., Chicago, 773-293-2489,

Koval Distillery Local Liqueurs Fun fact: Koval was the first craft distillery to open in Chicago after Prohibition. Lucky for us, they’re making certified organic and kosher single-grain white whiskeys, rye vodka, brandies and liqueurs, all packaged in gorgeous, elongated bottles. $24-50, Koval Distillery, 5121 N. Ravenswood Ave., Chicago, 312878-7988, Metropolis Coffee Small Batch Coffee There’s a reason why Metropolis’ coffee is so damn good: it’s made in small batches, and roasted locally with fair-trade beans. I’m loving the seasonal Hullabaloo! Visit their café or else grab a bag or two at Whole Foods. You’ll be a popular guest. $18 per pound, Metropolis Coffee, 1039 W. Granville Ave., Chicago, 773-7640400,

Sweet Girl Desserts: Dessert Kits Pastry chefs Dana Benigno and Tara Lane know a thing or two about chocolate, and they want to make your life tastier. Four-Star Chocolate Mousse and Chocolate Souffle kits make delicious easy. $11, available at Convito Café & Market, 1515 Sheridan Rd., Wilmette, 847-2513654,

Collins Caviar Classic or Flavored Tins For 28 years, Carolyn Collins (now joined by her daughter Rachel) has produced impeccably fresh, intriguingly flavored Great Lakes caviar. I love the spicy Wasabi Tobikko and Caviar Citron ($48, 3.5 oz.); purists might prefer the Salmon ($68, 3.5 oz.) or Paddlefish Caviar ($132, 3.5 oz.). Order a pack of Blini ($10) while you’re at it.

Top Hat "Sundae Best" Gift Box I would eat an iPhone if it had Mayan Legacy Dessert Sauce poured on top. Uplift even the most pedestrian desserts with Top Hat, produced in Wilmette, $30. Sauces available at Artisanal Market (Wilmette), Foodstuffs (Evanston, Glencoe, Glenview), Chalet (Wilmette), Schaefer’s (Skokie) and Sunset Foods (Lake Forest, Long Grove, Highland Park, Northbrook),

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Express your appreciation for a favorite teacher, holiday hostess or BFF with these nifty little presents that are thoughtful, functional, creative and fun.

by marjie killeen

Versatile Vessels  These pretty pots can hold anything from paperclips to chocolates. Pop in a candle or let your recipient decide what treasure to stash. Chalkboard Jar, $10, Brushstroke Votive. $16. Anthropologie, Highland Park, Skokie, Chicago, Umbra Petal Photo Display  A modern take on a picture frame with lots of pizazz. Perfect for holiday cards too. $25, Container Store, 101 Skokie Blvd, Northbrook, 847559-8222,

Caravan Dreams 2013 Desk Calendar  This compact, glittery easel-style calendar provides a fanciful way to track your days. $16. Quintessence Fine Papers and Gifts, 1036 Willow Rd, Northbrook, 847-498-5544,



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Flowering Plant  Brighten a gray December day with a vividly blooming cyclamen plant in a ceramic pot. Lasts longer than cut flowers and no need to scramble for a vase. Plant $14, Pot $10. Chalet, 3121 Lake Ave., Wilmette, 847-256-0561

 Embroidered Ice Bucket, Hand Towels, Key Chains Nothing says you care more than personalized gifts from the crafty Wilmette duo Stitching This/ Stitching That. Ice Bucket $44, Towels $12 -$18, Keychains $14 -16 (not pictured); Stitching This, Embroidery by Kaci Smith: 847-853-9950; Stitching That, Emroidery by Jennifer Duboc, 847-853-1331

Mariposa Little Piggy Napkin Box  A whimsical way to display cocktail napkins - perfect for a hostess who already has the mostess. $48. Peachtree Place: 303 Happ Rd, Northfield, 847-4417585,,

Claus Porto Bath Soaps  These artfully packaged, oversized Portuguese bath bars have been popular in Europe for generations and come in lots of yummy fragrances. $18, Chalet, 3121 Lake Avenue, Wilmette, 847-256-0561,

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GLAM GIFTS FOR HER by evangeline politis

From sophisticated silver to funky leopard, Make It Better has some fashionable gifts that can glamorize the life of any woman. So this holiday season, give her something that will deservedly make her shine. Cognac and white diamond earrings  Give her these buttons of sparkle to make her holiday bright! $1,699, Smart Jewelers, Willow Festival Shopping Center, Northbrook, 847-673-6000,

Urban Expressions clutch  This vegan bag is not only stylish, but also has a cute bow to boot! $60, Gray Boutique, 821 Chestnut Court, Winnetka, 847-446-8310,

Stone cuff  We love this show-stopping cuff from one of our favorite Winnetka stores. A great standout piece to wear with a monochromatic outfit. $105, Gray Boutique, 821 Chestnut Court, Winnetka, 847446-8310,

 Calf-hair magic wallet This flippy wallet is the ideal present for a new college grad or young professional. The inside elastic bands are great for holding business cards. $25, J.Crew, jcrew. com

Suede gloves  Complete with a fourbutton closure, these soft, ladylike gloves will add a little cheer to the dreary winter season. $25, H&M,

Tory Burch cosmetic bag  Kitsch it up with this cute bag—perfect for traveling with all her favorite potions and powders. A great gift for a college-aged teen! $65, Tory Burch, 45 E. Oak St., Chicago 312-280-0010,

 Rachel Zoe three chain bracelet Give celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe’s vintage style to that fun and fashionable gal in your life. This sparkly bracelet is a statement piece for a little year-round glam. $420, Neiman Marcus, Chicago and Northbrook Court,



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 EBEL Onde Watch Swiss-made with stainless steel, 18K rose gold, and diamonds—how could she not love this watch? $7,900, Smart Jewelers, Willow Festival Shopping Center, Northbrook, 847-673-6000,

Lagos silver pendant  Charm her with this modern piece from Lagos. It’s the perfect trinket to thank her for another wonderful year. $295, Neiman Marcus Northbrook

 Emilio Pucci scarf This vibrant Pucci scarf will thrill any lady on your list this year. A kaleidoscope of pinks, purples and blues, this cashmere and silk wrap will add a pop of color to her black coat or favorite little black dress. $850, Neiman Marcus Northbrook

Balenciaga continental-zip wallet  Make her buckle at the knees when she unwraps that little box to find this yummy rose gold and leather wallet. $595, Balenciaga,

Faux fur collar sweater Treat yourself to this cuddly cardigan made for nights spent next to the fire with a glass of wine. $100, Banana Republic,

Crystal necklace A collection of dainty colored crystals, this necklace will definitely be one of her favorite gifts of the season. $90, Banana Republic,

 Collection beaded colorblock sweater Perfectly bold and soft, this wool, long-sleeve sweater has hundreds of hand-applied enameled metal beads, creating a funky geometric pattern. $198, J.Crew,

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Flannel bowtie  Dapper yet casual, this bowtie is ideal for the most stylish guy on your gift list. $13, H&M,

by evangeline politis

 Hot Dog Scarf Think your guy has everything he needs? Well, we bet he doesn’t have scarf that pays homage to his favorite Chicago treat. $165, Jack Spade, 47 E. Oak St., Chicago, 312-915-0315,

Flannel gloves  An easy stocking stuffer, these gloves will properly equip him for that brisk walk from the Metra and any impromptu snowball fights along the way. $13, H&M,

Vince cable knit sweater It’s easy to cuddle up in this cozy sweater and t-shirt duo—a wardrobe prerequisite for surviving the cold months ahead. Sweater, $272, and T-shirt, $55, Neiman Marcus, Chicago and Northbrook Court,

Dunhill briefcase This luxurious leather briefcase is the perfect treat for the hard working business-by-day and dadby-night man in your life. $1,550, Neiman Marcus, Chicago and Northbrook Court,



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Officina Del Tempo  Racing 1051 watch For a guy of any age, this Italian watch is the definition of cool. The owner of this watch will be rolling up his sleeves for weeks to flaunt his brand new toy. $925, Smart Jewelers, Willow Festival Shopping Center, Northbrook, 847-673-6000,

Wool and silk tie Sophisticated and hip, this striped tie is meant for a man who usually dons a crisp pair of jeans with a tailored wool blazer. This will just up the ante in his sharp wardrobe. $70, J.Crew,


 Andrew Candella cufflinks These 18k gold and sterling silver cufflinks are just the right type of sparkle he needs this holiday season. $550, Smart Jewelers, Willow Festival Shopping Center, Northbrook, 847-673-6000,

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What does a tech mama give the man in her life? Tech gear and gadgets of course! These items are on my giftables list this year, and more than one will end up under our tree.

tech mama gifts for men by kimberly carroll

 Subscription Perfect for timestrapped book lovers, this audio book service offers huge variety and reliable quality. Works with any MP3 device, and syncs with Kindle books for easy switches from print to audio. $45-$150,

Book Arc for iPad  A table-top stand for the iPad that is both useful and beautiful. $30,

Sonos S5 Wireless Speakers  Untether your tunes. Send music from your computer, iPod, or Internet-subscription services to as many as thirty-two zones in your home. $399, The Big Picture Home Theatre Co., 1211 Wilmette Ave., Wilmette, 847-256-1882,

RoboMower Automatic Lawn Mower This cordless electric lawn mower does for grass-cutting what the Roomba did for vacuuming. $1700,

iPhone Photo Cube Printer  Print photos straight from the iPhone — no computer required. 300dpi, 4x6” prints with vibrant color and crisp clarity. $99,

 iGrill Take grill mastery to the next level. Bluetooth connects Apple or Android mobile phones with an app that monitors meat temps for perfect doneness. If you have a smoker, the ambient temperature probe monitors the air too. $89, The Backyard BBQ Store, 1147 Greenleaf Ave., Wilmette, 847-251-2272,

Agloves for Touch Screens  These touch-screen friendly gloves are better than most, with conducting threads throughout so they work with all 10 fingers. $20,

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travel gadgets

Airline customer service aside, travelling has become easier and more comfortable than ever thanks to travel gadgets for entertainment, utility and safety. Here are a few of my favorites:

by tate gunnerson

 TripButler If you’re tired of paying exorbitant international data roaming fees, check out TripButler mobile Wi-Fi hotspot. For a fixed daily fee, TripButler offers international data using local 2G and 3G connections, and will connect up to five devices at once. Rental price varies by country.

Solar Joos  Camping trips will never be the same with the Solar Joos portable charger, which can charge practically any type of mobile device. One hour of sunlight equals two hours of talk time. $149, REI, 888 Willow Rd, Northbrook, 847-480-1938, Livescribe’s Pulse smartpen  When in Rome, do as the Romans do. But if your Italian is a little rusty, don’t forget the Livescribe Pulse Smartpen, which will translate, speak and display any phrase you write on its small OLED screen. $120 - $150,

ZOMM Wireless Leash  Find my iPhone is a terrific feature, but it’s better not to lose your phone in the first place. The ZOMM wireless leash connects to your phone via Bluetooth, and sounds an alarm if you accidentally leave it behind. $46,

 myCharge Peak 6000 Here, here road warriors! This clever technology will turn any bag into a portable station capable of charging three devices at once. Includes built-in USB charging cable and USB port along with micro-USB and Apple connectors. 6000 mAh battery provides 27 hours of talk time. $100,


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Steripen Traveler Portable Water Purification System  Don’t drink tap water when visiting certain countries— unless you carry a Steripen, which uses ultraviolet light to kill 99.9% of viruses, bacteria and protozoa. $50, Brookstone: Northbrook Court and Westfield Old Orchard,

Sony Personal 3D Viewer HMZ-T2 “Avatar” just doesn’t have the same impact when viewed on a tiny iPhone screen. With Sony’s new Personal 3D viewer, which feels like watching a 750-inch HD, 3D screen located 65 ft. away, it might even make coach bearable. $800,

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get gorgeous gifts by laura hine

For gals who are looking for a little pampering—think sister, mom, daughter or best friend—we have all kinds of glamorous goods that will make her glow this holiday season. And for the men in your life, we have a couple of ideas that are sure to up his game in the grooming department.

Moroccanoil Body Products The beloved hair care line has expanded into body products, still with the famous argan oil, and also with shea butter. Luxurious. Put together a gift package, and get a free bag. Hand Cream $29, Body Soufflé $53, Body Buff $43, Intense Hydrating Treatment $28, Cleansing Bar $11, Teddie Kossof, 281 N. Waukegan Rd., Northfield, 847-999-9500, Jo Malone Gift Set This London-based company is known for understated sophistication, from the packaging to the fragrance. Holidays bring special gift packages, so indulge in the citrusy Lime Basil & Mandarin, which works for men and women. $95, Nordstrom, Westfield Old Orchard, Nordstrom.

Bobbi Brown Bellini Lip and Eye Palette One of our favorite makeup lines always puts together clever gift palettes that you might not be able to part with—so get one as a gift and get one to keep. $75, bluemercury, 680 N. Bank Lane, Lake Forest, 847-615-3000,

Laura Mercier Honey Bath The little honey dipper sold us on this moisturizing and foaming bath. You only need a little to feel luxuriously clean. $40, Bloomingdale’s, Westfield Old Orchard and Chicago,


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ghd Midnight Deluxe The stylists at Teddie Kossof swear by ghd tools, and this deluxe gift set includes a blow dryer and flat iron. So if you’ve got a gal who’s hard on her hair, you know what to get her. $225, Teddie Kossof, 281 N. Waukegan Rd., Northfield, 847-999-9500,

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Trish McEvoy Effortless Beauty Deluxe Travel Brush Set Once you’ve used a perfect brush, you never go back, so this set makes it easy to take brushes with you, and the chic case even has room for travelsize cosmetics. $135, bluemercury, 680 N. Bank Lane, Lake Forest, 847-615-3000, Fresh Sugar Soiree Mini Lip Collection Treat your gal to lips that are moisturized and have shine. Don’t forget the mistletoe! $65, Sephora, Northbrook Court and Westfield Old Orchard, Tru Blooms Made from flowers grown throughout the Chicago area, this light, floral perfume is available only in limited quantities this holiday season. $38, The Garden Shop at Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe, 847-835-5440

Lollia Scented Bath Products These beautifully scented products have a following among ladies who always know the right gift to bring, and we love the humor of the foaming bath packaged in a faux wine bottle! Relax Foaming bath $34, Perfumed Shower Gel $22, Shea Butter Hand Creme $24, Perfumed Soap $10, Neiman Marcus, Chicago and Northbrook Court,

Stocking Stuffers Pure Illumination This lip gloss is for the girl who loves to go out at night—it comes with its own built-in LED light and mirror. $20, Raven and Dove, 1143 Greenleaf Ave., Wilmette, 847-251-9550,

Men's Kiehl’s Ultimate Man Refueling Set The 160-year-old apothecary brand is frou-frou-less, which appeals to men, and the products work, which should appeal to you. A smoother cheek to nuzzle. Includes face wash, brushless shaving cream, moisturizer, hand salve and body scrub soap. $58 ($80 value), Bluemercury, 680 N. Bank Lane, Lake Forest, 847-615-3000,

Opi The Top Ten The top 10 selling colors of the year in a mini-bottle collection. Change your mind, change your color. $25, Teddie Kossof, 281 N. Waukegan Rd., Northfield, 847-999-9500,

Eight & Bob Eau de Toilette Discovered by John F. Kennedy as a student traveling in Paris, this scent was smuggled out of France in books to evade the Nazis. For a man who loves a good story as much as a good scent. $195, Neiman Marcus,

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Both guys and gals love their gear, and for good reason. The right clothing or accessory can make or break a January workout in the snow, or a scorching hike in the desert mountains. Feed their fire and keep them happy and healthy all year with these great gift ideas.

GIFTS FOR THE GREAT OUTDOORS by christy coughlin

Mizuno Wave Ascend 7  The Ascend is a well-balanced crossover shoe that takes you from road to trail without missing a step. It’s as comfortable on rock as it is on pavement, and the cool colors will make them an instant hit for your active guy or gal. $105, Road Runner Sports, 3232 Lake Ave., Wilmette,

North Face Impulse 1/4 Zip  Outdoor enthusiasts will love this lightweight, durable, wicking pullover with unrestricted arm turnover, thumb holes at the base of each sleeve, and a security pocket. $65, North Face, Evanston and Westfield Old Orchard,

 Electra Cruiser, Townie With Flat Foot Technology, this bike has an upright, relaxed riding position that lets you drop your feet flat on the ground without leaving the saddle. Commuting to the train, school, or the grocery never looked so good. $270, T.L. Fritts Sporting Goods, 560 Chestnut Street, Winnetka, 847-446-6694,


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D21 Hydro Flask The Hydro Flask keeps your soup hot for après ski or your water cold during a long trail ride with a larger opening for brewing tea, mixing sport drinks, or just to quench your thirst quickly. It fits in most cup holders and is BPA-Free. $26, Uncle Dan’s, Evanston and Highland Park,

 Columbia Snuggly Bunny Include your littlest one in outdoor winter adventures. Water and wind resistant, a diagonal zipper across the front stops makes on and off easy and fold-over cuffs allow for boots and mittens. $90, Uncle Dan’s, Evanston and Highland Park,

 REI Stoke 19 Pack in Spring Moss/Grey Mist This lightweight, bodyhugging pack is comfortable and functional with a unique back panel that keeps the pack off your sweaty back. Great daypack for hiking, biking, or a day in the city. $79, REI, 888 Willow Rd., Northbrook, 847-4801938,

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 Squishables Buy two, because you’ll end up stealing your kid’s and cuddling right up during family movie night. The perfect size for little arms to wrap around. Ages 3 and up. $40, Children’s Gift Shop, 310 Happ Rd., Northfield, 847-4415970,

gifting the kids by kelly konrad

MagnaFormers They click, they’re colorful and they’re safe—big, clunky shapes that allow kids to stretch their creative chops. Designer Set, Ages 6 - 12, $110, Children’s Gift Shop, 310 Happ Rd., Northfield, 847-4415970,

It’s the best part of the holidays—picking the perfect present for the kids on your list. Even better is watching them open it. Kids’ presents are fun—bright colors, sparkly lights, soft and squishy stuffed animals—the stuff that even the adults want to play with after all the wrapping paper is undone. If you’re looking for something that doesn’t plug into a screen (and that your guests will be scrambling to steal from the kids), we’ve got you covered.

Spooner Board  Made in the U.S., these indoor/outdoor boards are perfect for the active child who needs a way to blow off some steam but isn’t quite ready for the rip stick or longboard. Two sizes, ages 4 – 8, and 9 – adult. $45-$55, Becky & Me Toys, Glenview and Evanston locations,

Little Puppets  Who doesn’t love a puppet show? Let your little ones practice their language skills with dramatic flair. Ages 3 – 6. $13 each, Becky & Me Toys, Glenview and Evanston locations,

Colorforms  Go retro this season with a throwback to digital graphics before there were computers. Let the kids go crazy with this 60th Anniversary edition and before you know it, you’ll be mixing it up with them. Ages 3 and up. $40, Marbles: The Brain Store, 4999 Old Orchard Center, Skokie, 847-673-9000,

Root Vue Farm  Have a future gardener or vegetarian under your roof? Let them see what’s under the dirt—the Root Vue Farm is a nifty way to really watch your garden grow, and is a project that during cold winter months will remind you summer is on its way. $35,

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FOR TWEENS by kelly konrad

Vera Bradley Bag and Wristlet If you’re trying to spot a tween girl in the jungle, just look for the Vera Bradley bag. The beauty of gifting Vera is that there is something for every price point, and I haven’t met the girl who doesn’t like it. Indigo Pop Tote, $49 (not pictured); Va Va Bloom wristlet, $34; Vera Bradley, 4999 Old Orchard Shopping Center, Skokie, 847-673-2176,

Snap Circuits LIGHT A shout out to a local biz—Elenco, located in Wheeling—for this toy, geared toward the “I want to make that thing light up” kid. What we like? It connects to iPods and MP3 players and is also an Astra Best Toy winner. Ages 8 – 12. $80, Children’s Gift Shop, 310 Happ Rd., Northfield, 847-441-5970,

Sphero You gave your kids a smartphone, now it’s time to give them something to do with it besides text. Sphero is a little bit techy and a lot of fun. Use your phone or iPad to engage and play games with this nifty robotic ball. $130, Brookstone, 4999 Old Orchard Center Skokie, 847-3299771,

Speed Stack StackPacks Thought cupstacking was just for kids? This is the gift that’ll be the talk of the holiday gathering—aunts, uncles, and even Grandma will want to give it a try. Bonus? The timer keeps the last score, meaning your partner can’t shave seconds off his or her time. $35, Children’s Gift Shop, 310 Happ Rd., Northfield, 847-4415970,

Loop De Loo Friendship bracelets never go out of style, and this kit makes some of the coolest I’ve seen in some time. Bright colors, fun patterns and perfect for your crafting kid. $35, Three Wishes Toys and More, 1515 Sheridan Rd., Wilmette, 847-251-8622,


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GeoMate Jr. Instead of just watching “The Amazing Race,” create your own adventure with this great gadget. Loaded up with more than 200,000 geocache locations across the country, this is the perfect present for the kid who would rather be outdoors. $40, REI, 888 Willow Rd., Northbrook, 847-480-1938,

da Vinci’s Catapult with Brain Drops If your enterprising inventor is set upon making a mess, at least give him something he (or she!) has to build first. Try this catapult set, a great combo with the very cool BrainDrops (not pictured). $25, Marbles: The Brain Store, 4999 Old Orchard Center, Skokie, 847-673-9000,

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If you have a tech-loving teen or tween on your gift list this year, you can’t go wrong with technology. These gifts hit the intersection of cool and useful, so go ahead and add a few to your own wish list.

TOTALLY TECH, TOTALLY HIP by kimberly carroll

Evernote Powered Moleskine Notebook Turn handwritten notes and drawings into searchable, sharable digital files with your iPhone and Evernote (iPhone, iPad, Android, and Mac/PC). This takes the beloved Moleskine paper notebooks to a whole new level. $25,

Sensu Brush Stylus for Touch Screens Turn any touch screen into a paint canvas with this cutting edge brush stylus. A work of art in its own right, this stunning stylus is great for the creative spirit and tech enthusiast alike. $40, Artist Hardware, Inc., 8111 St. Louis #2, Skokie, 773-715-5319

Apple TV A surprisingly simple way to stream Internet videos, television shows, movies and music to your HDTV screen. Works with iTunes, Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, iPhoto libraries and much more. Use built-in Airplay to wirelessly stream iPhone and iPad content to the TV too. $99, Apple Retail Stores, Northbrook Court and Westfield Old Orchard,

Sunrise Simulation Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock  Wake naturally via sunrise simulation that gradually increases light 20-40 minutes prior to your alarm time. Proven to improve mood and energy level—isn’t that the best gift of all? Advanced model includes iPhone app with enhanced audio and charger. $150-$200,

Jambox Wireless Smartspeaker The best-sounding small wireless speaker and speakerphone on the planet. Bluetooth technology lets you stream music from mobile phones or tablets, and the bonus speakerphone feature makes it a work tool too. Customize your color scheme for extra cool factor. $199,

Arty No-Tangle Earbuds  These earbuds have style plus a no-tangle technology so they can be dropped into a bag or pocket without worry. Multiple designs and colors available. $30, Lad and Lassie, 1115 Central Ave., Wilmette, 847251-7570 Online Training Whether your budding technologist is interested in learning to retouch photos, design web sites, record songs, create spreadsheets or animate 3D graphics, Lynda. com has more than 1500 courses that can be watched anywhere—Macs, PCs, tablets and smartphones. From $25 per month,

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iPad Mini Everything lovable in the iPad, tied into a smaller package, with a smaller price tag. $329, Apple Retail Stores, Northbrook Court and Westfield Old Orchard,



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what’s in the box? Need ideas for everyone on your list? These local retailers have the gifts that will get a “wow.”

just for kids

ELKS & ANGELS BEARS You’ll want to cuddle with these Australian sheepskin cuddle bears, too, $32-49. Lollie (Evanston),, 847-328-7303

TENZI Perfect stocking stuffer or hostess gift, $14.99. Children’s Gift Shop (Northfield),, 847-441-5975

SQUISHABLES Giant round fuzzy stuffed animals. Available in two sizes and many different animals, $20–$40. Lad & Lassie (Wilmette),

COLLÉGIEN SLIPPER SOCKS Available in several whimsical designs for boys and girls. $30. Odile (Chicago),, 312-255-0800

LILLE HUSET PLAY HOUSES Made locally, inspires the imagination and encourages hours of play, $13–$63. lollie (Evanston),, 847-328-7303

DITKA KIDS TEES Comfy, long- and short-sleeve tees, perfect for your little fan. Size 6 mo. to 18, from $20.89. Ditka Kids (Deerfield),, 312-480-1886

BOOKS TO BED Favorite bedtime books with comfy pajamas to match, $46-$48. Giggles and Giraffes (Wilmette), gigglesand, 847-251-6665

FEED THE WOOZLE Cooperative preschool skill building game, $19.99. Children’s Gift Shop (Northfield),, 847-441-5975

SWIMMING LESSONS Give the gift that could save a life, $25+. Foss Swim School (Highland Park & Libertyville),, 847-266-FOSS

special advertising section

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just for her Make her holiday extra special with one of these fabulous gifts from our local retailers!

POPSTAR BRACELETS From Honora, available in a variety of colors, $100 each. Lambrecht’s Jewelers (Wilmette),, 847-251-3284

EYEBOBS READING GLASSES For men and women. Many stylish options available, complimentary case, $75. La Colonna (Wilmette), 847-251-7535

WOOL SCARF Soft and lightweight, 100% wool with a different pattern on each side, $89.99. Talia (Evanston),, 847-424-1855

UNLIMITED BIKRAM YOGA Find strength and inner peace. One month, $95. Bikram Yoga North Shore (Glenview),, 847-998-6030

SORIAL SNAKESKIN HANDBAGS Four styles, ten fabulous colors, $48–$249. Fresh Ideas (Northfield),, 847-446-3774

DUEPUNTI RINGS Brightly colored rubber rings set with .02 ct diamond, $98 each. Lambrecht’s Jewelers (Wilmette),, 847-251-3284

LOCAL ARTISAN EARRINGS By A. Punto in garnet and black spinel, $74 & $84. Vibrato (Wilmette & Glenview),, 847-853-1434

SILK BRAIDS SCARVES Silk scarves that are dyed with rich beautiful colors. Perfect for that little extra something, $48. Mattie M (Winnetka), 847-784-8701

MAKE HER HOLIDAY SHINE Receive a $30 spa card with any $200 gift card. Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa (Multiple locations),, 866-RED-DOOR



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SKINFO VITA LITE PROTECT SPF 50+ Antioxidant, moisturizer and sunscreen, $30. skinfo Specialty Skincare Boutique (Lincolnshire),, 847-459-2800

VELVET THINSULATE GLOVES Lightweight and insulated, in a variety of prints, $29. iTouch gloves also available. La Colonna (Wilmette), 847-251-7535

DIAMONDS BY THE YARD 28 pts diamonds by the yard necklace in sterling silver, (reg. $395) $199. Olsky Jewelers (Glencoe), 847-835-0035

THE FAIR TRADE SWEATER The Eileen Fisher Peruvian sweater made of organic cotton, $298. Eileen Fisher (Highland Park),

PEARL BLESSING BRACELETS Be grateful everyday. Sterling silver and beautiful pearl colors, $25. la de da! (Northbrook),, 847-562-1170

NECK PILLOWS & EYEMASKS Travel in comfort with buttery soft, colorful cashmere, $44–$100. Material Possessions (Winnetka),, 847-446-8840

LARGE TOTE Unique horse print tote bag with interior pockets, $149. Talia (Evanston),, 847-4241855

SUTTON STUDIOS GIFT CERTIFICATE Great gifts for the whole family! Sutton Studios (Evanston),, 847-679-8090

MULTICOLORED PEARL BRACELETS Freshwater cultured pearl bracelets, $15 each or $125 for 10. Smart Jewelers (Northbrook),, 847-673-6000

STATEMENT NECKLACE Made of spider web jaspar and gem stones. Each piece is unique, $98-$150. Mattie M (Winnetka), 847-784-8701

OILCLOTH TOTES Fun and functional (plus rain and snow proof!) for “women on the fly,” $58–$88. Flee Bags (Winnetka),, 847-386-7488

CLARINS HOLIDAY GIFT SET Hand & nail cream with tote bag. Teddie Kossof exclusive, $44. Teddie Kossof Salon Spa (Northfield),, 847-446-9526

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for the home

SURFACE SAVER/CUTTING BOARD Award-winning design, fused glass trivet/ cutting board, $30. Raven & Dove (Wilmette),, 847-251-9550

FLEUR DE NOEL SOAP Liquid and shea butter soap made in England, glass soap dish, $10-$12. Yellow Bird (Wilmette),, 847-256-1380

MICHAEL ARAM ORNAMENT Enchanting snowman with silver and gold accents, $59. Peachtree Place (Northfield),, 847-441-7585

BUDDHA BOARD Paint the surface with water to create a design. Returns to a clean slate as water evaporates, $34.95. Lad & Lassie (Wilmette),

NORDIC LIGHT CANDLE HOLDER from Design House Stockholm. Red or black, 4- or 7-arm style, $69-$99. Skändal (Winnetka),, 847-386-7900

THE CORKCICLE Perfect wine every time. Keep wine fresh with this stylish cork, $24.99. Raven & Dove (Wilmette),, 847-251-9550

for the family

BLUE MAN GROUP Best. Gift. Ever. Gift certificates and premium seating now available. Blue Man Group (Chicago),, 773-348-4000



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LARGE BIG GREEN EGG WITH NEST & MATE World’s best grill/smoker, $999. The Backyard Barbecue Store (Wilmette),, 847-251-2272

THE BOO BOO BAG! Bandages, cold pack, ointments, thermometer, stickers and more, $17.95. Teacher Peach (Highland Park),, 847-926-7298

special advertising section

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Deck your Halls with Mariani Landscape Your holiday decoration destination OFFERING CUSTOM DESIGN SERVICES From holiday lighting, garland and wreaths to beautifully decorated trees, let Mariani Landscape decorate your home for the holidays. Mariani can adorn your home’s interior and exterior to add seasonal style and holiday spirit. It’s easy and affordable, so contact Mariani Landscape at 847.234.2172 for your holiday decorating needs. VISIT OUR HOLIDAY SHOPPE FOR EVERYTHING NEEDED TO DO-IT-YOURSELF Shop fresh Fraser Fir and Balsam Fir trees, special handmade wreaths, holiday greens, winterberry, dogwood and other holiday arrangements. Holiday Shoppe Open November 23 to December 19, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., seven days a week Mariani Headquarters, 300 Rockland Road, Lake Bluff

300 Rockland Road, Lake Bluff, IL 60044 | Tel: 847.234.2172 | Fax: 847.234.2754 |

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11/7/12 10:30 AM

fa m i ly

Dr. Brené Brown and New Trier principal Tim Dohrer

different parent

kind of

B y Ke l l y K o n r a d

Can you dare to be different? Dr. Brené Brown is a very popular “researcher/ storyteller,” as seen millions of times on YouTube in her TED Conference talks. Her research on vulnerability and shame have led to several books, with her newest, “Daring Greatly,” published in September and topping the nonfiction best seller charts. She’s also a mother and offers interesting insight from her research on families and parenting.


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A lot of lip service is paid to new educational and parenting paradigms. It’s easy to have that “a-ha” moment and then fall back into old behaviors. For example, a parenting expert may tell a roomful of parents that tutoring for the ACT is really unnecessary, leading everyone to swear off tutors—only to be on the phone the next day hiring one, to make sure your kid has that leg up on the neighbors. Her advice? Back off on the comparisons. “When we hear something that is right and true, I think the biggest thing that gets in the way is comparison,” says Dr. Brown. Instead of comparing your kids and your families to the neighbors, Brown says to recognize there’s not one right way. “There are a million ways to be a great parent…there are so many different ways to do what we try to do …(comparing) takes us away from the bigger questions—Is there joy in our family? Is there laughter?”

Own it and be thankful for it Dr. Brown acknowledges that in affluent communities, there’s a tendency to be overly concerned about how much our children have and how that impacts their development. “(Parents are) so worried about entitlement,” she says. “We have to own the fact we’re raising kids that

Photo by Eric Dynowski

daring to be a

Stop comparing

11/6/12 6:23 PM

have much more privilege then we had growing up.” The key, she says, is in how we approach the good fortune we have. “I think we concentrate too much on huge changes. There are small things parents can do every day. Things like practicing gratitude in our families, and understanding the connection between hard work and privilege—that fast and easy is not a smart ethic.”

Know the difference between praise and being resilient to shame It seems like the rules for parenting are constantly changing. First, we don’t praise enough. Then we praise too much. This summer’s “You Are Not Special” commencement speech from Wellesley High School was a YouTube sensation. So if we’re not supposed to

praise our kids, how do we instill them with the sense of worthiness that Dr. Brown promotes? “The issue is not the amount of praise,” she says. “It is the intention. If (the praise) is to lessen our guilt for not being present, that’s a problem.”

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Brown suggests that instead of focusing on praise, parents can focus on how to raise kids who can cope with the inevitable shame that comes from, for example, flunking a test. “If you want to raise shame-resilient kids, live yourself and make mistakes.” She also believes that there are no guarantees about success, but who parents are as adults can be an accurate predictor of how children will be when they grow up. At a recent appearance in Northfield, Dr. Brown concluded her remarks by reminding the audience that home should be the place our children feel safe to be themselves, and their sense of worthiness is borne from how we act and treat ourselves. “You can’t give your kids more worthiness than you have.”

december 2012


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FA M I LY | travel




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Now that the presidential campaign is over, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time for Washington D.C. to put on its party dress for the upcoming inauguration. And while the city is going to be pretty crowded with galas galore, it may get you thinking about that bucket list trip youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been meaning to take with the kids.



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why d.c.?

Why not? It makes for a great family experience, offers living history lessons for you and the kids, is a chance to watch government in action and provides the opportunity to sneak in a few college visits. You could spend two weeks in Washington, D.C. and still not hit all the tourist hot spots. Here are a few highlights that promise to leave you satisfied.


A White House tour is impossible unless you know six months ahead of time about your trip, so focus instead on the U.S. Capitol (First St. and East Capitol St., 202-2268000, Rich with history, the guided audio tours include the famous Rotunda, details about the building and the art and statues housed within. Take a trip across the street to your representativeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s office and you can score tickets to the U.S. House of Representatives or Senate galleries. CONTINUED ON PAGE 54

Interior of Capitol dome

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Simple math will show you—there’s no way you’ll see everything in a weekend. Everyone’s favorite will be different, so as a family, choose two or three you really want to see ( and don’t fret if you aren’t able to fit them all in. Our recommendation? Don’t miss the Lincoln, FDR and Martin Luther King, Jr. monuments. Outstanding.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Monument

Also? The National Archives and Records (700 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., 866-272-6272, and the opportunity to see the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution is something that should never be passed on. Insiders will tell you that if you’re looking for a spectacular view, you can’t beat the Old Post Office Pavilion’s observation deck (1100 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., Washington,


Washington, D.C. is synonymous with the Smithsonian Institution. Again, with just two or three days, you won’t be able to see everything. Unless you’ll die if you don’t see the Hope Diamond, skip the Natural History Museum. Instead, spend a few hours at the Museum of American History, Ford Theatre and the Air and Space Museum. The Newseum (555 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., 888-NEWSEUM, News buffs could spend days here scouring through original papers featuring the world’s defining moments in history, but even casual fans will enjoy the bulk of their exhibits in just a couple of hours.



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The Washington Monument. You can see it from just about anywhere, and because it’s closed for another 18–24 months, there’s no reason to get up close and personal. And if you go and spend more than five minutes waiting in line for a cupcake in Georgetown, you are Wasting. Your. Time. There’s a shop on every corner, and they’re all delicious. Tip  If you plan on carrying a purse or a backpack, designate one person to be the pack mule and leave everything you can in your hotel room safe. You will encounter airport-style security everywhere. The fewer bags, the faster you’ll travel.


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Lincoln Memorial



D.C. was never a foodie town, but that is starting to change. Here are some great family choices: Smithsonian Museums: The “food trucks” outside the museums are pretty awful, but some of the cafeterias have better-than-expected food. Plan your day to be near the National Museum of American History around lunch and eat at the Stars and Stripes Café for regional and locally sourced dishes. Also the National Museum of the American Indian has native-inspired cuisine at the Mitsitam Café. National Cathedral: Our favorite pizza is at 2Amy’s. Grownup combinations and kid-friendly options abound. Plus a wine bar. Plus homemade doughnuts on Saturday and Sunday! (3715 Macomb St. NW., 202885-5700, U.S. Capitol: The Monocle Restaurant is on the Senate side of Capitol Hill, and is an institution. Dinner is pricey, but lunch affordable if you don’t let your kids order a steak (sandwiches and salads are in the $12-15 range). You’re bound to rub elbows with Senate staff and lobbyists, and the atmosphere can’t be beat. (107 D St., 202-546-4488,

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11/7/12 1:22 PM

bet t e r you

navigating play dates with stayat-home dads By Melanie Kalmar

to schedule a play date for the kids, can you get them together without “dating” him? Because while the tots race around the park, you are spending time alone with someone else’s husband. Maybe you never thought of it that way. But experts say you should and for good reason. “There is a potential for attraction, a closeness that is generated when you spend time together,” says Dr. Alexandra Solomon, assistant clinical professor at The Family Institute at Northwestern University in Evanston. “I want people to be mindful that there is some inherent amount of ‘loaded-ness’ to that situation. Acknowledging it goes a long way to reducing risk.” It doesn’t mean you should avoid play dates with stay-at-home dads, Solomon says. You just have to be smart about it. Don’t: • Complain about your husband to him • Confide in him • Schedule play dates with a dad you find attractive Dr. Edward Christophersen, coauthor of “Parenting That Works” (Magination Press, 2003), thinks oneon-one play dates give the appearance of an impropriety. Rather than isolate

if A stay-at-home dad calls


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and shun stay-at-home dads, he suggests moms: • Arrange group play dates • Put the kids in a class or sport together • Send their husbands to chaperone There is the exception

“If the families know each other, then it’s less of a big deal,” says Dr. Eileen Kennedy-Moore, co-author of “Smart Parenting for Smart Kids.” (Jossey-Bass, 2011) Dads can get to know other parents by volunteering in the community, just like moms do, and become known as a family as opposed to a lone wolf.

him about it,” she says. His primary energy and sharing should be going on in his primary relationship. Other red flags include: • Chatting on the phone with a mom friend • Concealing how often he sees her • Gushing about her to you Stay-at-home dads can practice “good marital hygiene” by:

• Informing their wives of all play dates • Introducing their wives to their mom friends • Sending their wives to “mom’s night out” events

Signs of trouble

Watch out for emotional infidelity, Kennedy-Moore says. It can be just as devastating to a family as sexual infidelity. “If his first impulse is to call his friend, rather than his wife, when something interesting, funny or upsetting happens, you might want to ask

Word to the wise

End a friendship that makes your spouse jealous, because it’s not worth it, Kennedy-Moore says. “It’s a short period of time, and then, the kids make plans for themselves.”

11/6/12 6:40 PM

Editor’s Note: This article became a national sensation with people weighing in from across the country. Here’s just a small, edited sample of the comment stream. To see them all, or to add your own comment, go to


I don’t have any kind of chip on my shoulder about being an at-home dad. I feel lucky to be able to be one, and am much more often supported and encouraged than looked at funny because of it. But this article has me pretty steamed. Based on... absolutely nothing... it speculates that women should fear being seduced by at home dads via play dates with their kids. That “one-on-one play dates give the appearance of an impropriety.” Look, if someone reads this and is subsequently afraid to hang out with me for fear of the uncontrollable passion that might erupt, well, that’s laughable, but I don’t care for my sake. I care because articles like this could make it harder for my daughter to socialize with her peers. JAMIE LYNN FERGUSON

I read the article and don’t find it offensive at all—it’s actually just logical reasoning, backed up with quotes from experts. To me, the message is...don’t compromise your marriage for a partnership that’s centered around your children. And be honest with yourself about your intentions and boundaries. AL WATTS

The premise of your article is ridiculous. My wife works with mostly men and travels 3-4 days a week staying in hotel rooms steps away from these men. She has way more opportunities than I ever would to stray from our relationship. BILL EKHARDT

I appreciate the idea that moms “be prepared and don’t be afraid of play-dates with stay-at-home dads.” Unfortunately, your opening line suggests we need to be afraid that such a play-date would actually be “dating” someone else’s husband. We do not pretend that our setting is without the risks of the workplace. In fact, what we desire is that publishers like this one examine suggestions regarding at-home dads through the lens of women in the workplace. MAKE IT BETTER

Wow, we’ve touched a nerve and we’re glad to see such a huge response. Clearly, it’s not our intention to suggest that women should avoid attractive guys. Our experts suggest that it’s only a problem if you are attracted to them. Trust your gut and remember, in the end it’s just a play date.

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11/7/12 11:11 AM




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11/6/12 5:53 PM






If there’s one thing that Glencoe resident Missie Bender has learned in her nearly two decades designing interiors, it’s the importance of listening—to her gut instinct, to her clients and even to the house itself, which has, encoded in its geometry and architectural details, a message from the original designer.

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december 2012

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didn’t tell this house what I wanted. It told me what it wanted,” Bender says about designing her vintage Tudor, which includes five bedrooms and an addition. “You need to be respectful of the house and the architecture. One of my big pet peeves is when people buy a traditional home and put in an ultra-modern kitchen.” Here are some tips from Bender on how she created a comfortable, contemporary feeling in a traditional home.

Paint 

“A lot of the rooms were much darker when we first bought the place. I wanted it to be brighter and more family friendly,” Bender explains, pointing to the formerly dark wood paneling in the dining room, which she brightened with a coat of neutral paint. Similarly, for the kitchen addition, Bender selected traditional white-painted cabinetry, which she accentuated with wood counter tops. continued on page 62...

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Missie Bender

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december 2012


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Fabric 

To create interest in the dining room, Bender paired her antique dining table with more contemporary dining chairs, which she covered in a transitional fabric. “The fabric is traditional, but the larger scale also gives it a contemporary feel,” Bender explains. Vary heights 

To create interest in a neutral palette, Bender varies the height of furnishings, so that it pulls your eye throughout the space. “Having everything on the same plane would be truly boring,” Bender says.


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11/6/12 5:54 PM


Bender created a neutral palette punctuated with accent colors she took from a rug in the living room. “The hue or saturation of color remains consistent throughout the entire house,” Bender explains. “Carrying the same hue throughout a home creates continuity without actually repeating the same color throughout.” Respect the home

To complement the original Tudor architecture, Bender selected “weighty, grounded” furniture pieces. “The furnishings required a certain depth, so none of the pieces in this house are light, airy or flimsy,” Bender says.

"Include pieces from your past so that your home doesn’t look like a showroom. Your house should reflect you." Mix it up

To keep things interesting, Bender has incorporated the same mix of vintage and contemporary pieces from around the globe that she stocks in her Glencoe boutique Vignette Home. “I love collecting things, and I love reinventing things—taking objects and making them into lamps, planters, bookends— all sorts of things,” Bender says. Personalize

“Include pieces from your past so that your home doesn’t look like a showroom,” Bender says, pointing to her collection of vintage Anri cork bottle stoppers from Italy, which she groups together in a glass-front kitchen cabinet. “Your house should reflect you.”

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december 2012


11/6/12 5:54 PM

sex & t h e su bu r b s

Panelists included: Andrea Gaines, David Klow, Antoinette Saunders and Carol Moss

By Mar jie Killeen In September we kicked off a series of shows based on this column at the Wilmette Theatre, and our first panel discussion focused on the question: Why is good sex important (especially compared to a good night’s sleep)? The answer may seem obvious—duh, of course sex is important—but the truth is, many of us aren’t feeling all that hot to trot. Married couples have more sex than their single counterparts, but the longer their relationship goes on the less sex they have, and 20% of married couples have almost no sex at all. One generational study showed that women in the 1950s (our grandmothers!) had more sex than women do today. Despite the so-called sexual revolution and being bombarded with explicit images in the media, experts say that lovemaking takes place less now than at any time since World War II. Why are our libidos so lethargic? One reason is that we’re exhausted. A recent survey from the Better


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Photo by Jordan Klow

good sex is important in more ways than one

Sleep Council found that 79% of women prefer getting a good night’s sleep to having sex. Sleep and stress are the biggest enemies of desire, and women—and men— are feeling plenty of both. Having to work at your love life often seems like one more chore on an endless to-do list, so why bother? Is it really that important? Absolutely, say my panelists, and for a wide range of reasons beyond physical gratification. Carol Moss, a licensed clinical social worker in Wilmette, feels that sex is intricately connected to our identity and our life’s purpose. “Good sex is part of the life force and it’s part of why we’re here on earth. Our life force validates who we are.” Andrea Gaines, an Evanston life and wellness coach, says women need to make experiencing pleasure a priority because it enhances their whole life. “We have a responsibility for our own turn on,” she says. “It’s not just about the bedroom. What are you doing to have a turned on life outside in the world that makes you feel good about yourself? What are you doing to cultivate that energy that makes you radiant? It’s part of taking care of yourself, that you have the capacity to feel pleasure and allow time for that.” Wilmette psychologist Antoinette Saunders feels that good sex, which she defines as much more than

11/6/12 6:44 PM

intercourse, is vital to a marriage because it creates connection. “In our middle and later life we have to focus on the energy and importance of connection,” she says. “And that means affection and respect and intimacy. Touching, holding, cuddling and loving words are very important to a relationship.” Evanston marriage and family therapist David Klow says good sex is mindful and mysterious; most importantly, “It’s an expression of appreciation. Most of us don’t realize we’re walking around with this low-grade resentment for our partners. Sex is such a validation of another person, it’s hard to live without that.” “Gratitude is really sexy,” agrees Moss. All the panelists say that having good sex is a process that requires ongoing attention and anticipation. Klow asks, “How do you set a tone in your home and your marriage that is preparing for sex—days in advance, weeks in advance—so that the atmosphere in the relationship is one of sexuality?” And you can’t depend solely on your partner to light your fire. According to Saunders, desire has to start by seeing yourself as desirable. “You can’t expect your partner to feel good about something that you don’t. It just doesn’t work that way; it’s not sexy. It takes some conscious effort on your part.” So don’t hit the snooze button on your sex life. As my insightful panel discussed, the benefits to making it a priority are worth staying up for.

ONE LAST SHOW! SEX & THE SUBURBS LIVE: November 29 at 7:30 p.m., Wilmette Theatre How to Get What You Really Want for the Holidays. Featuring new panelists Marianne Murciano and Arthur Nielsen, MD.

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11/7/12 9:20 AM



Shield yourself against winter’s chill with the most fashionable gear this season. Make It Better has tracked down some chic and cuddly coats, boots, and accessories at a variety of price points and styles to equip everyone for the frosty days ahead. BY

Evangeline Politis PHOTOS BY

Nathaniel Perry

COAT Double-cloth coat with Thinsulate, $325, J.Crew SCARF Floral scarf, $88, Anthropologie HEADBAND Frances headband, $70, Club Monaco BOOTS Wesley boot, $575, Tory Burch



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COAT Classic lambswool polo coat, $239, L.L.Bean GLOVES Wanda Moto glove, $90, Club Monaco SCARF Canada Goose infinity scarf, $95, Uncle Dan’s EARMUFFS Chaos Ramee earmuffs, $30, Uncle Dan’s BOOTS Deerfield boots, $199, L.L.Bean

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JACKET Grillion jacket, $2,495, Moncler Chicago HAT Cable knit cap, $190, Moncler Chicago BOOTS Pajar fox fur and cowhide boots, $502, Lori’s BAG Badgley Mischka cognac leather tote,

$475, York Furrier

JACKET The North Face Parkina down jacket, $370, Uncle Dan’s MITTENS Hestra merino wool-lined mittens, $100, Uncle Dan’s HAT Lydia cashmere hat, $90, Club Monaco BOOTS Sorel Cate The Great boots, $210, Uncle Dan’s

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11/5/12 2:09 PM


York Signature Style natural and sheared demi-buff mink handkerchief hem walking coat, $8,995, York Furrier BELT Italian designed lamb leather belt, $259, York Furrier BAG Rosewood handcrafted tote with copper, leather and rattan details, $395, York Furrier GLOVES Cognac gloves, $195, Moncler Chicago BOOTS Le Pepe boots, $350, Lori’s COAT



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COAT Rossalyn faux fur coat, $898, Kate Spade GLOVES Lois gloves, $90, Club Monaco HAT Isadore hat, $80, Club Monaco BOOTS Vince Camuto boots, $225, Lori’s

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Untitled-5 1

10/30/12 11:10 AM


COAT Chouette jacket, $2,245, Moncler Chicago MITTENS Mittens, $220, Moncler Chicago HAT Natural mahogany mink fedora, $795, York Furrier BOOTS Ugg Lilyan boots, $295, Lori’s



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COAT Meco Kendall coat, $399, Uncle Dan’s HAT Chaos Ains Hat, $29, Uncle Dan’s GLOVES Cashmere cable driving gloves, $60, L.L.Bean BOOTS Sorel Joan of Arc boots, $150, Lori’s

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December 6, 12 – 4 p.m. Peachtree Place, 303 S. Happ Rd., Northfield, 847-441-7585, Meet Shelly and she will sign your favorite Mariposa tableware and gifts just in time for holiday giving. Receive a free gift with your $150 Mariposa purchase.


December 6, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Wilmette Jewelers, 1149 Wilmette Ave., Wilmette, 847-251-1061, Featuring jewels from yesteryear — Victorian, art deco, retro, designer, signed pieces as well as celebrity-owned jewelry. Distinguish yourself with a grand jewel from another era. Appointments preferred.


December 4 & 5 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. The Lake Forest Shop , 265 East Market Square, Lake Forest, the Come see the unique color blends that are featured in the Spring 2013 collection!

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11/6/12 6:47 PM

bet t e r you

roscoe village 3 DayTripper





Damen Ave.

Leavitt St.


2 Roscoe St.

Schoool St. Melrose St. 7

1 Crush Belmont Ave. Your tween or teen will be in heaven at this trendy clothing and accessories boutique. A highlight of the shop: a custom t-shirt bar where customers choose their design, watch it be created and get to wear it out the door. 2138 W. Roscoe St., 773-661-9481,

By Jenny Muslin

Roscoe Village, on the north side of Chicago, has become a hot spot for exclusive boutiques, cozy coffee shops and an array of restaurants. The laid-back vibe and family friendly environment make Roscoe Village a great shopping and lunch destination.

2 Hubba Hubba  If you’re a romantic at heart, you’ll love the clothes and accessories at this adorable shop. Vintageinspired dresses are our favorite, plus unique jewelry that you won’t see coming and going. 2040 W. Roscoe St., 773-477-1414,


3 Paciugo Gelato Head to Paciugo on any given night and you’re bound to find a line of people waiting to dig into one of the unique gelato flavors like blueberry lavender or chocolate jalapeño. 2009 W. Roscoe St., 773-661-9519,


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Kickin Photo by Jared Powell Photography for GiftBar

4 Kickin’ These aren’t your mother’s maternity clothes! Kickin’ carries fashionable maternity wear including designer jeans, active wear and European brands that you won’t find anywhere else. Modern jewelry like silver teething ring necklaces makes the perfect gift for new moms and grandmas. 2142 W. Roscoe St., 773-281-6577,

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7 TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE ONE This boutique is a one-stop shop for all of your baby necessities. Beautiful furniture, wall dĂŠcor, bedding, toys and clothing are just some of the items available. Gift registries are also offered. 2007 W. Belmont Ave., 773-472-3000,


5 DENIM LOUNGE This boutique is the place for fashionable outfits for women, men and children. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll find great jeans like DL1961, clutches by Hobo and even flower girl dresses. 2039 W. Roscoe St., 312-642-6403,

6 PIAZZA BELLA TRATTORIA Cozy ambiance, stellar service and fresh Italian food have made this a popular spot since 1999. The restaurant is perfect for lunch or date night, and the homemade pastas never disappoint. 2114 W. Roscoe St., 773-477-7330,

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11/6/12 6:48 PM

pucker up! beauty

By E va n g e l i n e P o l i t i s

Give your lips that perfect pout this winter with a lip stain. Unlike a lipstick,

which just covers your lips, these products literally stain your lips and are supposed to last longer. The only downfall is this can sometimes lead to drying results (an effect we’ll want to avoid this season). So from YSL to Bobbi Brown, we critiqued several brands to find you the most long lasting, kissable lips!

LipSurgence Lip Tint If you’re looking for something with extra moisturizing power—this is your product. Tarte claims it will increase moisture content by 6000% (we’re pretty sure that’s a bit of an exaggeration), but it does act a lot like a lip balm. We were wondering if it’s this extra moisture that keeps it from lasting as long as the other products. If you use it with a bit of gloss, it’ll stay longer and keep it from looking too chalky. $24, Tarte

Lip Stain This stain comes in six beautiful colors and probably wins the award for being the longest lasting product. The biggest disappointment is that it is in a pot, leaving users to their own devices for application–either it’ll get all over your fingers or you’ll have to carry an extra brush. Perhaps Laura Mercier should consider a redesign for a more convenient application. $20, Laura Mercier


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Limitless Lip Stain & Color Seal Balm Smashbox’s stain has the best packaging of the bunch; one side has a marker-like tip to apply stain and the other side applies a waxy balm that can be worn alone or over the stain for extra gloss. We just wished the product’s quality would last longer: after several uses the tip on the stain side didn’t work as well—applying less product and feeling sort of dry. $23, Smashbox

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Rouge Pur Couture Vernis à Lèvres Glossy Stain YSL’s brand new lip product combines the shine of a gloss with the long lasting power of a lip stain. While the stain does have a nice sheer appearance, if you apply several coats for more shine and color, it tends to get a little too goopy. After a few uses it has a drying effect, so lip balm is a muchneeded accomplice. $32, Yves Saint Laurent

Limited Edition Creamy Color for Lips & Cheeks We loved this dual-acting stain in the Pink Truffle color; such a great pop of color for the holidays. Wear it on your lips by itself during the day or with a clear gloss for night. It also applies smoothly to cheeks for a lovely natural look. We’re crossing our fingers it will become part of the Bobbi Brown permanent collection. $20, Bobbi Brown

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11/6/12 1:56 PM

bet t e r you | fitness

40 100 easy ways to burn

calories this holiday season

So you survived Halloween treats and the Turkey Trot helped you work off the mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving, but here comes December—time for holiday cheer: buttery cookies, fancy chocolates, colorful libations and rich cheese samplers! You can survive the holiday feasts without having to pull out your fat jeans. Acknowledge the extra calories, and add movement to your day to balance things out. Here are 40 easy ways to burn an extra 100 calories. Burn 100 after your regular workout:


1. Weight train vigorously with light weights (15 minutes) 2. Energize with high impact aerobics (10 minutes) 3. Run that set of stairs you pass by everyday (6 minutes) 4. Invigorate by jumping rope outdoors (10 minutes) 5. Power the hills on the elliptical (8 minutes) 6. Bike moderately and watch the latest episode of “Modern Family” (25 minutes) 7. Run at a comfortable pace to the lake or a park (9 minutes) 8. Swim laps to cool off, and recover from a hard workout (15 minutes)

by Christ y Coughlin

Burn 100 calories at work:

9. Set a timer to remind you to stand for 10 minutes of every hour for 8 hours 10. Walk the stairs in your office building or a nearby park (20 minutes) 11. Push away from the computer and flow through your favorite yoga poses (20 minutes) 12. Shoot hoops with your coworker at lunchtime (20 minutes) 13. Stand during your morning conference call (45 minutes) 14. Sit tall on an exercise ball at your desk (2 hours) NORDSTROM

Burning 100 calories is fun:

15. Take your furry friend for a brisk walk (15 minutes) 16. Get your little soccer star outside to practice soccer drills together (15 minutes) 17. Challenge your son to an intense ping pong match (25 minutes) 18. Join your hockey players and skate around the rink (20 minutes) 19. Sled down the hill and walk up with your kids (15 minutes) 20. Play tag in the school playground with your little one and her friends (23 minutes) 21. Turn up the volume and dance to your favorite tunes (20 minutes) NORDSTROM


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Burn 100 calories at home: NORDSTROM

22. Vacuum up all the dog hair (25 minutes) 23. O  rganize, dust and clean out your desk (30 minutes) 24. Make their favorite homemade dinner from scratch and set the table (35 minutes) 25. Wash all the dishes, pots and pans from dinner (35 minutes) 26. Carry in and put away all the groceries, take out the trash, empty the dishwasher and wipe the counters (30 minutes) 27. Shovel a real snowfall (15 minutes) 28. Wash all the salt off the car (20 minutes) 29. Carry your groceries in a basket (30 minutes) 30. Blow dry and straighten your hair (30 minutes) 31. Clean your closet including changing seasonal items, dusting, reorganizing and discarding items you never wear (35 minutes) 32. Unload the laundry, fold and put away (40 minutes)

Burn 100 calories with a friend or loved one: NORDSTROM

33. Shop and try on the latest fashions with your daughter (30 minutes) 34. Window shop the entire mall with your husband (40 minutes) 35. Enjoy talking with your mom as you walk outside (30 minutes) 36. Give a loved one a shoulder massage (20 minutes) 37. Carry your baby or grandchild (24 minutes) 38. Pick up trash on your block with a few neighbors (20 minutes)


Burn 100 calories without even trying:

39. Enjoy good belly laughs during your holiday get togethers (20 minutes) 40. Fidget all day: twirl your hair, tap your leg, move your shoulders, itch your leg, pet your dog (100 calories per hour!)

Get excited to enjoy the holidays and all the tasty treats, without neglecting your health and gaining weight. Keep the indulgences to a minimum and add movement to your day. Come January, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be ready to show off your winter- fit body.

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BET T E R YOU | finance

shop smart this holiday season BY MEGHAN STREIT

long lines, bright lights, screaming toddlers—it’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’re shopping for holiday gifts. Save some cash (and your sanity) with these strategies for maximizing your gift budget.



Mundelein mom and bargain hunter Rita Cangialosi is the founder of Chi-Town Cheapskate, a blog where she posts coupons and money-saving tips. Her advice for getting deals on hot gifts like the XBox is to research prices before buying. Sign up for a service like AmazonPriceTracker or subscribe to a blog like Cangialosi’s to get alerts when prices drop. Cangialosi says you can also save on holiday gifts with a strategy “extreme couponers” use to slash grocery bills: stack store coupons with manufacturer coupons. She says she recently was able to purchase board games for just $1 at a big box store by combining store and manufacturer coupons with rebates. GIFT CARDS

If you’re giving gift cards, Cangialosi recommends purchasing them at supermarkets. Many grocers carry gift cards to top retailers like Best Buy and iTunes, and may offer gift certificates you can use for groceries when you purchase a gift card. Another little-known way to save: use the right credit card. Cangialosi says one big box retailer recently offered 20 percent off iPads purchased with Discover cards. Daily deal sites like Groupon are a great way to score gifts like spa services or theater tickets at deep discounts, but subscribing to all of the deal sites can



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clog your inbox. That’s why Brent Shelton, a spokesperson for, recommends his site’s local deals section. “The section basically aggregates all [daily offers from] Groupon, Living Social, Saveology, Angie’s List, etc., in one place, allowing visitors to quickly scan each day’s offers and keep their inboxes uncluttered.” SHOP LOCAL FOR DEALS

Downtown Chicago and the Internet aren’t the only places to buy gifts. Don’t forget about shopping in your own back yard. Gina Speckman, executive director of Chicago’s North Shore Convention and Visitors Bureau, says there are plenty of deals to be had at North Shore boutiques and malls. Visit downtown Winnetka on December 2, when retailers will host special sales, Speckman says. Mark your calendar for December 15, which Speckman says is the first-ever “Shop Evanston Day,” when many local stores will have holiday promotions. Highland Park is encouraging visitors to shop local on December 7 and 8, with holiday festivities supporting the retail district. Check for updated information on local sales. Our own, also lists holiday sales as well as activities like menorah lightings and breakfasts with Santa in our events section: If you want the tactile experience of a brick-andmortar store and the low prices you find online, Speckman says you may be able to get both. “A lot of retailers have gotten smarter,” she says. “If they have an online presence, they may offer the same deal in the store.”

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di n i ng

BellyQ Modern Asian BBQ By Julie Chernoff

You’ve got to respect Chef Bill Kim. After doing time in the fine-dining destination kitchens of David Bouley (NYC), Susanna Foo (Philly) and Charlie Trotter, he joined forces with his wife, Yvonne Cadiz Kim, and got back to his roots with Urban Belly in Logan Square. It was a huge hit right out of the gate. Next came Belly Shack, a mash-up of Korean and Latino “soul” food. Another smash. And now, with the opening of BellyQ in the old 160 Blue space on Randolph, Kim is three for three. Clearly he has his finger on the pulse of the Chicago food zeitgeist. Filled with industrial touches of unfinished wood, rough cement, and brushed steel, the interior feels both warm and modern. Servers wear handcrafted leather butcher’s aprons, horses gallop across moveable glass panels, and the (somewhat sparse) lighting glows from metal baskets and funky clear glass teardrops. You will be tempted to slip the gorgeous leather check presenter in your purse. Resist the urge.


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Belly Beverages

The beverage service is every bit as intriguing as the décor. Wines are offered on tap only—a revolving selection of two reds and two whites—by the glass, liter and half liter, and the bottled beer choices are limited but well chosen. The “Culinary Inspired” craft cocktails ($9) feature ingredients that may be new to you, but go for it. The Serpentine blends Sudachi Shochu (a distilled Japanese spirit similar to vodka), a coconut vinegarplum infusion and fresh cucumber into an Asian version of Pimm’s cup. We also enjoyed the Long Goodnight, a playful mix of bitter and sweet, with roasted pineapple, Cocchi Americano (an aperitif), lemonberry tea syrup, Benedictine and orange bitters. Belly Bites

As for the food, you’ve got some choices to make, and it won’t be easy because everything sounds so damn good. Or you can follow our lead and order

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most of the menu. Start with some A few tables in the front of the resof the “belly Bites” like the Addictive taurant feature inset grills where you Edamame ($4), bright green pods can cook your own proteins in the swathed in soy, balsamic, sun-dried Korean style, but we were perfectly tomatoes, fermented black bean paste, content to let the kitchen do it for us. crispy shallots and who knows what Banana Leaf-Wrapped Salmon ($20), else. They are vegetable was cooked to a turn, but crack. Or maybe the Thaioverwhelmed by lemonStyle Fried Chicken ($9), grass. The Asian coleslaw, BellyQ perfectly crisped and moist 1400 W. Randolph St. vinegary and refreshing, Chicago within, topped with a sweet was a bright spot on the 312-563-1010 red chili sauce. Yum. plate. The Korean Short More fried goodness apRibs were a rare disappointpears in Crispy Tofu ($8) ment, but enlivened by the with sweet and sour plum trio of tasty dipping sauces. sauce and pickled onions. Our spirits soared with There is hot oil wizardry happening the Tea-Smoked Duck Breast ($23), back in the kitchen, because these are ruby slices of succulent, smoky meat, greaseless. stir-fried Chinese broccoli, and a platThe Chilled Soba Noodle Salad ter of pleasantly spongy, steamed Chi($10) is a cool tangle of buckwheat noo- nese buns, a guilty pleasure. This is a dles, Thai basil and Chinese-style egg- don’t miss dish. plant, topped with olive oil-poached shrimp. You’ll also want to try one of SOFT SERVE? YES! But wait! There’s more! Dessert is their savory Asian pancakes, made in a wood-burning oven, and thinner and phenomenal here. And there’s really crispier than any I’ve had before. Ours only one, with three variations: a vanilwas topped with nubs of Nueske’s ba- la and coconut milk soft serve, creamy con, kimchee and mixed greens in a and divine, layered with fruit ice. Our favorite was the Huckleberry Ice parblack vinegar-soy sauce dressing. The Tofu Hot Pots are a must, and fait ($6), topped with lime zest and perfect for sharing with the table. The Thai basil seed spheres, although the Seafood variety ($14) featured dashi Citrus Ice with Yuzu Tapioca pearls broth, squid, shrimp, meltingly soft was a close second. This is a place I can’t wait to revisit, astofu, chunks of rice cake and vegetables. It had real depth of flavor; not just suming I can ever get another reservation. But it’s definitely worth the effort. one note of spice.

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11/7/12 10:20 AM

DI n i ng | dining list

eat where to


when you

By Julie Chernoff

It’s time for holiday shopping

Mag Mile Deca Restaurant & Bar Located in the 12th floor lobby of the Ritz, this oasis of calm is a sweet respite from the hubbub below. They make a Croque Monsieur and a Pumpkin Flatbread to die for. Ritz-Carlton Hotel, 160 E. Pearson St., 312573-5160,


Pierrot Gourmet The baked goods are fantastic—the macarons are delish—but don’t ignore the Tuna Melt or the Alsatian Flambée. 108 E. Superior St., 312-573-6749, Chicago

State St./Loop Atwood Café This Art Deco gem knocks it out of the park at lunch and brunch. 1 W. Washington St., 312-368-1900,

The Purple Pig Antipasti galore, gorgeous cured meats and cheeses abound. Save room for the Sicilian Iris dessert! 500 N. Michigan Ave., 312-464-1744,

The Gage How I long for their Duck Confit Hash and Eggs, or their perfect burger topped with ripe Camembert and Onion Jam. Sigh. 24 S. Michigan Ave., 312-372-4243,

Balsan I love their two-course brunch and a bubbly cocktail, but they also have the best roast chicken in town. 11 E. Walton St., 312646-1400,

RL If it’s good enough for Oprah and The Biebs, it’s good enough for you! Updated preppy favorites like Chicken Hash, Riff Raff Salad, or Toasted Cheese and Tomato Soup. 115 E. Chicago Ave., 312-475-1100,

Le Colonial Enjoy exotic salads and spring rolls beneath the palm fronds at this upscale French-Vietnamese restaurant. 937 N. Rush St., 312-255-0088,

Tortoise Club Brand spanking new! Just opened, very clubby atmosphere, promising menu. 350 N. State St., 312-755-1700,


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Lockwood You will weep for their Stuffed French Toast, not to mention the Mac ‘n Cheese with bacon. 17 E. Monroe St., 312-917-3404, Terzo Piano Here, plates of food are works of art, fitting since this beautifully designed restaurant sits in the new wing of the Art Institute. 159 E. Monroe St., 312-443-8650,

Photo courtesy of balsan

downtown! You’ve dragged yourself along the Magnificent Mile; or maybe you spent an hour fighting freeway traffic to shop in uber-hip Wicker Park. Either way, you’re starving! And you’ve earned a rest and something decidedly tasty to eat. Where to go? Fear not, intrepid shopper. We’ve got you covered.

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Tesori This spacious dining room (in the old Rhapsody space) is a welcome relief from the State Street bustle. Fresh pastas, pizzas, salads, all with a decided Italian accent. 65 E. Adams St., 312-786-9911, Bucktown/Wicker Park Big Star My secret to avoid the lines? Go for lunch… the Sonoran Hot Dog is every bit as tasty, as are the Tacos de Pescado. 1531 N. Damen Ave., 773-235-4039, Feast Brunch is served here Friday thru Sunday, and whether your tastes run to Chilaquiles with Chorizo or a Crab Benedict, you will leave happy. 1616 N. Damen Ave., 773-7727100,

Hot Chocolate They are, of course, known for their desserts, but don’t be fooled. This place makes some serious savory food as well, with an emphasis on seasonal produce from artisan farmers. 1747 N. Damen Ave., 773-489-1747, Piece Brewery & Pizzeria A New Haven-style pizza is a thing of beauty, especially when it’s a white clam pizza, accompanied by an award-winning brew. 1927 W. North Ave., 773-772-4422, Storefront Company I’m in love with their brunch menu, especially the Lemon & Ricotta Souffle Pancakes and the Blue Crab Omelet. This place has a very cool vibe. 1941 W. North Ave., 773-6612609,

Andersonville Andies Restaurant This long-time Mediterranean favorite is consistently tasty and easy on the wallet. 5253 N. Clark St., 773-784-8616, Big Jones Heirloom Southern food and hospitality are the hallmarks here, be it Gumbo Ya-Ya, Shrimp and Grits, or fresh-baked Sally Lunn bread and Cornbread Muffins. 5347 N. Clark St., 773-784-8616, M Henry Breakfast is served all day, and since I can eat the aptly named Blackberry Bliss Cakes at any time, that’s a good thing. They also have an incredible array of sandwiches. 5707 N. Clark St., 773-561-1600, The Burger Philosophy Sure, the Fries with Blue Cheese and Bacon paired with a Nutella shake might change your dress size, but it will be worth it. 1541 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., 773-944-0373,

Photo <credit>

Grass Fed Light and bright during the day, lovely for lunch or weekend brunch with a nice selection of salads and sandwiches… or perhaps

you’d prefer Fried Chicken & Waffles? 1721 N. Damen Ave., 773-342-6000,

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e n t e rta i nm e n t

the grinch, scrooge and … liza minnelli?

Holiday theater options range from fantasy to family friendly B y K e l ly K o n r a d

For many, the holidays are synonymous with the theater—whether it’s a holiday date night out on the town or a traditional family trip to the city. Make this year special—from the traditional to funky, the choice is yours.

Bah Humbug! Through December 22 Piccolo Theatre, 600 Main St., Evanston 847-424-0089 | Looking for a slightly more intimate, but equally entertaining version of the holiday classic? Try this relaxing alternative—a Dickens Panto-style, complete with crossdressing, music and magic. It’s also a show designed for family fun—meaning the kids aren’t expected to sit quietly with their hands in their laps. Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” Through December 29 Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St., Chicago | 312-443-3800 | It’s the 35th anniversary for this Chicago theater tradition. Join the Goodman in this celebration of the quintessential holiday classic. Our advice if you’ve already been? Take a friend or family member that hasn’t seen the show before—you may see it in an entirely new way. The Chimes: A Goblin Story December 15, 22, 23 & 31 Remy Bumppo Theatre, Greenhouse Theatre


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Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago For something a little different, try Remy Bumppo’s take on Dickens at the holidays. “The Chimes” is actually the first of four holiday tales written by Dickens and is equally engaging as its famous cousin, with captivating storytelling. Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical December 5 - 16 Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph St., Chicago | 312-977-1700 | A great choice for families with little ones in tow, the on-stage version of the Dr. Seuss classic brings the Grinch to life, as well as the songs we hum all season long. You’ll leave with a heart two sizes too big. The Santaland Diaries November 23 – December 30 Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago 773-975-8150 | The David Sedaris-penned play returns for its ninth consecutive year. Mitchell Fain reprises his role as Crumpet, Santa’s lessthan-helpful helper, regaling the audience

with true, behind-the-tights tales from the wickedly funny Sedaris’ past. The Second City’s Holiday in the Heights November 23 – January 4 Metropolis Performing Arts Theatre, 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights | 847-5772121 | A great way to enjoy Second City without having to, you know … get to Second City. An annual tradition at Metropolis with laser focus on the crazy that the holidays bring. You can also take this opportunity to give back—the theater is running a food drive through the end of the year. We Three Lizas November 30 – December 22 Steppenwolf Garage, 1624 N. Halstead, Chicago | 312-335-1650 | Kicking yourself for missing “Kinky Boots?” Redemption can be found here—enjoy a rollicking take on the holidays when Conrad Ticklebottom calls on the Great Queen of Wishes, asking for youth, power and wealth, and gets Liza Minnelli on his doorstep instead. Don’t miss the 45-minute pre-show in “Liza’s Lounge” for an extra dose of fun.

Photo by Cheryl Mann

We Three Lizas

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Bank of America Theatre The Book of Mormon Opens December 11 312-977-1700 Cadillac Palace Theatre War Horse December 18 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; January 5 312-977-1700 Chicago Shakespeare Theater The School for Lies Opens December 4 312-595-5600 The Citadel Little Women Through December 30 847-735-8554 Lookingglass Theatre Chicago Metamorphoses Through December 16 312-337-0665 Marriott Theatre Lincolnshire My One and Only Through January 6 847-634-0200 TimeLine Theatre Wasteland Through December 30 773-281-8463 Writerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Theatre The Letters Through March 3 847-242-6000

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e n t e rta i nm e n t

music by val Valslist 2.0

by va l h a l l e r o f va l s l i s t. co m

You know the story …

T’was the night before Christmas and all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse... Or… Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, I made it out of clay Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, then dreidel I shall play... They’re both wrong—you are stirring, and you’re too busy to play. The holidays are almost here and you still need to fill your gift list. You want perfect. You need simple and affordable.  Each year, we take on too much, exhaust ourselves in the process and vow not to repeat the frenzy next year. But gift giving is fun. We can’t help ourselves. And although we know that perfect gift is elusive, we go on the habitual holiday hunt anyway.  Here’s a new idea for the music lover on your list. It just might be the perfect gift: 

Here’s a sampling of some of our gift playlists:

1. H  O HO HO Daddy-o (a mix of vintage rock and new rock; perfect for the guy who wants to keep up with music) 2. Holiday Nap Time (a mix of the newest chill music and electronica; dreamy beats for putting your feet up) 3. Kids’ Table (pump it up with great dance music—a mix of old and new—for all ages) 4. S  anta’s Baby (a mix of romantic dinner party music for after the house guests leave) 5. Blanket of Snow (a clever mix of “covers,” back-to-back song pairs of classic greats and new artists covering those songs) 6. C  ool Yule (the best of the new, including indie, alternative, folk, strings, R&B, singer/songwriters and more)


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Instead of the tangible, expensive, predictable gift of an iPod, iPhone or other device; why not help fill one instead? Here’s how: You can “gift” a music playlist directly from iTunes. It’s simple, affordable, accessible and clever. The iTunes store allows you to send a playlist directly to a friend’s music library. It’s also practical and efficient, and a gift that keeps on giving (cliché but absolutely true). has created gift playlists for everyone on your list this holiday season. It’s easy. Simply go to and click on “Gift A Playlist” and we’ll show you how. “One for me, one for them” might be your new mantra.

Gift a Show: Here’s some live music not to miss!

December 1 Rose Cousins with Ari Hest @ Schubas (Two voices you’ll never forget. Valslist says go!) December 13 Punch Brothers @ The Vic (Rock + strings doesn’t get any better than this!) December 19, 20, 21 Andrew Bird @ Fourth Presbyterian Church  (Shows will sell out; a must-see experience for the family)

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e n t e rta i nm e n t

cookbooks make delicious gifts BY JULIE CHERNOFF Every year, hundreds of new cookbooks

are released. Are they all worthwhile? Of course not! But hidden among the throng are always a few great books, ones that you will refer to again and again… or at least gaze longingly at and drool upon. Here are some of my favorites from this year’s crop.

Baked Elements: Our Ten Favorite Ingredients Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito If yours include pumpkin, booze, caramel, cheese and banana, this book is in your sweet spot. And if Whiskey Peach Upside-Down Cake and Cream Cheese-Chocolate Snacking Cookies don’t appeal, you might want to rethink your palate.

Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust Ina Garten Not sure how she keeps cranking out these cookbooks filled with things I can’t wait to eat…I just know I have to have this book. Cellulite be damned!

Bouchon Bakery Thomas Keller and Sebastian Rouxel If you’ve been to a Bouchon Bakery, I don’t have to explain to you why you have to buy this book. It’s worth it for the “Better Nutters” recipe alone… trust me.

Burma: Rivers of Flavor Naomi Duguid Award-winning cookbook author/photographer Duguid knows her way around Asia. Let her expose you to the complex cuisine of Burma, which combines elements of China, Vietnam and India, full of exotic flavors and textures.

Carnivore: 120 Recipes for Meat Lovers Michael Symon Maybe you recognize this devoted carnivore from ABC’s The Chew. For meat lovers, this book is a must, filled with useful information and terrific recipes, all meat-centric. Not for your vegan friend!

Roots Diane Morgan Everything you always wanted to know about root veggies, and more. It’s not subtitled a “Definitive Compendium” for nothing! Fascinating history, yummy recipes.

The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook Deb Perelman Popular food blogger Perelman has a knack for making home cooking approachable and creative—she still tests recipes in her tiny NYC apartment kitchen. She’s found and simplified all the recipes you’d like to make at home.

This is a Cookbook: Recipes for Real Life Max and Eli Sussman The perfect gift for the twenty-something that needs help demystifying the kitchen. Cooking is fun; it needn’t be a chore. As a plus, the ingredients are all readily available and prepared with a decided lack of fuss and an emphasis on flavor.


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SHOP AND BENEFIT PARKINSON’S RESEARCH The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research Please join us for the Eve J. Alfillé Gallery & Studio’s Holiday Party on Saturday, December 1st from noon to 6:00 p.m. Enjoy sweet treats, delicious drinks, live music and Eve’s fine art jewelry. Best of all, 10% of all direct sales during this event will go directly to Parkinson’s research! 623 Grove St., Evanston,


DONATE WINTER WEAR TO KEEP STUDENTS WARM Wood Family Foundation 312-924-9234 | The Warm Wishes program is looking for hats, gloves and scarf donations this winter season. The Wood Family Foundation’s Warm Wishes program will help a Chicago Public school located in the Austin neighborhood. If you would like to learn more about Warm Wishes or find donation locations, please visit HELP TRANSITION THE HOMELESS The Lake County Haven 847-680-1703 | The Lake County Haven transitions women and children from homelessness to independent living. This could not happen without your help! Residents are currently in need of: Target gift cards, Walmart gift cards, gas station gift cards, bus or Metra passes, gently used women’s professional



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VOLUNTEER TO SAVE LIVES Old Irving Park Community Clinic (OIPCC) 5425 W. Addison, Chicago | 773-427-0298 Calling all doctors! Volunteer psychiatrists, doctors and nurses needed to support the Old Irving Park Community Clinic. Since 2008, our volunteer staff of health professionals has been providing free primary health care to the medically uninsured and underserved in the Chicago area. We ask all volunteers to commit to at least 4 hours per month. To volunteer, contact Steven Zelner, executive director. Donations can be mailed or made online.

clothing, 2013 calendars/planners. If you have items to donate, please call or visit the website. SEND AN E-CARD TO SUPPORT CRISIS MEDICAL CARE Doctors Without Borders Doctors Without Borders delivers lifesaving care to people caught up in crises in Syria, Afghanistan and more than 60 other countries, treating people for malaria, sleeping sickness, HIV/AIDS and conditions that require lifesaving surgery. Purchase and send a personalized e-card to honor friends and family during this holiday season, and your donation will support emergency medical work. An e-card donation can be made at



DRIVE SENIORS TO MEDICAL APPOINTMENTS  North Shore Senior Center 847-784-6052 | Many seniors live independently, but can no longer drive. Volunteers use their own cars to transport seniors within a defined geographic area, and can accept or decline any request to drive. Spend a few hours each month doing a good deed that will enrich seniors’ lives and yours! Please contact Maura Rogan, director of Volunteer Services:

11/6/12 11:30 AM


SUPPORT CHILDREN WITH CHALLENGES Rush NeuroBehavioral Center 847-763-7935 | Rush NeuroBehavioral Center helps children with social, emotional and learning challenges. Donations support families who cannot otherwise afford these services, and also fund research into innovative treatments and assessments, as well as school programs in under-resourced communities. Donations are accepted online. For questions, please call Anne Sullivan, director of Development and Communications.

FUEL ADAPTIVE PROGRAMMING Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association (GLASA) 847-283-0908 | GLASA advocates for the physical and mental well-being of youth, teens, adults and injured military. By providing adaptive fitness and competitive sports programs, GLASA gives individuals the opportunity to participate in tennis, golf, sled hockey and many other sports. With your donation, GLASA will expand its outreach efforts to low income neighborhoods, and will continue to provide education, leadership and training services.

SUPPORT TECH LITERACY FOR  PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES JJ’s List 847-869-0000 | Funds donated to JJ’s List support programs to teach people with disabilities the essential Internet and digital literacy skills they need for employment and participation in the community. Among the core skills they teach are Internet safety, website management and professional communication skills. People with disabilities run the consumer review website and teach businesses how to interact comfortably with people who have disabilities. Donate online at

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25th Anniversary Highland Park Country Club September 9, 2012 $125,000 raised (SHOWN IN PHOTOS):

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(1) Honorees Carrie Katz-Knutson of Chicago, Pam and Craig Katz of Northbrook, Mike Katz of Wilmette and Jamie Knutson of Chicago; (2) Sue Roberts of Highland Park; (3) Honorees Bob Peterson of La Grange, Tom and Barbara Peterson of Glenview and John Peterson and Kelly Handke of Leavenworth, Kansas; (4) New Foundation Center artists show their designs at annual Expressive Arts Festival; (5) Shari and Jeff Rabin of Lincolnshire and Allyson and Jason St. John of Lake Forest; (6) Barbara Peterson of Glenview, Naomi Rothbart of Glenview and Bette Budnik of Highland Park. Bette Budnik of Highland Park, event chair; Sue Roberts of Highland Park, board president

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Shop for a Cause Lake Forest Shop October 10, 2012 $2,000 raised (SHOWN IN PHOTOS):

(1) Charlotte Mojden and Barbara Fenton, both of Lake Forest; (2) Lake Forest Shop owner Ellen Sterling of Lake Forest, CEO and Creative Director of Magaschoni Monica Forman and Susan B. Noyes of Wilmette; (3) Kristin McCain and Megan Engelberg, both of Lake Forest; (4) Representatives of the 10 organizations that participated in Shop for a Cause.

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Cooksâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Tour Housewalk, Winnetka September 19, 2012 $61,000 raised (1) Sarah Lyons and Stacy Purcell, both of Winnetka; (2) Mary Anne Martin of Winnetka and Susan Riley of Winnetka; (3) Katy Kilborn, Beth Robinson and Beth Boehrer, all of Winnetka; (4) Rendering of the expanded facility at The Rush Breast Imaging Center.

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Susan Riley of Winnetka, event chair; Mary Anne Martin of Winnetka, board president




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FLAIR: Fun. Fashion. Philanthropy. September 20-23, 2012 $44,000 raised (SHOWN IN PHOTOS):

(1) Lighthouse Vice Board Chair Sandy Forsythe of Winnetka cuts the ribbon with Lighthouse President & Executive Director Dr. Janet Szlyk of Chicago; (2) Josie Volpentesta and Dana Slager, both of Highland Park; (3) CoChairs Lynn Cooper and Ellie Thompson, both of Chicago; (4) The Birth-toThree Early Intervention program provides initial services to families with visually impaired children.





Lynn Cooper and Ellie Thompson of Chicago, event chairs; Bruce Hague of Northfield, board chair



Golf Outing Highland Park Country Club August 23, 2012 $40,000 raised




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Steven Goldberg of Northbrook, event chair; Reverend Deborah Fisher of Janesville, Wisconsin, board chair


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(1) Jeff Gordon of Highland Park, Former Chicago Bear Mike Hoban of Darien, Andrew Castellucci of Chicago and Brian Fons of Chicago; (2) ChildServ President and CEO James C. Jones of Chicago and Tandreia Bellamy of Plainfield; (3) Clients of ChildServâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s early childhood education programs; (4) Elliot Richardson of Highland Park and Larry Huber of Long Grove.



11/5/12 2:46 PM

m a k e a di ffe r e nce | local treasure

Clinic founders Dr. Charles Martinez and George Matezos with CARES awards

saving lives Old Irving Park Community Clinic By L aur a Tiebert

is a health center opened in 2007 by the late George Maltezos of Evanston and Dr. Charles Martinez of Chicago. Its purpose? Making health care available to those who need it the most and who can least afford it. Today, the clinic is a bustling, 4,000-square-foot office that saw more than 4,000 patients last year. But even free care costs something—to keep the clinic running they rely on donations and volunteers. Says Maltezos’ widow, Naja, “We calculated that there are more than 30 people who would not be alive today if they hadn’t come through our doors.” These results come from providing free primary health care in a neighborhood where many had lost their jobs, and along with it, health insurance. “Depression and anxiety were two of the issues we saw, and both related to being unemployed,” says Maltezos. “That’s one reason my husband (a mental health counselor) was concerned about the lack of free primary health care. He came out of retirement to do that with his longtime friend Charles, who became medical director.”

Old Irving Park Community Clinic


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Uninsured and underserved patients receive not only free doctor’s care, but also free lab work and medicine. The clinic finds labs and pharmaceutical companies willing to discount or donate services and medicine. Medical specialists donate their time, so that, for example, the clinic can provide care from cardiologists and free stress tests. The clinic has also created partnerships with institutional health care providers and local businesses. The clinic is located on the northwest side, with large Hispanic and Polish communities, but also draws patients from the suburbs. As an appointment-only clinic, patients can avoid the possibility of standing in line all day and still being turned away, an unfortunate situation that sometimes takes place at other facilities, Maltezos says. “Most people have not been to a doctor for many years,” says Maltezos, but there are happy endings. “Many of our patients come back and volunteer when they become employed, or they send a check.” How can you help? See page 90 for ideas on how to donate or volunteer at the clinic.

photos courtesy of old irving park community clinic

Dr. Charles Martinez in consultation with a patient

11/6/12 6:54 PM

local marketplace See your business here! Are you a local business owner? Learn more about advertising in the Local Marketplace!

Svelte Body Systems Lose a dress size in 2 weeks with Lipomassage. Tighten, sculpt and tone areas of the body that respond poorly to diet and exercise.

Contact Michelle Weiss, Advertising Sales Director, at 847-256-4642 or

Call for a free consultation. New Client Discount: 6 Sessions for $500 820 Davis Street #432, Evanston 847-772-5487

Plastic Surgery and Med Spa of Dr. Michael Byun Awarded “Best Plastic Surgeon 2012” by Make It Better, Dr. Byun has locations in both the North Shore and downtown Chicago. He specializes in procedures for the face, breasts, body and skincare.

Highland Pop Highland Pop is the finest gourmet popcorn, fudge and taffy shop! Made fresh all day everyday with the highest quality nut-free ingredients. Family owned and operated. $5 off each $30 purchase during December. Not valid with other offers.

1775 Walters Ave. Northbrook 847-513-6899

464 Central Avenue, Highland Park 847-433-4200

Give the gift of warmth with the 4th annual

Photo by elaine matsushita and lana gwinn

warming hearts hands Please join Make It Better and help give new hats, coats, gloves and scarves to over 1,000 men, women and children. You can help by donating online at or by bringing new coats, hats, gloves and scarves to one of these locations: Make it Better 1150 Wilmette Ave.,Suite J Wilmette, IL 60091 847-256-4642 between 9 am – 5 pm

The Volunteer Center of N.E. Metropolitan Chicago 520 Glendale Ave., Winnetka, IL 60093 847-441-7665 between 9 am – 4 pm

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december 2012


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Nothing says holidays more than baking cookies with a child. Gingerbread, sugar, shortbread or chocolate; decorated for Christmas or Hanukkah or just for eatingâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;let the flour fly.


MAKE IT BETTER COOKIE CONTEST Send your best cookie recipe to us by December 12. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re accepting recipes and photos on our Facebook page: Check in at to see the winning recipes mid-month.



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december 2012


11/2/12 2:58 PM

Make It Better December 2012: Better Gifts  

2012 Gift Guide, Brene Brown, Holiday Theatre & more!

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