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DECEMBER 2013 2013 BETTER GIFTS

DECEMBER 2013

N O R T H S H O R E — F A M I LY C O M M U N I T Y A N D Y O U

+ shop river north VOLUME 5, ISSUE 2

asian dining list holiday theater

D IGITA L ED ITION

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Just minutes from O’Hare and downtown Chicago, Rosemont is a thriving mini metropolis with everything you need to make the holiday seasons bright. Shopping in the brand-new Fashion Outlets of Chicago, dining, and spectacular entertainment all in 2.5 square miles help you keep the season close and holiday spirit closer. Join us for our lineup of surprises including:

ROSEMONT THEATRE:

MB FINANCIAL PARK:

ALLSTATE ARENA:

MOSCOW BALLET’S GREAT RUSSIAN NUTCRACKER

ICE SKATING RINK

TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA

SANTA CLAUS

B96 JINGLE BASH

HOLIDAY LIGHTS

DONNY & MARIE CHRISTMAS

YO GABBA GABBA LIVE HOLIDAY SHOW

Q87.7’s THE NIGHT WE STOLE CHRISTMAS

MARTINA MCBRIDE’S JOY OF CHRISTMAS TOUR

WWE LIVE HOLIDAY TOUR

VISIT WWW.ROSEMONT.COM FOR EVENT DETAILS

ALLSTATE AR E NA

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ROS E MONT TH EATR E

M B FI NANCIAL PAR K AT ROS E MONT

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contents VOLUME 5, ISSUE 2

DECEMBER 2013

features

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2013 Better Gifts By Anna Carlson, Julie Chernoff, Stuart Greebblatt, Marjie Killeen, Jenny Muslin, Evangeline Politis and Lindsay Roseman A Home of Their Own By Tate Gunnerson River North’s 5 Best Showrooms By Robert Loerzel Party Time, Part Two By Evangeline Politis & Susan B. Noyes

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Have a Sexy Menopause By Marjie Killeen Honey Butter Fried Chicken: It’s Clucking Good By Julie Chernoff

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48 68

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family

dining & entertainment

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Holiday Organizing: Tips to Keep Your House Clutter Free by Laura Hine

home

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Secrets to a Great Guest Room by Kristina Tober

Best Asian Food Something for Every Palate By Julie Chernoff

Booklist: Best Reads for 2013 by Kelly Konrad

make a difference

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Updos that Upgrade Your Holiday Hair by Jenny Muslin

Better Makers and Their Impact

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.

The Power of Knowledge: KIPP by Susan B. Noyes

in every issue

Getting Back in Balance After the Holidays by Christy Coughlin

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editor’s letter

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contributors

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you said it

Subscription Boxes What’s Inside, What’s Worth the Cost by Lindsay Roseman

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online

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new in the northern suburbs

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make it better column

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magazine

Theatre: Spirit of Christmas by Robert Loerzel

a better you Starting the Conversation with Your Parents by Stuart Greenblatt

Carrying forward the best of

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recommended events

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events listing

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music by val

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give time, give things, give support

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closing thoughts

Make It Better North Shore (ISSN No. 2151-0431) is published 12 times per year by Make It Better LLC, 588 Lincoln Avenue, Winnetka, IL 60093. Phone: 847.256.4642. Copyright 2013 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, 588 Lincoln Avenue, Winnetka, IL 60093. Make It Better is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Copyright 2013 by Make It Better LLC. All rights reserved.

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fou n de r’s l et t e r

welcome to our annual gift guide by SuSan b . noye S

to again recommend the best local and national shopping and giving opportunities to you in this beautiful magazine. Our editors spend the entire year planning for this issue; therefore, there is great heart in this editorial. We hope you enjoy reading about and clicking on our recommendations as much as we enjoyed compiling them for you. On a personal note, I love creating my annual Gifts That Give Back (p. 18) column for you. If everyone reading this follows just one of these recommendations, our audience will make a real impact for others and have fun in the process, too. Our best gift for you this year is announcing the uber-talented Julie Chernoff, who you’ve long known and enjoyed as our Dining Editor, as our new Editor in Chief. As an original member of Make It Better’s “Kitchen Cabinet” and an extraordinary networker for the good, Julie brings the best possible perspective to this position, as well as her wit, insight, creativity, passion and exceptional talent. Julie is also way ahead of most of us on the social network curve. She’s been teaching our “Twitter 101” classes in the Tech Mamma Lounge (makitbetter.net/classes), for which she has also received rave reviews. Please join me in welcoming Julie as Editor In Chief. May your giving compound your blessings, and may your holidays be joyous with family and loved ones. It Is our great pleasure

Thank you,

Welco me,

Julie!

money raised for not-for-profit organizations: $2,044,065

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december 2013

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588 Lincoln Ave. Winnetka, IL, 60093 | 847-256-4642

Founder & CEO Susan B. Noyes Editor In Chief Julie Chernoff Digital Editor Lindsay Roseman Assistant Editor Anna Carlson Art Director Sarah Philippart Designer Lesley Smith Dining Editor Fashion Editor Finance Editor Fitness Editor Home Editor Senior Living Editor Sex & the Suburbs Editor

Julie Chernoff Evangeline Politis Meghan Streit Christy Coughlin Tate Gunnerson Stuart Greenblatt Marjie Killeen

Contributing Writers Laura Hine Kelly Konrad Robert Loerzel Jenny Muslin Kristina Tober Photographers Freddie Bledsoe John Ng Creative Director Cheryl Berman

Publisher Kimberly Carroll Co-Founder & Vice President of Marketing Mindy Fauntleroy Chief Operating Officer Sandy Tsuchida Ad Sales Manager Megan Holbrook Senior Account Executives Patti Augustyn Julie Carter Account Executives Jenny Newman Martha Sheridan Director of the Tech Mamma Lounge Christina Lundin

make it better foundation Director Sharon Krone Director of Community Development Denise Borkowski Editor Coco Keevan

Got feedback? E-mail susan@makeitbetter.net to advertise: Contact megan@makeitbetter.net Have an event? Email anna@makeitbetter.net

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con t r i bu tor s

Everyone has a holiday tradition (or 10) that makes the season special. We asked our writers and one of our designers to share their favorite traditions. 1 | AnnA cArlson Glenview Every Christmas Eve, Anna’s family watches “It’s A Wonderful Life.” Clarence’s note to George at the end of the movie is one of her favorite quotes: “Remember no man is a failure who has friends.”

2 | julie chernoff Evanston Julie’s favorite holiday tradition continues to be the massive Latke Party that she throws each year, with more brisket than you could possibly imagine.

3 | christy coughlin Wilmette After Christmas dinner, Christy and her family bundle up and walk through their well-lit neighborhood enjoying all the holiday lights.

4 | stuArt greenblAtt Evanston Stuart’s favorite holiday tradition is telling family stories around the Thanksgiving table... and pumpkin pie too!

5 | mArjie killeen Wilmette One of Marjie’s favorite holiday events is the traditional kids vs. adults video-making competition on Christmas Day. This year, kids, the adults are taking you down!

6 | evAngeline Portis Chicago Evangeline’s favorite holiday tradition is spending a day on the Magnificent Mile with her mom. From enjoying scones and finger sandwiches at afternoon tea to perusing the windows at all of their favorite stores, it’s a day she looks forward to all year.

7 | lindsAy rosemAn Glenview Lindsay’s favorite tradition is listening to Christmas music and baking her grandma’s anise-seed cookies. She’s made them with her family every year for as long as she can remember. (Find the recipe at makeitbetter.net/cookies!)

8 | lesley smith Chicago Lesley loves the great holiday bake-off between her and her three sisters every Thanksgiving and Christmas. The girls all pick a new baked goodie and see who can create the most delish dessert for the holidays!

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Thank you to everyone— attendees, speakers and sponsors—who came out to RE:WORK IV and helped make it a success for women looking to return to the workforce or reinvent themselves professionally! Here are just a few tHings tHat you Had to say about tHis year’s event at tHe CHiCago botaniC garden:

“I came to the event a bit hesitant and left the event feeling that both myself and my last 20 years of volunteering had worth! Thank you!” —Pamela Buchholz “I most liked meeting a few new people (and seeing a few familiar faces) and networking with them. I liked getting some ideas about what I might do next, both from the speakers and the attendees. The photo for LinkedIn was great!” —Andrea Brown “[The event was a] great introduction to a lot of resources and smart women. It’s great to have ways to get help on resumes, Linked In, career centers, etc.” —Wendy Rutman “[RE:WORK IV was] very inspiring for women, and I was encouraged to get back out there. It was also interesting to see how different women have created their own careers.” —Heather Mahon “Thanks for hosting this event! I enjoyed being on the panel and the input from the speakers. I love the energy and mission of Make It Better.” —Sue Blue If you missed this year’s event, join us next October for RE:WORK V! we love to Hear from you, so please keep sending us your stories, Comments, opinions, ideas and reviews! faCebook

twitter

facebook.com/ makeitbetter.net

@makeitbetterNS

email

online

susan@makeitbetter.net

makeitbetter.net

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on l i n e

Our better half is Online

go cookie crazy! This year, think outside the sugar-cookie cutter and mix up one of these holiday recipes for your annual cookie exchange. Find our favorite reader-submitted recipes online or submit your own to our Facebook page!  makeitbetter.net/holidaycookies

what’s hot on makeitbetter.net your money

download make it better on your iPad & win!

6 Strategies for Navigating Black Friday fashion & beauty

Winter Fashion Faux Pas health & Wellness

Meet Molly: The Drug You Don’t Want Your Kids to Try

holiday go guide 2013

Festive Winter Weekend Getaways

The kids are home for winter break. Houseguests are starting to arrive. Now what? Get in the holiday spirit and fill the weeks with family fun.

Holiday Girls’ Night Out Ideas

 makeitbetter.net/holidayguide

outings & travel

contribute to make it better We’re looking for the folloWing from our reaDers:

Do you have a cute restaurant-related love story? We want to hear it! Send your story to info@makeitbetter.net (or post it on our Facebook page) and it could be featured in our February issue!

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DeCeMBeR 2013

Each month, our free iPad edition is packed with cool interactive features, bonus iPad-exclusive content, videos, recipes and much more. December iPaD exclusives:

• Nana’s Magic Cookie Brownie Recipe • Holiday Movies that are Worth Revisiting • 6 Steps for Perfect Holiday Wine Pairings Win a holiDay Wine bunDle!

This month, enter to win local author and sommelier Melanie Wagner’s book “Hello, Wine” and a $25 gift card to Schaefer’s Wines, Foods & Spirits in Skokie. Your dinner guests will be impressed with your new-found knowledge!  makeitbetter.net/ipad

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FR E SH

BY JULIE CHERNOFF AND ANNA CARLSON

CHIC SHOPPING

SHOP CHICAGO CHIC:

DREAMING OF CHOCOLATE

LEONIDAS CHOCOLATE CAFÉ: 1907 Central St.,

Evanston, 847-6860100, leonidas-usa.com. Leonidas Chocolate Café is finally open in their brand new location in Evanston. Owner Marie Douailly is often found behind the counter, pulling the perfect cappuccinos and overseeing the beautiful new space. How we’ve missed their addictively rich hot chocolate, crusty chocolate croissants, Belgian waffles and dessert crepes. Just in time for holiday giving, the shelves are stacked with delicious dark, milk and white chocolates, marzipan confections, and ballotins filled with an assortment of Leonidas Belgian chocolates. It’s the perfect equation: artistry + chocolate = happiness. —JC

MUSIC TO YOUR EARS VALSLISTRADIO APP: Available on the iTunes App Store, $2.99, valslist.com. Finally, everything you love about Valslist.com right on your phone! Make It Better’s Val Haller, who worked closely with her son on the project, says that her just-released playlist-building app is truly one of the first apps geared toward busy adults. If you don’t have time to discover new music on your own, Val does the work for you. With the app, you’ll have access to her themed playlists and music blog, the ability to share your favorites with friends, the option to buy those songs instantly and more. Plus, there are no monthly subscriptions or advertisements. —AC

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shopchicagochic.com Attention, shoppers! Before your next trip down to the city, check out Shop Chicago Chic, an easy-touse online shopping guide created by our former Editor in Chief Laura Hine. “A vital street life is part of what makes a city a destination, and since I love my adopted city of Chicago, I want to help you find as many cool stores, passionate shopkeepers, and great restaurants as I can,” Laura writes on her site. Search by neighborhood, store, restaurant or product to find the best of the best right here at home (she’s picky, so she won’t steer you wrong!). Sign up online for email updates so you don’t miss any new info on upcoming sales or store guides. —AC

LINCOLNWOOD JUST GOT MEATIER MEATHEADS: 6734 N. Lincoln Ave., Lincolnwood, 847-8524048, meatheadsburgers.com. Meatheads has opened its first in-house designed, stand-alone family restaurant in Lincolnwood. Meatheads CEO/Founder Tom Jednorowicz wanted to maintain many of the family-design elements from their previous stores while including “a few more modern elements, like blending natural wood, masonry and metal.” This fast-casual restaurant is noted not only for the high-quality, 100-percent fresh ingredients, but also for their distinct philanthropic bent. Meatheads is a proud partner of any community they serve, establishing reading programs and incentives to participate in organized sports. Now that’s worth bragging about. —JC

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m a k e i t bet t e r colum n

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Whether you spend a little or a lot, these gifts will make every person on your list happy … and help make the world a better place. A Unique Luxury And/ Or Celebrity Experience Be the highest bidder in a charity auction to give an incredible celebrity or luxury experience to a loved one. From lunch with Hollywood’s A-list to the ultimate Las Vegas vacation or football bowl trip. charitybuzz.org

Safety And Peace Of Mind Give Red Cross backpack safety kits and personal emergency kits to every young adult at college or living away from their family home. Basic backpack, $55, deluxe personal emergency kit, $16, redcrossstore.org A New Puppy Create more opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities by adopting a rescue puppy at Lambs Farm in Libertyville. Lambs Farm, 14245 W. Rockland Road, Libertyville, 847.362.4636, lambsfarm.org

A Better Life For Sea Animals Promote animal conservation around the world, and adopt a beluga whale, penguin or dolphin at the Shedd Aquarium. $25, $50 or $75, sheddaquarium.org

A Fabulous Family Vacation Stay in one of the world’s finest resorts and make time for community service. The Four Seasons Resort on Peninsula Papagayo, Costa Rica offers an award-winning social responsibility outreach program, Growing Together. Bring a backpack filled with supplies for local school children, join them for arts and crafts or reading time, or perhaps paint a school … you can even “adopt” a family, which could become a long-term relationship. bit.ly/1h0PvaL

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Time With The Children You Love Endow a “Philanthropy Fund” with an appropriate amount for each child to choose how to spend in order to make the world a better place. Take time with them discussing and exploring options. bit.ly/HffQ4z

Good Cards The easiest gift for the most challenging people on your list: You set the price; recipients pick the charity. Charities earn 100 percent of the amount you spend. bit.ly/Hqea8y

patrick dempsey, four seasons, good cards and red cross photos courtesy of each organization

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e v e n ts

r e c o m m e n d e d

By anna carlson

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Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus December 7 | North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie | northshorecenter.org The chicago Gay men’s chorus closes out their 30th season with a spectacular show in Skokie, reprising a few old favorites, premiering new tunes and covering some holiday classics, too. Good times! Dec

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editor’s pick First Night Evanston December 31 | Downtown Evanston | firstnghtevanston.org It’s back! The grand finale to evanston’s 150th birthday celebration, this annual event returns for an afternoon and evening of familyfriendly activities on New Year’s eve. Seven different indoor venues will host 40 musical and theatrical acts throughout the event, including Howard Levy, corky Siegel and Showtime Tony the balloon man. There’s something for everyone! Dec

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One of a Kind Show and Sale December 5 – 8 | Merchandise Mart, Chicago | oneofakindshowchicago.com more than 600 artists take over the mart this month, offering up some of the best gifts to choose from—and something for everyone on your list. We promise: presents purchased here are never re-gifted. Dec

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december 2013

Chicago Symphony Orchestra: 7 Handel’s Messiah December 7 | 220 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago | cso.org A quintessential holiday experience—don’t pass on a trip to the symphony this season, as the Apollo chorus takes the stage for one night only. Dec

Jonathan Groff u December 7 | Ravinia Festival’s Bennett Gordon Hall, Highland Park Ravinia.org Glee fans, listen up—one of the show’s favorite bad boys is headed to Highland Park for his ravinia debut. Two shows, one evening—don’t miss it. Dec

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74th Annual Holiday Concert uu December 8 | Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Dr., Evanston pickstaiger.org No need to leave the North Shore for some of the finest holiday music in the country. Dec

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Northwestern University’s Symphony Orchestra and chorale perform In Terra Pax, Salve Regina and Night Mass. Randolph Street Holiday Market 14 December 14-15 | 1340 W. Washington St., Chicago | randolphstreetmarket.com Just days away from mr. Ho Ho Ho and you’re still shopping? You can’t miss here—from the elegant to the eclectic, you’ll find something for everyone from Aunt edna to your office Secret Santa. Dec

Judith Owen and Harry Shearer’s Holiday Sing-A-Long December 19 | SPACE, 1245 Chicago Ave., Evanston | evanstonspace.com You never know who is going to drop in on this holiday party. Part traditional, part-not, it’s fun for everyone at SPAce this holiday season. Dec

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Jonathan Groff Photo courtesy of Patrick GiPson, first niGht evanston Photo courtesy of evanston PhotoGraPhic studios

8th Annual Renegade Craft Fair Winter Market December 7-8 | Pulaski Park Fieldhouse, 1419 W. Blackhawk St., Chicago | renegadecraft.com Shazam! It’s etsy heaven at this two-day craft fair—some of the hippest designers cram into every nook and cranny of the fieldhouse (read: Skip the coat, the crowds will keep you plenty warm) with crafts of all kinds. Dec

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Christkindl Market Now through December 24 | Daley Plaza, Chicago | christkindlmarket.com If you’ve never been, you need to check this off the bucket list this season. It may be cold outdoors, but you’ll never feel warmer than when you stroll through dozens of holiday vendors with a distinctly German theme. And don’t forget to grab a sausage and a stollen for dinner. NOV

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Winter Break Camp Starts December 23 | Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe chicagobotanic.org Not everyone gets the week off—and for those that need to engage their kids elsewhere, the Chicago Botanic Garden offers up a great week of activities for elementary-aged kids. DEC

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BOTTOM PHOTO BY CHRISTINA WALKER, TOP PHOTO BY LESLEY SMITH

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New Year’s Eve with Kurt Elling December 31 | Northlight Theatre,

9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie northshorecenter.org Celebrate the new year with the musical stylings of jazz vocalist and Grammy award-winner Kurt Elling. Sinbad: A New Year’s Celebration 31 December 31 | Genesee Theater, 203 N. Genesee St., Waukegan geneseetheatre.com If you like your New Year’s Eve served up with a laugh, Sinbad is in town to fit the bill. DEC

Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra and Chorale

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E V E N TS L IST I NG

Caroling at Cloud Gate Friday evenings through December 21 Millennium Park 201 E. Randolph St., Chicago choosechicago.com BY ANNA CARLSON

holiday shows and museum events Hanukkah Concert December 1 Chicago Botanic Garden | 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe | chicagobotanic.org A Chanticleer Christmas December 4–5 Chicago Symphony Orchestra | 220 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago | cso.org The Nutcracker December 6–28 Joffrey Ballet | 10 E. Randolph St., Chicago joffrey.com Paddy Homan’s An Irish Christmas December 14 Wilmette Theatre | 1122 Central Ave., Wilmette | wilmettetheatre.com A White Christmas Holiday Concert December 16 Metropolis Performing Arts Center 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights metropolisarts.com The Manhattan Transfer Swings Christmas December 21 Genesee Theatre | 203 N. Genesee St., Waukegan | geneseetheatre.com A Holiday Fantasea Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays thru December 22; daily December 23–28 Shedd Aquarium 1200 S. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago sheddaquarium.org Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light Through January 5 Museum of Science and Industry 5700 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago msichicago.org

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holiday shopping Winter Holiday Craft Faire December 1 Oak Park Conservatory | 615 Garfield St., Oak Park | pdop.org Winter Farmers’ Market December 1 & 15 Chicago Botanic Garden | 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe | chicagobotanic.org Winnetka and Northfield Holiday Weekend December 5¬8 Throughout Winnetka and Northfield winnetkanorthfieldchamber.com

Hot Chocolate with Mrs. Claus December 23 Chicago Botanic Garden | 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe | chicagobotanic.org Holiday Magic Through December 31 Brookfield Zoo | 8400 W. 31st St., Brookfield brookfieldzoo.org Winter Wonderland Holiday Light Show Through January 4 Cuneo Mansion and Gardens | 1350 N. Milwaukee Ave., Vernon Hills | luc.edu/cuneo Wonderland Express Through January 5 Chicago Botanic Garden | 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe | chicagobotanic.org

33rd Annual Holiday Lights Gift & Craft Fair December 6–8 Arlington Park Racecourse 2200 W. Euclid Ave., Arlington Heights holidaylightslambsfarm.com

ZooLights Through January 5 Lincoln Park Zoo | 2001 N. Clark St., Chicago lpzoo.org

Central Street Holiday Open House December 8 Central St., Evanston centralstreet–evanston.com

Eve’s Holiday Party benefitting Team Fox for Parkinson’s Research Saturday, Dec. 7, Noon Eve J. Alfille Gallery & Studio | 623 Grove St., Evanston | 847-869-7920 evejewelry.com

holiday fun Gingerbread Building for Charity December 1 A. Perry Design Studio | 564 Lincoln Ave., Winnetka | gingerbreadcharity.eventbrite.com Toys for Tots Motorcycle Parade December 1 Dan Ryan Woods | 87th Street & Western Ave., Chicago | choosechicago.com Wagner Farm Gingerbread Jubilee December 7 Wagner Farm | 1510 Wagner Rd., Glenview | glenviewparks.org

SPONSORED LISTINGS

Come out and play! Find beautiful, one-ofa-kind jewelry gifts for the holidays while enjoying champagne, wine and refreshments and helping a great cause, as 10% of all direct sales will go to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Breakfast with Santa Sunday, Dec. 8, 8:30 a.m. Our Lady of Perpetual Help School Playdium | 847-724-6990 | olph-il.org Jingle! Jingle! Catch the Christmas spirit and take the perfect family photo with Santa. Doughnuts, 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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2013

BET

S T F I T ER G

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It’s elusive, that perfect gift; there are so many factors to consider. What do they want? What do they need? And where oh where can that present be found? Not to worry—our editors have done the heavy lifting for you. In these pages you’ll find our recommendations for the best gifts of 2013. So whether you’re buying a gift for a significant other, child or pet, you’ll find it here. giving each December.

BLED

DIE FRED

SOE

Need a personalized gift? Or something unusual for that special foodie or techie? We’ve got it. And remember, when in doubt, beauty products and jewelry are always welcome! Make your shopping even easier by downloading our iPad app, and your gifts are just a click away. Get the free download at makeitbetter.net/ipad or in the iTunes app store. Happy shopping, happy December … and remember, it’s the thought that counts, so start thinking about it right now!

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

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FOR ... GIFTS

TY BEAU MUS

Mason Pearson Pocket Nylon Hairbrush Look no further for the Rolls Royce of hairbrushes. And it fits perfectly in your handbag! $55, Neiman Marcus, Northbrook Court, neimanmarcus.com

LIN

No one wants a jar of face cream under the tree. And while a gift certificate for a massage or pedicure is always appreciated, there are so many great beauty items that are often exclusive to the holiday season. Here are our picks for stellar stocking stuffers.

Fresh Sugar Keepsakes A full-size Sugar Rosé Tinted Lip Treatment and a mini Sugar Lip Polish are stashed in this sweet ornament-like packaging (you can actually hang it from the tree!). $25, Bluemercury, 638 Central Ave., Highland Park, 847432-7200; 680 N. Bank Lane, Lake Forest, 847-615-3000

Sephora Favorites Fragrance Deluxe For someone who hasn’t yet decided on a signature scent, 12 sample sizes of Sephora’s best-selling perfumes and a certificate for a full-size fragrance gives the ability to try before you buy. $50-65, Sephora, Northbrook Court and Westfield Old Orchard, sephora.com

BaByliss Pro Nano Mini Flat Iron Throw this convenient and efficient mini hair straightener in your gym bag for onthe-go touch-ups. $30, folica.com

Bliss Mistletoe Must-Haves Set This high-intensity hand cream and Fabulips softening lip balm are perfect for pampering. $12, Bluemercury, 638 Central Ave., Highland Park, 847-432-7200; 680 N. Bank Lane, Lake Forest, 847-615-3000

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Kiehl’s Men’s Starter Kit Don’t forget the man in your life. Kiehl’s makes an awesome men’s travel starter kit that contains five best-selling male skincare items. $42, Nordstrom, 4937 Old Orchard Center, Skokie, 847-677-2121, nordstrom.com

Marc Jacobs Beauty Hi-Shine Nail Lacquer and Magic Marc’er Precision Pen Marc Jacobs is the latest designer with his own line of cosmetics, and the packaging alone is enough to get you pumped. The nail polishes and eyeliner pen are already becoming best sellers.$18-30, Sephora, Northbrook Court and Westfield Old Orchard, sephora.com

FRESH SUGAR KEEPSAKES & BLISS MISTLE TOE MUST HAVES SET PHOTOS COURTESY OF BLUEMERCURY

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giFTs ThaT ...

glitt e

Emerald Statement Necklace With more than 300 diamonds, 11 accent baguette emeralds and one dazzling faceted cabochon emerald, this show-stopping necklace is unlike anything else. Price upon request, Lester Lampert, 57 E. Oak St., Chicago, 312-9446888, lesterlampert.com

BY E vA N G PolI ElINE tIS

These gem- and crystal-covered baubles will add a bit of sparkle to the holiday season. From vintage to new, emerald to ruby, we’ve curated a collection of jewels that has something to complement almost anyone’s style.

PhotoS CoURtESY oF EACh DESIGNER oR StoRE

Vintage Ruby and Diamond Brooch Any woman would be thrilled to have this bracelet wrapped around her wrist this winter. Its focal point, the one-of-a-kind vintage ruby and diamond brooch, is converted into a bracelet with eight strands of genuine ruby beads and a baguette-set diamond stiletto clasp. Price upon request, Burdeen’s Jewelry, 1148 W. Lake Cook Rd., Buffalo Grove, 800-656-0414, burdeens.com

 Glittering Garden Statement Earrings These rose gold earrings are the perfect companion to a little black dress. For a lady who doesn’t like too much bling, the muted black stones counterbalance the glittery crystals for a refined look. $128, Kate Spade New York, Northbrook Court, katespade.com

Ziegfeld Ring A great way to say thank you—this sterling silver ring’s black spinel centerpiece stone is outlined with four brilliant diamonds. Ideal for the woman who likes a bit of old-fashioned glamour as this ring harkens back to 1920s style. $1,500, Tiffany & Co., Northbrook Court and Westfield Old Orchard, tiffany.com

 Embellished Bangles Stack (and gift) as many of these bangles as you want. Worn together or with other collected bracelets, these accented resin bangles are a must-have this holiday season. $175 each, toryburch.com

Private Pleasures Pearl Earrings Alluding to the curly style of artist Gustav Klimt, these playful earrings are made of eve J. Alfillé’s exclusive 14-karat blonde gold and made complete with two plump white South Seas pearls. $1430, Eve J. Alfillé Gallery & Studio, 623 Grove St., Evanston, 847-869-7920, evejewelry.com

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Zingerman’s Food Clubs Finally, a club we all want to join! Whether you’re more the Cured Meat of the Month ($175/3; $325/6), the Rare Olive Oil ($125; $290), or the Food Explorer’s ($125; $240; $425/12) Club type, that’s your business. But for goodness’ sake, sign up! zingermans.com

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KitchenAid Pro–Line Stand Mixer The mixer I wish I had (hint hint, husband!). This beauty has a 7-quart stainlesssteel, wide-mouth bowl with handle, and a quiet but powerful 1.3 HP motor, more than thrice the power of my old warhorse. I could make 8 pounds of dough at a time. Come to Mama! $550, Williams-Sonoma, Westfield Old Orchard, Lake Forest, Highland Park, williams-sonoma.com

Life, as we know it, revolves around food, and by extension, our kitchens. so anything we can do to make that special space more inviting—such as a new gadget or a magic ingredient—makes it more fun to get on board! Large Format Wine Bottles Nothing says festive like a magnum (or Balthazar!) of really good wine. So whether it’s a 2009 Long Shadows “Pedestal” Merlot from the Columbia Valley ($125) or a 1979 Chateau Lafite Rothschild Bordeaux ($1,500), you are going to make someone VERY happy indeed. Schaefer’s, 9965 Gross Point Rd., Skokie, 847-677-9463, schaefers.com

Reclaimed Wood Marble-Top Kitchen Island Who wouldn’t want this gorgeous island? Crafted from reclaimed pine and marble, with four shelves, a towel rack, hooks on both sides, two drawers and locking wheels, it will be everything to your favorite kitchen devotee. $1,899, Pottery Barn, Westfield Old Orchard, Deerfield Town Center, potterybarn.com Homemade Soft Serve! Cuisinart makes this ingenious, fully automatic ice cream maker, which makes 1.5 quarts in 20 minutes and allows you to add up to three mix-ins! It’s great family entertainment. $99, Macy’s, Westfield Old Orchard, Northbrook Court, macys.com

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Add a Waffle Cone Maker It only takes two minutes to achieve icecream nirvana with a fresh waffle cone. This Chef’s Choice Waffle Cone Express is the bomb. And you know you have a coupon somewhere! $50, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Skokie, Wilmette, Deerfield, bedbathand beyond.com; or Williams-Sonoma

Photos courtesy of the manufacturers

By

er e ch juli

makeitbetter.net

11/4/13 4:46 PM


Wacom Bamboo Stylus Mini Plug this small, easy-togrip stylus (available in a rainbow of colors) into the headphone jack and it’ll never go missing again. $10, Staples, 1509 Waukegan Rd., Glenview, 847-832-0283, staples.com Kindle Paperwhite Give your favorite book lover the gift of reading with the brand new Kindle Paperwhite. The upgraded model boasts higher contrast, a faster processor, built-in light and better touch technology. $119, amazon.com

PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE MANUFACTURERS

Belkin Thunderstorm Handheld Home Theater Turn your iPad into a serious home theater with this portable speaker case, featuring high-efficiency, front-facing speakers that project immersive, movie-theater-quality sound. $200, belkin.com

Nest Protect This smoke and carbon monoxide alarm sends “heads up” and emergency alerts straight to your mobile device. We also love the voice alerts and the ability to silence it with the wave of a hand—no towel swatting necessary. $129, nest.com

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Tech gadgets make great gifts for just about anyone on your list. These hot new products are some of the best of 2013. They’re smart, innovative, problem-solving and straight-up cool, which makes them guaranteed to please. UE BOOM Take your tunes outdoors with the Ultimate Ears 360-degree Bluetooth speaker. Allaround sound means you won’t miss a beat, and you’ll love the go-anywhere shape, 15-hour battery life and sturdy, water-resistant exterior. $200, Apple Retail Stores, Northbrook Court and Westfield Old Orchard, apple.com

MiPow Power Tube 2600 Charge your devices on the go with this portable external battery pack. Don’t let the size fool you— this tiny tube yields a full charge. $35, mipow.com

Fitbit Flex Track steps, distance, calories burned, and now, sleep quality. Five LED lights display the day’s progress, and you can easily monitor stats as the data syncs wirelessly to your devices. $100, fitbit.com Samsung Galaxy Camera Wi-Fi Shoot high-quality photos and 1080p HD video on this smart camera with built-in Wi-Fi, 3G or 4G support, a 4.8-inch touch screen LCD and 21x optical zoom. Crop and edit photos or videos directly on the device and upload to social media in seconds. $450, samsung.com

Netatmo Weather Station Monitor weather and measure temperature, humidity and indoor air quality for healthy living in your home—wherever you are. $179, Brookstone, 4999 Old Orchard Center, Skokie, 847329-9771, brookstone.com

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kids By

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Kids love the holidays, and yours have probably been dropping hints about their wish list for months. Here you’ll find some popular toys you might have heard of, but weren’t sure where to buy, along with a few new choices to introduce to your kids.

pipSquigz These bright, textured suction toys are perfect for keeping your baby or toddler occupied while encouraging exploration and sensory awareness. Attach these toys to a table, high chair, bathtub or each other. And pipSquigz are bPA-free, so they make great teething toys. Smaller versions are available for older children. $20–25, Children’s Gift Shop, 310 Happ Rd., Northfield, 847-441-5975, thechildrensgiftshop.com The Little Experience Knit–It Mr. Monkey Kit It’s never too early to learn a new skill. Get your child excited about knitting with this kit, which comes with knitting needles, a plastic sewing needle, three colors of organic cotton yarn, stuffing and step-by-step instructions. $29, Maya Papaya & Tony Macarony, 1901 Central St., Evanston, 847-866-6292, maya-tony.com

Shagbark Road Junior Collection Give your daughter a unique piece of jewelry that comes with a matching bracelet for her American Girl doll. Artist dottie Zoller, founder of chicagobased Shagbark road, creates distinctive jewelry with African trading beads and gemstones. $26, Shagbark Road, etsy.com/shop/shagbarkroad

1965 VW Camper Van Play Tent make indoor playtime more exciting this winter with a mini-version of the iconic 1965 Split Screen VW camper Van. The tent easily pops up and is ready for play within minutes. When it warms up, this tent is perfect for your backyard or the beach. Groovy! $75, Little Peach, 303 Happ Rd., Northfield, 847-441-7584, peachtreeplaceonline.com Rainbow Loom The latest fad taking over elementary schools is a great gift for kids age 8 and up. This starter kit comes with a rainbow loom, mini rainbow loom, hook, bag of c-clips, instruction manual and 600+ mixed color rubber bands. $15, Children’s Gift Shop, 310 Happ Rd., Northfield, 847-441-5975, thechildrensgiftshop.com

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shagBark & Mr. Monkey kit Photos courtesy of the Manufacturers

Laser Pegs Laser Pegs will spark your child’s imagination and empower creativity. If you’re new to these light-up toys, start with one kit. This Land set allows your child to build six models, including a mini Indy car, battle drone and big Wheel. $28, Beanstalk, 654 Central Ave., Highland Park, 847-432-8300, beanstalktoys.com

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DIY Guitar Pick Punch Create custom picks from any surface you choose: old gift cards, hotel key cards, school IDs, mom’s credit card… Wait, maybe not that last one. $25, pickpunch.com

GIFTS FOR

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Wool Scarf in Bittersweet Houndstooth made a major comeback this fall—rock the trend with this cozy, colorful scarf. $62, Vera Bradley, 4999 Old Orchard Center, Skokie, 847-673-2176, verabradley.com

Kate Spade New York “Metro - Call To Action” Double Wrap Watch Give your teen a feel-good message every time she looks down at this stylish rose-gold timepiece. $215, Kate Spade New York, 2171 Northbrook Court, Northbrook, 847-559-2301, katespade.com

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Without a doubt, shopping for your favorite teens is difficult. Make it easy this year by snagging one of these great gifts that are sure to wow even the pickiest of recipients. NBA Hesh 2 Headphones If your music lover never misses a game, this cool pair of headphones (with amazing sound quality!) is the perfect way to rep his favorite team. $80, Best Buy Retail Stores, Evanston, Northbrook, Skokie, bestbuy.com

PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE MANUFACTURERS

iSkin ProTouch Keyboard Protector These cool covers let kids personalize (and protect) their workspace. $35, iskin.com

MICHAEL Michael Kors Essential Zip Wallet Help your teen keep track of her phone with this fashion-forward tech wallet—great for stashing a phone, ID and cash. $90, Apple Retail Stores, Northbrook Court and Westfield Old Orchard, apple.com

Clarisonic Mia 2 Facial Sonic Cleansing Brush With gentle deep cleansing, two speeds and a guiding timer, the Mia 2 will instantly upgrade anyone’s skin regimen. $150, Nordstrom, 4937 Old Orchard Center, Skokie, 847-677-2121, nordstrom.com

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Not just any gift is appropriate for your loved one... so make sure you choose wisely! And there’s nothing wrong with a gift to share while you’re at it.

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alf h r e ett b r u yo kill

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Personalized Key Chain or Money Clip by Heather Moore commemorate a sentiment, occasion or place by engraving a message, date, or latitude and longitude coordinates on a handsome silver key chain or money clip. He’ll carry the special feelings with him every day. Money clips, $185 and up; key chains, $350 and up. Peachtree Place, 303 Happ Rd., Northfield, 847-441-7585, peachtreeplaceonline.com

for him Spiegelau IPA Beer Glass Set Sure, wine is romantic, but so is beer when served in these beautiful glasses designed specifically for hoppy American IPAs. The tulip shape delivers the perfect head while making a brewski look super classy. $25, Backyard BBQ, 1147 Greenleaf Ave., Wilmette, 847-251-2272, backyardbbqstore.com

Wireless TV Headphones Now your guy can watch sports or news as loud and late as he wants without disturbing you. High-quality, rechargeable headphones make TV noise one less thing to argue about! $100, Brookstone Retail Stores, Westfield Old Orchard and Northbrook Court, brookstone.com

for her Magnetic Art Board No woman will ever tire of seeing this sweet phrase hanging on her wall. This affectionate and practical gift is sure to delight. $61, Peachtree Place, 303 Happ Rd., Northfield, 847-441-7585, peachtreeplaceonline.com

Monthly Planner with Plans in Place Give her a planner that’s just about the two of you. circle meaningful dates in your relationship, make dinner reservations and buy concert tickets—things you both enjoy. The gift isn’t the calendar; it’s the thought and planning you’ve put into spending time together. You can update it as the year goes on. $10, Barnes & Noble, Old Orchard, barnesandnoble.com

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Jimmy Choo “Ivette” Sandals Treat her like cinderella by presenting her with an extravagant pair of “slippers” she’d never buy for herself. These classic Jimmy choo sandals aren’t made of glass, but they do come in a variety of enchanting colors. $775, available at Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue stores

jimmy choo and personlized keychain/money clip photos courtesy of manufacturer

By

jie mar

makeitbetter.net

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for couples Table Topics for Couples This fun, thought-provoking set of questions designed just for couples will spark new conversation and insights. For something more intimate, try this little packet of Pillow Talk Table Topics. $25 and $9, tabletopics.com

Helicopter Tour of Chicago For a real thrill, give the gift of a helicopter ride through the city. cruise over chicago’s sporting venues, landmark buildings, waterways and parks. Adrenaline365 Flights take off year round, 7 a.m. to midnight, from the Atlantic Aviation Terminal near midway Airport. $198 per person for a 30-minute tour, adrenaline365.com

Faux Fur Throw and TV series on DVD Winter is the perfect time for the two of you to snuggle up on the couch under this luxurious throw and sink into a gripping TV series. “Game of Thrones,” “revenge” and “True blood” are all sexy and action-packed. Put the kids to bed first, and enjoy! Blanket: $129, Pottery Barn, Old Orchard and Highland Park, potterybarn.com; Game of Thrones DVDs: $50, Barnes and Noble, Westfield Old Orchard, bn.com Lush Massage Bar “Wiccy magic muscles” smells like the season, with peppermint and cinnamon spice oil infused into the cocoa and shea butter that melts at body temperature. The bar feels warm and tingly and is great for sore muscles. $11, Lush Handmade Cosmetics, 4999 Old Orchard Center, Skokie, 847-673-6800, lushusa.com

personalized gift photos courtesy of manufacturer

gifts that ar e

Monogram Plates made in chicago by adorable couple megan dalbey and Jason Steffen, dishique boutique’s bread and butter are these custom dinnerware pieces; each order is designed just for you. $24 for 7.5-inch plate; $44 for 10.5-inch plate; dishiqueboutique.com

The Perfect Teddy … or Bunny These whimsical handcrafted bunnies and bears are 16 inches tall and made with gorgeous fabrics from around the world. You choose the color, theme or team; personalize further with embroidered names, dates or messages. $120, optional embroidery $25; lovebunniesandbears.com

Books of Life These gorgeous custom photo books from Julie chenevert Photography aren’t inexpensive, but you will be hard-pressed to find anything quite as unique. Tell your story—of love, travel, family—in a way you never dreamed possible. book fees range from $550–3,000 and include meetings, color correction, book design and printing. Chenevert Photography, 847-859-9442, yourbooksoflife.com

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Nothing says, “i actually put some thought into this” like a personalized gift. so if you’ve erred in the past—then perhaps you should read on.

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Philips Lifeline Medical Alert System This discreet, waterproof personal help button can be worn around your neck or on your wrist as a medical alert. When you sign up for service, you share the contact information of the people you’d like to help you in event of an emergency. Just press the button to get the help you need. monthly fee varies by location, starting at $29.95 per month. lifelinesys.com

Apple iPad The original is still the best and most user-friendly tablet choice. It’s become both a learning tool and therapeutic device for older adults. Think of all the games grandma can play, plus connect with the grandkids via Skype and FaceTime! Let the kids set it up for Gramps. Starting at $399, Apple Retail Stores, Northbrook Court and Westfield Old Orchard, apple.com

Nina Ottosson Pet Activity Toys & Games If you need to leave your pet home alone, these games are a perfect way to make sure they stay busy (and out of trouble). create puzzles for your dog to maneuver in order to find hidden treats. You can purchase cat puzzles, too, at nina-ottosson. com. $13-30, Wags on Willow, 840 Willow Rd., Suite J, Northbrook, 847-272-2918, wagsonwillow.com Ralph Lauren Dog Raincoat make sure your pooch is prepared for spring showers with this stylish raincoat. The classic yellow hue is chic and pairs perfectly with the tie-striped silk collar. Available in sizes extra small to large. $95, ralphlauren.com

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Public Television Membership One of chicago television’s jewels is our own WTTW. With all of the viewing choices available today, they still deliver the high-quality variety that older adults really appreciate. WTTW membership makes it possible to keep exceptional, commercial-free programming on the air, plus also entitles you to special discounts and privileges. $40-149 annually, wttw.com

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Soggy Doggy Super Shammy even if it’s raining cats and dogs, your pet will be dry within minutes thanks to the Super Shammy. This machinewashable cloth, which comes in dark chocolate, blue or beige, is odor free and has convenient hand pockets to make drying easier. $20, Noah’s Ark, 831 Elm St., Winnetka, 847-784-0125, noahsarkwinnetka.com

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out of holiday gift ideas for your parents, grandparents or other older adults in your life? Consider these truly useful ideas.

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Animal-lovers know that pets are just like any other member of the family, and it’s important to remember them while holiday shopping! so because your furry friend can’t make their own wish list, we made one for them.

raincoat & shammy photos courtesy of manufacturer

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GI F T GU I DE 201 3

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 her

HANDCRAFTED JEWELRY Handmade locally by Danelle Designs, gorgeous and unique, $85-150. Juniper Boutique (Northbrook), juniperboutique.com, 224-326-2412

FRINGED LEATHER CLUTCH Wear with or without whip-stitched wristlet strap, 5 colors, $196. Avenue Fashions (Deerfield), avenuefashions.com, 847-940-1818

DR. HAUSCHKA GESTURE OF BEAUTY Loving care for hands & nails, $24.95. Walsh Natural Health (Evanston), walshnatural.com, 847-864-1600

FITNESS ASSESSMENT & PERSONAL TRAINING $100 (reg. $170). Personal Fitness Training, Ltd. (Wilmette), PFTL.net, 847-251-6834

ANIMAL INSTINCTS Tortoise cuff bracelet and necklace from Pono, $78 each. Mattie M (Winnetka), 847-784-8701

FABULOUS FAUX OSTRICH TOTES Available in 12 great colors, $40. Peachtree Place (Northfield), peachtreeplaceonline.com, 847-441-7585

TOKYO BAY “KIMONO WATCH” Metallic strap and pattern make telling time fun, $88. Notice (Evanston, Barrington, Chicago), notice-this.com, 847-905-0947

THE GIFT OF MASSAGE Buy one massage, get second half off. Limit one. Massage Therapy Center of Winnetka, massagewinnetka.com, 847-446-5700

ONE OF A KIND Vintage button and cut-glass boxes, $65-80. Material Possessions (Winnetka, Chicago), materialpossessions.com, 847-446-8840

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GI F T GU I DE 201 3

SKINFO® VITA LITE PROJECT Year round sunscreen hydrates and plumps the skin, $30. skinfo® Specialty Skincare Boutique (Lincolnshire & Glencoe), skinfo.com, 847-459-2800

LISA FREEDE JEWELRY Simplicity and versatility in classic couture jewelry, $50+. Frances Heffernan (Winnetka), francesheffernan.com, 847-446-2112

IPHONE SLIPPER SOCKS Soft and dreamy with a pocket for your phone, $28. Mainstream Boutique (Northbrook), facebook.com/ MainstreamBoutiqueNorthbrook, 847-559-8916

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

ONE-OF-A-KIND NECKLACE 3-D heart is hand soldered, patina’d and sealed, $48. Vintage Nest (Glenview), vintagenestonline.com, 847-834-0287

LET THE HOLIDAYS BEGIN Receive a $30 spa card with every $200 gift card purchase. Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa (Multiple locations), reddoorspas.com, 866-RED-DOOR

TOLANI TILE PRINT SCARF Handmade 100% silk. Lightweight enough to wear year round as a scarf or a wrap, $85. Mattie M (Winnetka), 847-784-8701

S’WELL REUSABLE BOTTLES Keep your drinks cold for 24 hrs and hot for 12, $35. Quintessence (Northbrook), quintessencepapers.com, 847-498-5544

BLESSING BRACELETS Be grateful and count 4 blessings everyday. Sterling silver and beautiful pearls, $25–30. la de da! (Northbrook), ladedagift.com, 847-562-1170

TEDDIE KOSSOF GIFT CARD The Perfect Holiday Gift for Family, Friends & More! Teddie Kossof Salon Spa (Northfield), teddiekossof.com, 847-999-9500

HONORA POPSTAR BRACELETS Choose from 9mm $70/each or 6mm $225/set of 10. Lambrecht’s Jewelers (Wilmette), lambrechtsjewelers.com, 847-251-3284

STERLING SILVER HOOP EARRINGS By Andrea Candela, $87.50. Smart Jewelers (Northbrook), smartjewelers.com, 847-673-6000

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GI F T GU I DE 201 3

for the home

ELEPHANT MANTELPIECE Victorian Christmas elephant centerpiece decor, $38. Raven & Dove (Wilmette), ravenanddove.com, 847-251-9550

DESK PLAQUE Inspiration through words and art. Mixed media designs for your desk or wall, $21. Quintessence (Northbrook), quintessencepapers.com, 847-498-5544

HANDCRAFTED ORNAMENTS By Gladys Boalt, start and grow your child’s collection, $45+. Peachtree Place (Northfield), peachtreeplaceonline.com, 847-441-7585

HANDMADE KANTHA THROW Features six layers of vintage saris sewn together, $98-198. Mustard Seed, a fair trade shop (Lake Forest), 847-735-0211

INO SCHALLER SANTAS Handmade in Germany for 100 years, $200 and up. Mark David Designs (Lake Forest), markdaviddesigns.com, 847-714-9970

LARGE BIG GREEN EGG WITH NEST & MATE World’s best grill/smoker, $1,079. The Backyard Barbecue Store (Wilmette), backyardbbqstore.com, 847-251-2272

RETRO TV MUSIC BOX A charming music box that plays eight favorite Christmas songs, $78. Raven & Dove (Wilmette), ravenanddove.com, 847-251-9550

FISH FANCY Set of 6 Persian Empire Carp canape plates. Made in the USA, $102. Material Possessions (Winnetka, Chicago), materialpossessions.com, 847-446-8840

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

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GI F T GU I DE 201 3

for the family

CHILDREN’S HAND-KNITTED HAT Stylish, warm fair-trade beanie with sparkly detail, $24. Maya Papaya & Tony Macarony (Evanston), maya-tony.com, 847-866-6292

HAZEL VILLAGE ANIMALS Handmade organic cotton stuffed animals with removable clothes, $39. Lollie (Evanston), lollieshop.com, 847-328-7303

DANCING WATER SPEAKERS Colored water jets dance to the beat of your music, $49.99. Children’s Gift Shop (Northfield), thechildrensgiftshop.com, 847-441-5975

DITKA KIDS TEES Comfy, long-and short-sleeve tees, inspired by “Da Coach.” Size 6 mo. to 18, from $20.89. Ditka Kids (Deerfield), ditkakids.com, 312-480-1886

RAINBOW LOOM KIT Make rubberband bracelets and more! Refill bands also available, $14.99. Lad & Lassie (Wilmette), ladandlassie.com, 847-251-7570

GOLDIEBLOX AND THE SPINNING MACHINE Book series starring a kid inventor, plus construction set. $20–32. Lollie (Evanston), lollieshop.com, 847-328-7303

BELUGA ENCOUNTER Get eye to eye with a beluga whale. Age/height restrictions apply, $250. Shedd Aquarium (Chicago), sheddaquarium.org, 312-692-2730

SURF SAND SOAP Gentle cleansing, with a touch of natural exfoliant. No parabens, gluten, synthetic dyes or fragrances, $5. SoCoolKids, socoolkids.com, 888-473-3905

YOUR OWN SOUS-CHEF Ready-to-cook, chef-prepared ingredients, $12-18/serving. Madison & Rayne (Chicago, North Shore), madisonandrayne.com, 1-855-626-3701

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fa m i ly

holiday organizing Tips to Keep Your House Clutter Free By Laur a Hine

It’s hard to be ho-ho-ho when your house is a mess-messmess. Here are 18 quick tips that will reduce the jumble, get you organized for the remainder of the holidays and give you a jump start for next year. Bust Clutter

It’s not too late. Start a binder with at least these categories: gifts, decorations, cards, tips, holiday meals and ideas. And even if you have it all on your iPhone, print out hard copies you can keep from year to year. • Gifts: List out everyone you need to buy for, ideas and gifts you have already bought. This helps make sure the kids are Even Steven and that you don’t buy your best friend a scarf three years in a row. Not like I’ve ever done that… • Decorations: Kathy Lee, who decorates her beautiful Wilmette home, photographs what she’s done and keeps a list of wreath sizes, which light lengths go where, etc. • Cards: Keep a hard copy of the spreadsheet you use for mailing labels. Why? Because computers crash and even with backups, you might find yourself hunting for 125 missing addresses. • Tips: My friend Astrid Ellis sent me this great idea. She keeps a list of who she tipped and how much she gave, so “I don’t have to figure out all over again who I gave money to and how much. My fear is that I will give less and they will think they didn’t do as good a job this year!” • Holiday Meals: Plan your menus, print out or photocopy all the recipes and keep them in one place. No need to search through your entire cookbook collection looking for the sweet potato puree recipe. • Ideas: Write down what worked, and what could be improved. Because next year you won’t remember that you need to rent twice as many champagne glasses as guests for your holiday soirée.

Consolidate and control the mess. • One at a Time: Never start a new project until the old one is put away. Finish the cookie baking before you start roasting and packaging your famous spiced nuts. And “put away” means 911 in its proper place, counters wiped, dishwasher running. • Touch it Once: Instead of leaving your wrapping supplies on the dining room table for weeks, choose one night, send the kids upstairs with a movie, make cocktails and wrap everything—together. Less mess, more fun. • Hands Full: If you’re going upstairs or down to your basement, grab a pair of shoes or a basket of laundry and take it with you. Make it a goal to never waste a trip. Try to teach this to your family, and if you do, write me immediately and tell me how you did it.

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Start a Three-Ring Binder

• Wrapping Salvation: Kathleen Dillon hires a high school student to wrap all her presents. At $10-12 an hour, its money well spent. Just make sure they label everything! • Extra Cleaning Session: At Thanksgiving, I hired my cleaning lady to come before and after my houseguests left. She appreciated the extra cash, and the money spent was well worth the sanity saved. • Consider Catering: Not only will you save time, you’ll save mess. (Visit makeitbetter.net for articles with catering and takeout suggestions: “Caterers Make the

Event” and “It’s a Party: Take-Out Meals Good Enough for Guests.”) Combat Last Minute Craziness

• Set Deadlines: The last day to mail via USPS priority mail is December 17 for Christmas delivery, so write that deadline on your calendar, and make sure everything is wrapped, addressed and mailed by then. • Call for Pick Up: Once they’re addressed, Lee recommends using the USPS website to print postage from home and arrange for a pick-up. No standing in line! • Clean out your refrigerator and freezer now. Use up the frozen veggies and half-eaten containers of ice cream. Wipe down the shelves and throw out anything not labeled.  Organize Post-Holiday Clean Up

• Purge while you put away. Throw out the ornaments that never make it on the tree. Toss the used candles (and the ones that clash with every tablecloth you own). Three tree skirts? Donate the two you loved, but can’t remember why. • Store like with like. If you have special serving plates for Hanukkah, store them with the Menorah. Put all the cookie cutters away together. Then label everything and get it in storage bins and out of your kitchen. • Get everyone involved. Dangle a reward if everyone will help wrap lights, put away the stockings, etc. It’s way less fun than decorating, so offering a trip to go ice skating can motivate the troops to speed things up.

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HOM E

Partners in business and home build their Wilmette dream house. B Y TAT E G U N N E R S O N

Although the dining room looks formal, the table has a scratch-resistant resin top that allows them to use the space for casual dinners. The custom rug is made of cowhide.

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For Wilson, a self-confessed night owl, the den on the third floor holds many distractions. “That’s my childhood,” Wilson says, pointing to his model trains and Lego creations, which he displays on custom cabinetry. “I can go up there and be lost until 4 a.m.”

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“It’s a real prIvIlege and an honor to be able to build your own house,” says Fred Wilson, of Morgante Wilson Architects in Evanston. Wilson and Elissa Morgante, his partner in business and in life, were happily ensconced in a home in Wilmette when they were approached about buying the house across the street. Intrigued by the possibilities, the couple brought in a builder to evaluate the structure. Although he deemed it a teardown, they decided to buy the lot anyway and design a new home from scratch. “This is the first home that we did from the ground up for ourselves,” Morgante says. Fred and Elissa spent four months drawing architectural plans, doodling ideas whenever they found a spare moment. For the rare times when they didn’t see eye-to-eye, they took the same advice that they often give their clients. “If one of us doesn’t like an idea, we just move on to another one,” Morgante says. “It’s a lot easier to come up with a new idea that we both like.” After a year of construction, the couple moved into their new house, which complements the neighborhood while making its own statement. “We wanted our house to have an edgier, more unique feel, yet also feel like it would blend right in,” Morgante says, pointing to the exterior, which is clad with old Chicago common brick that they salvaged from a dairy barn-turnedgarage that once stood on the site. Frameless corner windows, steel mullions between windows and linear blue stone accents give the traditional brick home a contemporary edge. “There’s always a twist with our homes, but it doesn’t hit you over the head,” Wilson says. “We always try to be respectful of the neighborhood.” The linear blue stone detail complements a patio located just off the family area, where the couple and their three children enjoy watching TV on a custom sofa sectional that the archi-

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In the kitchen, the architects selected upper cabinets that open up instead of out. “When you’re cooking, you can have all the cabinets open, and the doors aren’t in your way,” Morgante explains. Windows above the cabinets bring in extra light. The floors are made of recycled scraps of Hemlock that have been cut into blocks and laid with the end grain up.

tects designed. The sofa is just one of many furnishings they created for the space, including the dining room’s buffet with built-in candlesticks that can be unscrewed to accommodate a tabletop, which comes in handy when they need a second table to host large gatherings. According to Wilson, furniture is part and parcel of most architecture projects. “We always approach design holistically with furniture and lighting plans, window treatments and views out to the landscape in mind,” Wilson says. Indeed, Fred and Elissa were considering the landscape when they made the decision to flip the orientation of their new home, which faces a different street than the home that originally stood on the site. “Instead of a shotgun front-to-back home, it

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became a wide side-to-side house,” Wilson explains. Thanks to the new orientation, visitors are welcomed to a rather unique entry experience. “You walk up these stairs that appear to be floating over an enormous window well that runs the entire length of the middle of the house,” Morgante says. “It provides the lower level with a really nice view of plant material, and it brings a lot of light into the basement.” Although Fred and Elissa love their home, the architects say that it likely won’t be their last. When the process is so much fun, how could they resist designing another one together? “Building and working with Elissa is the joy of my life,” Wilson says. “To do it together on our home was just amazing. I don’t know how the two of us were so lucky to have found each other.”

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BET T E R YOU | finance

a couch and blanket would suffice for your houseguests. Give them the comfort and amenities they deserve. We asked Meg Carroll of Bedside Manor and interior designers Mary Shea and Beth Boyd of Wiley Designs for their thoughts on the necessary ingredients of a great guest room. GONE ARE THE DAYS WHEN

Make an inviting bed • Start with the biggest bed that will fit the room. Shea recommends a queen as the ideal fit for most guest scenarios (a couple, tall guest, adult plus child, etc.). Carroll finds a queen bed more inviting and homey than two twins. • Washability is number one, and there are a myriad of beautiful options that are equally stylish and low maintenance. You don’t want your guest worrying about a smudge or who slept there before.

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• Layering is also key, as it offers guests the most flexibility and personalized comfort. Start with fine-quality sheets, a blanket and coverlet, and top with a duvet folded at the foot of the bed. • Don’t drown the bed in pillows or skimp on comfort. Carroll recommends stacking two sleeping pillows against the headboard, and fronting them with a pair of Euro-sized shams and maybe one decorative pillow. The Euros are ideal for bedtime reading, but they’re easily put aside when it’s time to sleep. • If you want to provide a nonallergenic pillow or two, stack them cased and ready to go on a closet shelf. Carroll adds that finer-quality down bedding is repeatedly washed to reduce allergens, and it’s truly the most comfortable option.

Focus on functionality Guests come with stuff, so give them plenty of functional space to put it. • Set out a luggage rack or bench to hold a suitcase or duffel. • Leave the closet ajar so your guest can see hangers and perhaps an open shelf or two to stack clothing. Consider upgrading to wooden or padded hangers. • If you have to choose between a desk or nightstand, go with the nightstand, and make sure it’s got plenty of room for a reading lamp, clock and easy plug-in access to charge a phone. Shea warns that tables smaller than 15 square inches challenge efficiency. • A reading chair is always welcome with a cozy throw for napping. If you’ve got room for an additional flat, open space (such as a lean console or dresser), fit it in. Guests will appreciate the extra room.

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• A diffuser or candle adds a homey touch, as long as the scent isn’t too heavy or pungent. • Don’t forget a pitcher and glass for water and a welcoming vase of fresh flowers.

Adapt your space For the majority of us who move kids around to host our guests, keep this in mind: • The more clutter you can put away the better. Your guest still needs space to spread out. • Think about keeping a set of bedding dedicated solely to guests and pull it out when your guest arrives. Your son probably loves all those NHL logos, but your guest may not. • Always lay out a clean set of towels on the bed so your guest doesn’t have to hunt them down, particularly if they have to use the same bath as the kids. • Try your best to provide a guest with the same amenities (fresh flowers, good lighting, open outlets, hanging space), even if they’re in your toddler’s room.

Add a dash of style If you’re lucky enough to have a spare, dedicated guest bedroom, go ahead and take a few design risks. Introduce a more dramatic pattern or color scheme than you would in a room slept in daily; but Shea stresses the importance of creating a soothing, comfortable place. Remember, your guests want to feel like they’re staying in a home—not a hotel. Add warmth, but don’t get too personal. A few family photos are OK, but don’t overwhelm the room. A guest room should feel like an extension of your home, not a disjointed, barren space. If your guest wanted to stay at the W Hotel, they would have.

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bet t e r you

b y s t u a r t g r e e n b l at t

geographically that the holiday season offers them the only opportunity to gather, celebrate and reflect. These family gatherings also give you the chance to observe subtle changes that come with aging—especially with parents. Has dad’s driving ability diminished? Did mom forget her favorite pie recipe? Is the house becoming too difficult for them to manage?

Many faMilies are so separated

If your parents are getting to the point where you believe it’s time to consider a new living situation, then have that important conversation. There’s no better time than during the holidays. We asked aging experts from some of the North Shore’s leading senior living organizations to give us some pointers. Here’s what they had to say:

“The Holidays are a time of nostalgia, and talking with parents about holidays past may be a natural entrée into a conversation about things they may be having trouble with now—decorating, shopping, preparing a big meal, or even feelings of loneliness. Having these important conversations in person, with siblings and other key family members present, could be the opening for discussing a lifestyle change for parents that would bring back joy, ease, and the ability to socialize and look forward to what the future may hold.”

“Having ’the conversation‘ with your parents can be a delicate situation, although it’s a very important one to have when they are still able to make decisions. It’s best to be proactive when they are reasonably healthy and can have input on what they think is best for them at this point in their lives. “do your parents still drive? Has home maintenance become too burdensome? do they feel lonely and isolated in their home from friends and family? Would they consider downsizing first to alleviate any feelings of being overwhelmed by all their possessions? “Your parents might be unexpectedly relieved by your offer to help them instead of thinking they have to do it all themselves. remember to respect and honor their wishes while always making sure that it is in the best interest of your parents so they can keep their dignity intact.” Sian Moynihan Sales Director, Vi at The Glen

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“Let your agenda go; listen with full attention. don’t rush them. Silence serves a purpose. Use questions, not statements. ‘mom, you’re taking a lot of pills, would you like help with your medications? Have you thought about how you’d get around if you stopped driving?’ “be direct, but non-confrontational.  ‘dad, you seem unsteady, what can we do to help protect you from falling?  mom, if you no longer wanted to live alone, where would you live?’“ Robert A. Werdan Vice President, Marketing and Public Relations, Presbyterian Homes

Photos courtesy of each organization

Gale Morgan Vice President of Sales, Mather LifeWays

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bet t e r you | shopping

DayTripper

by robert Loer zeL

Known for its startup companies, trendy restaurants and art galleries, River North is also Chicago’s epicenter of interior design. torian-era explorer’s drawing room, with sculptures of the Buddha on pedestals amid British colonial bookcases. Continue through the 23,000-squarefoot gallery’s various architectural and historical zones and you’ll also find a sunlit modern wing. 330 N. Clark St., 312-755-1266, goldentriangle.biz

that famous behemoth of a building that overlooks the river, the Merchandise Mart. The streets north and east of the Mart are dotted with stores selling classy furniture, fixtures and floor coverings. Many of these shops have been in business for a while, but this year was the first time they banded together in a neighborhood association— calling themselves the River North Design District. If you’re shopping for a sofa or a sink—or if you’re just in the mood to check out some Nepalese rugs or Italian lamps—the design district makes for a pleasant stroll. (However, if you’re used to IKEA and Target prices, you may be in for some sticker shock.) Here are a few of the interior design showrooms that caught our eye.

In this furniture showroom, the accent is on the Italian. The chic, sleek creations of Italy’s leading designers are for sale, including a “shadow lamp” by Cappellini ($2,878), which towers more than 6 feet high and resembling a huge glowing mushroom. A set of five colorful nesting tables by Cassina ($6,185) looks like a disassembled Alexander Calder mobile sculpture. 314 W. Superior St., 312-335-3855, wpachicago.com

The Golden Triangle

Organic Looms 

While most of the area’s stores focus on the latest designs, this wonderful curio collection takes you on a trip back in time and across continents. One part of the store feels like a Vic-

Here’s a smaller alternative to Isberian. This shop’s sustainable, environmentally friendly Tibetan carpets are handcrafted with traditional methods, but most of the designs are modern,

yond

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Wpa Chicago 

looking more like 20th-century paintings than patterns from “The Arabian Nights.” 401 N. Wells St., 312-832-0900, organiclooms.com Oscar isberian rugs

In business since 1920, Isberian boasts a selection of 80,000 exquisite, handcrafted rugs from around the world. Along with the River North location, Isberian has showrooms in Evanston and Highland Park as well as an online shop. 120 W. Kinzie St., 312-467-1212, isberian.com

Photos courtesy of each business

And the showrooms extend be-

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The Tile Gallery 

Every kind of tile, from classic stone mosaics to contemporary glass, is on display here, with an impressive variety of designs, from minimalist to ornate. Even the floor, covered with dozens of different colors and shapes, feels like a work of art. 555 N. Franklin St., 312467-9590, tilegallerychicago.com While you’re in River North, stop in for a meal at one of the area’s eateries, which include Roka Akor, Bub City, Mastro’s and many more (find reviews online at makeitbetter.net/dining). And the art galleries, clustered around Superior and Wells streets, are worth a trip of their own. Exhibit openings are usually on Friday evenings.

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story by e va n g e l i n e P o l i t i s & susan b . noye s

photos by john ng

makeup by h e at h e r f r e d e r i c k s o n

This month, we continue to celebrate the North Shore’s women of fashion while highlighting their stylish picks for the holiday season. From shoes to jewels, this month’s group of boutique owners can easily dress any woman from head to toe.

Lori miLLer & Brandi secher

On LOri

On Brandi

dAGmAr knit-lace cocktail dress lined with moss-green under slip, $698, Skandal Aviva rose brent collection pink amethyst with diamonds rose-gold earrings, $395, Shirise Aviva rose Sappina collection oxidized sterling-silver cut chain with pave flower and leaf closure, $990, Shirise b brian Atwood gold snake-print leather pump, $325, Shirise

Aviva rose Sappina collection rose gold diamond cut chain with pave flower and leaf closure, $1,045, Shirise 2nd dAY birger et mikkelsson plum silk chiffon sequined blouse, $368, Skandal Sachin + babi Leather pants, $395, Lake Forest Shop brian Atwood silver snake print heels, $350, Shirise

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Photo <credit>

Shirise was opened by brandi Secher and Lori miller’s mother, Sherrie Oppenheim, in 1985. Known as “Sherrie Shoes” for years, she was the top shoe salesperson in the country at Neiman marcus before opening her own store, Shirise, in Glencoe. Now that both daughters are heavily involved in the business, all three of them go on buying trips—each bringing their own eye for style. “It’s been 28 years, and Lori and I plan to do it for another 28,” said Secher.

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Donna Sternaman

Initially a barry bricken store, Mattie M has been open for 16 years. donna Sternaman opened her first store in 1990 on michigan Avenue, and she explained the second location in Winnetka felt â&#x20AC;&#x153;naturalâ&#x20AC;? as many of her clients were from the North Shore. When barry bricken went out of the womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s clothing business in 2008, Sternaman changed the name to its current one, but it still remains as the go-to store for classic-but-modern clothing. david meister lace-cutout dress, $458, Mattie M Whiting & davis black and silver clutch, $190, Mattie m marcia moran three-tiered druzy earrings, $245, Willow Boutique Oscar de la renta black-crepe pump, $695, Shirise

Davi Berk

Photo <credit>

Davi Berk and Paula Zacharia have been friends since attending kindergarten at Willowbrook Elementary School in Northbrook. When they both returned to the northern suburbs as adults, they decided to open a jewelry shop together in Winnetka. Appropriately named Willow Boutique, their store sells all things that glitter. Alexia Admor shades of grey watercolor-printed party dress, $236, Skandal Shoshanna Lee knot necklace, $289, Willow Boutique marcia moran labradorite and crystal earrings, $155, Willow Boutique Natalie b vintage cuff, $375, Willow Boutique Stuart Weitzman black-patent slingback pump, $398, Shirise

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EllEn stirling

The Lake Forest Shop has been an anchor of style on the North Shore for more than nine decades. Current owner Ellen Stirling’s grandmother, Margaret Baxter Foster, opened the store in 1922, and Stirling took the reins in 1987. The store has continued to evolve with the needs of everyday women—still the source for gorgeous gowns, but also a place to pick up a casual pair of pants and a top. Algo of Switzerland dress, $1870, Lake Forest Shop Fur bolero, model’s own CumuLLus diamond bracelets, necklace and earrings, price upon request, Lester Lampert Jimmy Choo red-glitter low pump, $550, Shirise

Kim KucharsKi

Avenue Fashions carries on a family legacy of fashion expertise. Owner Sandy Panuce was inspired by her mother Florence who was known as the “woman with the golden hands” because of her dedication to finding the perfect fit for her customers. After numerous years in Chicago and Lincolnwood, the boutique relocated to Deerfield in 2011. Sandy’s niece Kim Kucharski—a former speech therapist—joined her aunt at the store since it moved, carrying on her family’s tradition.

Photo <credit>

Rina di Montella ruched lace dress, $598, Avenue Fashions Yolanda smoky crystal earrings, $150, Avenue Fashions Marcia Moran druzy cuff, $260, Willow Boutique Stuart Weitzman pyrite-coated leather slingback, $375, Shirise

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bet t e r you | beauty

Updos

That Upgrade Your Holiday Hair By Jenny Muslin

This season ensures many fun and festive holiday parties. Pair your favorite party outfit with a glam updo. John Gialluisi, Creative Director for Mario Tricoci Hair Salons & Day Spas, says, “For the holiday season, updos should look put together, but with a confident nonchalance.” Vivian Arpino, owner of BloOut’s in Highland Park, explains, “Braids are still huge this season, we can’t get enough of them! Low ponytails (sharply parted or messy), stick-straight and untextured hair are also trends we’re seeing on the runway this season.”

Bun

A ballerina bun is sleek, easy to do, and shows off the cheekbones and neck. “The bun is perfect for any time of day, and for any hair type,” Arpino says. “All you have to do is purchase a hair donut (sold at local drugstores). Put your hair in a high ponytail, place the bun at the base of the ponytail and wrap your hair around it. Use pins to keep it in place. It’s simple, sleek and always fashionable!”

Braids

Braids continue to be wildly popular, but to make them more chic, incorporate braids into an updo. Wear a braid across the crown of your head and secure the rest of your hair into a low bun. This style has been seen on countless celebrities, including Jessica Alba and Heidi Klum, and is sure to bring on the compliments at your next holiday time event.

Ponytail

“A low ponytail with a side part looks sexy, sophisticated and is very easy to do,” Arpino says. “For this look, part your hair on the side and comb it through into a tight ponytail. Wrap a strand of loose hair around the ponytail and pin it underneath. Hairspray any loose hairs.” (Running a toothbrush through your hair really keeps those fine hairs in place.)

Side-Swept Wrap Pony

“A side-swept wrap is a perfect look for any occasion, formal or casual,” Gialluisi says. To create this look, first add texture with a curling iron. Divide hair into halves and bring one side forward over the shoulder (this will be the pony). Take the other half and divide it into halves once again. Grab the middle piece and wrap it over the pony and pull under. Secure at the back of the scalp with a pin, or however many needed. Wrap the remaining piece around the top of the side knot, pull under and secure with another pin along the back of the scalp. Use fingers to gently tousle the pony to create volume and texture. Check out this video from Gialluisi showing how to create a side-wrap updo: bit.ly/1aoZgM5

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sponsor e d con t e n t

celebrating the best of 2013

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BET T E R YOU | fitness

BY CHRIST Y COUGHLIN THANKSGIVING OFFERED SAVORY TURKEY WITH gravy, melt-in-yourmouth mashed potatoes, and the richest pecan pie ever... which blended right into December festivities. The last few months of the year are filled with fabulous parties complete with tasty cocktails, an abundance of chocolate, cookies and cakes, buttery everything, and meats smothered in heavy sauces. Healthy eating… remind me what that is, exactly? Exercise seemed futile, so a week off led to two, then three. Now that the decadent holidays are almost behind you, it’s time to get back in balance as you enter 2014. “It’s common to gain five pounds over the holidays and never lose it. It’s so much easier to gain weight than it is to get rid of it,” Alan Zunamon, MD at NorthShore University HealthSystem cautions. Your good health, including diet and exercise, needs some serious help. Here is some advice from the experts to get you back in balance:

You’ve overindulged and your skinny jeans are rebelling. Tia Rains Vivian, PhD in Nutritional Sciences, suggests these strategies to get serious about eating right and getting back to your healthy weight: Consider outsourcing (meals) for a week. Many diet plan companies offer specials in January, their planning, preparing and cooking out of the equation for a week. Most offer meal plans for different calorie levels and eating practices (e.g., gluten-free, vegetarian, etc.). Or simply advantage of the meal plans in magazines, which are abundant at the end of the year. Commit to strictly following the meal plan for an entire week (no cheating). Try a no-sugar/no-alcohol cleanse. Cleanses don’t need to be expensive to be an effective means to stopping bad behaviors. Eliminating white sugar and alcohol for a week and replacing them with extra vegetables is a healthy way to reduce calories, feel better, and re-set meal patterns.

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Start the day with 25-30 g of highquality protein. Research has shown that people who start the day with protein consume fewer calories the rest of the day. Hot off the press research in a study conducted by Heather Leidy at the University of Missouri says those eating a high-protein breakfast were less likely to eat high-sugar, high-fat snacks in the afternoon. Holiday exercise consisted of walking from your house to the car. DuWayne Wright, CPT at Workout Wright in Evanston, helps his clients get moving again in a safe, effective way with the following advice: Complete a fitness assessment with a personal trainer to find out your body composition, aerobic fitness, muscular strength and endurance, and to check your flexibility. That’s a good place to start. From there you can set small, reasonable goals to improve your fitness and lose weight.

Get back to exercise slowly by walking 30 minutes a day. This allows you to ease into activity with less chance of injury. Walking also improves sleep and reduces stress, both critical components to weight loss. Set short-term, doable goals that you can achieve, then set new ones, and work toward those goals. Work with a personal trainer over a set period of time for support and accountability, to see real progress, and because you are serious and committed. “Don’t try to undo your monthlong overeating and inactivity in a few days or even a week. You need a long-term plan that you can stick with,” advises Dr. Zunamon. Mike Waligora, MD, who also practices at NorthShore, warns, “It’s easy to outeat your exercise!” Now is the time to get back in balance with healthy eating and exercise, and to consider a few new strategies for next holiday season.

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BET T E R YOU | finance

what’s inside, what’s worth the cost B Y L I N D S AY R O S E M A N

BIRCHBOX What’s inside: This monthly beauty box introduces you to the latest beauty, grooming and lifestyle products. Your Birchbox will include everything from the latest lipstick and nail-polish hues to fragrance samples and hair accessories. How it works: When you sign up, you’ll be asked to fill out a profile with information on your hair, skin type, beauty concerns, style, etc. to ensure that the perfect products show up at your door (birchbox.com). Cost: Women’s subscription: $10/month; men’s subscription: $20/month; free shipping

MIB readers save 50% off your 1st box, use code: MAKEITBETTER

KIWI CRATE What’s inside: Switch off electronics and put the kiddos’ imaginations to work. This craft crate arrives with materials and inspiration for two to three educational projects that encourage open-ended play. Past themes have included: Dig into Dinosaurs, Colorful Inspiration and Growing Gardens. How it works: Visit their website (kiwicrate.com), choose your subscription plan, and enter your child’s birthday and gender so you receive the most developmentally appropriate projects. Cost: $19.95/1 month; $59.85/3 months; $110/6 months; $203.40/1 year; free shipping. Add extra materials for a “no-fight” crate for an extra $9.95 each month.

NATUREBOX What’s inside: NatureBox arrives at your doorstep stuffed with five bags of tasty, nutritionist-approved snacks. All snacks are free of high-fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, trans fats and artificial sweeteners, flavors and colors. How it works: Once you create an account and log in on their website (naturebox. com), you can either select the snacks you want to try each month or be surprised when the box arrives. Cost: $19.95/month; free shipping Bonus: These snacks give back! NatureBox donates funds and healthy snacks to WhyHunger and community-based organizations to help feed low-income children and families.

Subscription boxes are packages available in countless areas of interest that are delivered to your home each month filled with goodies. Treat yourself to your favorite box, or gift a subscription to anyone on your holiday shopping list!

BARKBOX What’s inside: Give your furry friend some love with this box of toys, treats, bones and gadgets. Each box contains four to six items that will get your pooch’s tail wagging. All products are tested and approved by Scout, an adorable miniature Schnauzer and “head of research and development.” How it works: Visit their website (barkbox.com), choose your dog size and plan, and await your package in the mail. Cost: $29/1 month; $72/3 months; $114/6 months; free shipping Bonus: BarkBox helps pups in need! They donate at least 10 percent of profits to shelters, rescues and animal welfare organizations to help keep all dogs safe, healthy and happy.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF EACH SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE

subscription boxes

There’s nothing better than opening the mailbox and finding a fun surprise each month—something other than bills or junk mail.

POPSUGAR MUST HAVE BOX What’s inside: This box is jam packed with the hottest products in food, fashion, beauty, home, entertainment and more. Past boxes have included things like jewelry pieces, workout DVDs, cozy scarves and newly released books. Most boxes contain five to 10 full-size items and a snack or two. How it works: Head online (musthave.popsugar.com), pick your plan and enter your information to sign up. Check out their blog and peek inside past boxes to get a feel for the types of products included. Cost: $35/1 month; $95/3 months; $190/6 months; $380/1 year; free shipping 62

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BET T E R YOU | finance

have a

sexy

menopause

BY MAR JIE KILLEEN

MENOPAUSE IS RARELY CONSIDERED

a sexy time of life. But, armed with advice from two top North Shore gynecologists, I’m here to change that. Here’s what you need to know about how menopause can affect your sex life, and what you should do to continue to enjoy it. Better Sleep Means Better Sex. Hormone changes don’t directly affect a woman’s libido, but symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats can interfere with her ability to get a full night’s rest. The lack of sleep creates other problems that put a damper on desire. Marcia Krause, M.D, F.A.C.O.G., a gynecologist on staff at Northshore University HealthSystems in Skokie, says, “One of the biggest issues with menopause is sleep disruption. It affects everything—emotional reactions, energy and the ability to eat properly. When you’re tired, your satiety centers are disrupted and you don’t have a sig-

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nal that you’re full, so you get cravings. At the same time, metabolism is downshifting, so weight gain becomes an issue, especially around your belly. That affects body image, which is a huge issue when it comes to libido.” Dr. Lauren Streicher, Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University and author of the soon-to-be-released book “Love Sex Again” agrees. “The biggest complaint I get from women is midlife weight gain. It’s not the lack of estrogen that’s causing the weight gain. There are a number of non-hormonal factors that contribute, including lack of sleep. When women don’t sleep, they are more likely to gain weight.” It’s damn hard for women who feel exhausted, moody and overweight to feel sexy, but it’s reassuring to know that the number-one prescription for these conditions is rest. Women should do everything possible to get enough shut-eye at night, or squeeze in a siesta

during the day. “Naps are fabulous,” Krause says. “I nap as often as I can.” Use It or Lube It. One physical change that affects the female sex organs during menopause is vaginal dryness. But that only makes staying sexually active more important, because at this age, says Krause, “it’s absolutely use it or lose it.” Intercourse helps increase the blood flow to the vaginal tissue, which keeps it stretchy and supple and helps prevent atrophy. But sex doesn’t have to hurt. “Women who experience painful intercourse should start with a siliconebased lubricant,” Streicher says. She recommends the drug store brand “Wet Platinum,” and many other lubes can be found at local sex shops or online. However, if lubricant doesn’t solve the problem, Streicher says, “there are a variety of prescription local-estrogen products in ring, cream and tablet forms, as well as a new non-estrogen oral product, that work very well.”

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Discuss Sexual Issues with Your Doctor Many of the symptoms of menopause that interfere with desire are treatable through hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or new non-estrogen medications; you should definitely discuss your options with your gynecologist. But not all sexual problems in midlife are caused by menopause. According to Dr. Streicher, “Roughly 50 percent of women who are post menopause have at least one additional health problem that can affect sexuality. But this doesn’t mean you have to accept that your sex life is over. These dysfunctions are treatable. Part of the challenge is to find someone to help you. Not every doctor addresses sexual issues when treating medical problems such as diabetes or heart disease. It’s rare for someone to talk about the impact of these health conditions on sexuality, and many women assume that there isn’t anything to do. It’s a very specialized area. Often I am a patient’s fourth, fifth or sixth medical opinion.” Streicher’s new book is one of the first that discusses all the health issues that can impact a woman’s sexuality. Take Charge of Your Turn On Even healthy women shouldn’t expect to be overwhelmed with desire at this age; rather, they should identify the things and situations that turn them on and go after them. “When we were younger, libido came from horniness,” Krause says. “That goes away as you get older and it makes it very hard to feel desire for sex. Desire in women initiates in our heads and thoughts and emotions— that’s where our sex response starts. Menopause can make it even harder.” We’ve talked about ways women can take charge of their desire many times in this column. For resources, check out related “Sex & the Suburbs” stories at makeitbetter.net/sex. Taking good care of yourself is the best place to start!

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di n i ng

honey butter fried chicken: it’s clucking good by Julie chernoff

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at long last open to crowds that wrapped around the block. Sadly, that did not include me, as I was fasting. Sigh. But a visit on day two confirmed what I knew all along: this is the best clucking fried chicken around. Poultry Nirvana Why so tasty? Maybe because it’s quality chicken to begin with, sourced from Miller Poultry, always fresh and hormone- and antibiotic-free. Then it’s brined, battered in tangy buttermilk and flour (seasoned with plenty of spice from smoked paprika and cayenne pepper), and fried to a crispy, crackly crunch. As if that weren’t enough—and some fools might think so—it’s served with a small scoop of soft honey butter, which you are encouraged to drag your chicken through on the way to your mouth. People, it is ORGASMIC. The fried chicken combos come in 2-, 4- and 8-piece servings ($8/$15/$28) along with the aforementioned honey butter and the world’s most adorable corn muffins, hexagonally shaped and embossed with bees and honeycomb. You could also opt for the Fried Chicken

Photo courtesy of honey butter fried chicken

had the opportunity to sample Chefs Josh Kulp and Christine Cikowski’s market-driven food. They’ve long been faves at the underground-style Sunday Dinner Club (SDC). If you really won the food lottery, you’ve sampled their delectable fried chicken. And since then, you’ve been waiting. And waiting. For the past two years, Kulp and Cikowski, along with their business partners (and graphic designers) Jen Mayer and Chris Jennings, have been promising a freestanding restaurant that would feature that poultry perfection. They had the name—Honey Butter Fried Chicken (HBFC)—but the restaurant space was elusive. Eventually, a spot materialized in Avondale at the corner of Elston and Roscoe, just a short waddle away from Hot Doug’s encased meat emporium. It took awhile to get everything just right, although the upstairs apartment space was quickly converted to the new site for SDC. Finally, on Yom Kippur, the skies parted. A beam of light shone down on Honey Butter Fried Chicken, if you’re lucky, you’ve already

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Sammy ($8), a boneless fried thigh served on a buttery bun slathered with candied jalapeno mayo and piled with crunchy slaw; or the Market Salad ($10, add $3 with chopped, cold fried chicken, and why wouldn’t you?), farm greens tossed with coriander-spiced pumpkin seeds, market-fresh veggies and a “Seasonal Goddess dressing.”

Honey Butter Fried Chicken 3361 N. Elston Ave. Chicago 773-478-4000 honeybutter.com

Don’t Forget the Side Dishes Sides ($3.50 each) include creamy Pimento Mac ‘n’ Cheese with garlicky bread crumbs, sprightly Roasted Sweet Potato Salad in a cilantro-lime vinaigrette, and a surprising Kale and Cabbage Slaw tossed with yogurt-cumin dressing and pomegranate seeds. The sides aren’t huge; I’d recommend three for two people to share. Every day there are specials to try, including a daily pickle ($2); homemade soup ($5), which on our visit was a deeply delicious Roasted Corn Soup with braised chicken and veggies; and additional sides, like Chinese Broccoli with Red Pepper and Chevre. Don’t be fooled by the name: the Dump Cake of the Day ($3.50) is totally worthy, so named because you mix up the fresh fruit with cake batter and dump it unceremoniously in the pan. As often happens with baked goods, the whole is much greater than the sum of its parts. Nom nom. Wet Your Whistle Attention must be paid to the beverages. The iced tea (a bottomless cup for $2.50) is sourced from Rare Tea Cellars; fountain sodas ($2.50) are from Boylan’s, Green River and Goose Island. This is definitely not Popeye’s. Beer is available by the can or bottle, and the list is small but well curated. Likewise the wine list, three wines by the glass, and six by the bottle, all chosen expressly to pair with that heavenly bird. If you’re a fan of mixed drinks, for $7, the barkeep will shake up a Smokey Derby (Very Old Barton Bourbon, grapefruit, and smoked paprika syrup) or an Avondale Ginger Mule (molasses, ginger, Death’s Door Gin, lime and mint) for you. In a brave group that wants to linger on the inviting back patio under the heatlamps? You’ll want a pitcher of spiked Damn Good Sweet Tea ($30) or The Hill Pop (lemonade and bourbon) to share. HBFC is pretty damn inviting, from the chickengraced Chicago skyline wall graphic to the chicken-coop décor (don’t worry, it’s subtle!). And that chicken? It’s the stuff of dreams. I’m not sure why you are still reading this. Get in your car and go there RIGHT NOW. Unless it’s a Tuesday, ‘cuz then they’re closed. Currently open for dinner only.

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Roka Akor DI N I NG | dining list

DECEMBER: IT’S THE TIME WHEN all

thoughts turn to Christmas Dinner, at least if you have your priorities straight. And naturally, if you’re Jewish, you’re thinking Chinese food on December 25. But people, it’s time to branch out. There’s a whole world of Asian food out there, including Thai, Japanese, Vietnamese, Korean and more. So don’t limit yourself this holiday season… or anytime of the year, for that matter. But please, call first! Not all of these restaurants are open on the holiday, so keep the list handy for other occasions when only Asian food will do.

pl8 736 W. Northwest Hwy., 847-382-1988, pl8simplyasian.com We love this uber-modern spot. Great sushi, but don’t miss the Chong Ching Noodle Soup or the Dry Stir-Fried Shredded Beef.

Tank Noodle 4953 N. Broadway, 773-878-2253, tank-noodle.com Don’t be too intimidated by the enormous menu. Close your eyes and point; virtually all of the menu at this Vietnamese favorite is worth eating.

Jin Ju 5203 N. Clark, 773-334-6377, jinjurestaurant.com This contemporary Korean restaurant never disappoints, from the Pajun scallion pancake with squid and mussels to the Mandoo beef dumplings. And the Kalbi (beef short ribs) are melt-in-your-mouth good. Opart Thai House 4658 N. Western Ave., 773-989-8517, opartthaihouse.com There are items here that I haven’t seen on other Thai menus around town, and it’s all fresh and delicious; definitely a step above the basic, but prices are super reasonable. Sun Wah BBQ 5039 N. Broadway, 773-769-1254, sunwahbbq.com This is the Peking Duck of your dreams. First the bird is sliced up at the table and served with steamed buns and fixin’s, then it returns in Duck Fried Rice, and finally a tureen of duck broth.

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Lulu’s Dim Sum 804 Davis St., 847-869-4343, lulusdimsum.com Still hopping after 20 years, this Pan-Asian choice always pleases with their noodle soups, crispy Bao Buns, Ginger Chicken Salad, and Spicy Dragon Noodles. GLENVIEW

DEERFIELD CHICAGO

Kansaku 1514 Sherman Ave., 847-864-4386, kansakusushi.com Inventive sushi rolls and a long list of signature martinis make this a popular spot.

Thai Thai Restaurant 475 Lake Cook Rd., 847-564-5999, thaithaideerfield.com The Roasted Duck with Red Curry is worth the trip, but really, who could resist a dish called “Tiger Cries” (a spicy grilled steak)?

Dragon Inn North 1650 Waukegan Rd., 847-729-8383, dragoninnnorth.com Whether you prefer Mandarin, Cantonese, Szechuan or Hunan dishes, they’ve got you covered here.

Wildfish 730 Waukegan Rd., 847-317-9453, wildfishsushi.com I’m pretty sure the “wild” refers to the crazy interior design, although the menu is far from tame. They’ve got excellent sushi and other Japanese selections.

Nobori Sushi 1821 Waukegan Rd., 847-729-0422, noborisushi.com More than just sushi, Nobori features some truly interesting Japanese food, like Saba Niso (grilled mackerel), Uni “Shots” (sea urchin with quail egg and ponzu sauce), and Grilled Squid with Ginger Soy.

EVANSTON

HIGHLAND PARK

Cozy Noodle 1018 Davis St., 847-733-0101, cozyevanston.com It’s the funky décor that really sets this place apart, and if you’re a fan of Elvis and Pez dispensers, you’re in luck. Joy Yee’s Noodle Kitchen 521 Davis St., 847-733-1900, joyyee.com Known for their fresh fruit bubble teas, they also cover the Asian continent with

Hunan Pearl 586 Roger Williams Ave., 847-432-5410, hunanpearlonline.com The menu isn’t particularly innovative, but sometimes all you want is something you recognize. This is Chinese comfort food. LAKE FOREST

Sushi Kushi Toyo 825 S. Waukegan Rd., 847-234-9950,

PHOTO BY LARA KASTNER

BARRINGTON

Korean, Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese selections on their extensive menu.

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sushikushitoyo.wix.com Presentation is a strong point at this little jewel of a restaurant, one of the Sushi Kushi Restaurant Group’s properties. LincoLnshire

Simon Lin’s Asian Bistro 410 N. Milwaukee Ave., 847-478-8883, simonlinsasian.com Despite the enormous sushi menu, they don’t slight other entrée choices. Try the Special Tofu or the Confetti Chicken for something a little different. northbrook

Kamehachi 1320 Shermer Rd., 847-562-0064, kamehachi.com This popular business lunch spot also satisfies at dinner. Opt for the Rock Shrimp Tempura, tender Chilean Sea Bass with yuzu and miso, or any of the Udon Noodle dishes. Seoul Garden 3420 Milwaukee Ave., 847-390-8390, seoulgardenchicago.com One of the few Korean restaurants in the North ‘burbs, their menu is a comprehensive tour through this flavorful cuisine. skokie

Hana Asian Bistro 9434 Skokie Blvd., 847-677-4262, hanaasianbistro.com Be brave and order from the “New Far East Chef Specialties” side of the menu, where you’ll find Salt & Pepper Smelt and Kung Pao Squid. You can do it! Roka Akor 4999 Old Orchard Center, 847-329-7650, rokaakor.com This gorgeous restaurant features goodies from a robatayaki grill, cooked over high-heat, smokeless charcoal. You’ve never had a steak like this before. WiLmette

153 Akira 1137 Greenleaf Ave., 847-256-1133, 153 akira. com You’ll find a little of everything at this neighborhood fave. I like the Spicy Sashimi Salad and the Beef Udon. Tsing Tao 537 Green Bay Rd., 847-251-7760 We ate dinner here with a big family group last Christmas, and it did not disappoint. From the egg rolls to the Mandarin Beef, we were able to happily recreate the food of holidays past. Happy sigh.

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e n t e rta i nm e n t | theatre

American Blues Theater (at Greenhouse) “It’s a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago!” Through december 29 773-404-7336 | americanbluestheater.com

spirit of christmas

American Theater Company “It’s a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play” Through december 29 773-409-4125 | atcweb.org Broadway Playhouse “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” Through december 29 312-977-1700 | broadwayinchicago.com

by rOberT LOerzeL

A Christmas Carol Through December 29 Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St., Chicago | 312-443-3800 | goodmantheatre.org This is the 36th year that the Goodman has presented charles dickens’ oft-told story about mean old ebenezer Scrooge learning to love his fellow human beings. No matter how many times you’ve heard this tale, the Goodman’s version never fails to touch the heart. The delightful Larry Yando returns as Scrooge, with Henry Wishcamper directing. The Chimes December 21–29 Remy Bumppo Theatre (at Greenhouse), 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago 773-244-8119 | remybumppo.org “A christmas carol” wasn’t charles dickens’ only yuletide story. He also wrote “The chimes,” in which some goblins reprimand a man for losing faith in humanity. remy bumppo’s artistic director Nick Sandys—a charming brit who doesn’t need to fake the english accent—adapted dickens’ lesser-known holiday story for the stage, and he’ll give just five performances. The Little Prince December 4–February 2 Lookingglass Theatre, 821 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago | 312-337-0665 lookingglasstheatre.org

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If any company in chicago can bring this classic children’s book to the stage with its otherworldly magic intact, it may be Lookingglass, which succeeded so well with its long-running hit “Lookingglass Alice.” In Antoine de Saint-exupéry’s story, a pilot stranded in the Sahara meets a strange young prince who has fallen to earth from a tiny asteroid. ensemble member David Catlin will direct rick cummins and John Scoullar’s adaptation of the French novella. expect to experience some outer space inside the historic water-pumping station that houses Lookingglass. The Merry Wives of Windsor December 3–January 19 Chicago Shakespeare Theater, 800 E. Grand Ave., Chicago | 312-595-5600 chicagoshakes.com Other than the word “merry” in the title, Shakespeare’s comedy doesn’t have anything to do with christmas, but this spirited romp should prove to be an entertaining diversion during the holiday season. Artistic director Barbara Gaines guides this story about the roguish Sir John Falstaff trying to replenish his finances by wooing some wealthy married ladies. Tribes December 5–February 9 Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted St., Chicago | 312-335-1650 | steppenwolf.org Austin Pendleton directs the chicago premiere of english playwright Nina raine’s comic drama about an eccentric english family with a deaf son who’s beginning to discover a larger community of deaf people. The New York Times said this “smart, lively” play “asks us to hear how we hear, in silence as well as in speech.” Steppenwolf’s cast includes ensemble members Alana Arenas and Francis Guinan.

Goodman Theatre New Stages Series december 7–22 312-443-3800 | goodmantheatre.org House Theatre (at the Chopin) “The Nutcracker” Through december 29 773-769-3832 | thehousetheatre.com Joffrey Ballet (at the Auditorium) “The Nutcracker” december 6–28 312-386-8905 | joffrey.org Red Theater Chicago (at the Den) “Dylan” Through december 22 773-569-3454 | redtheater.org Remy Bumppo (at Greenhouse) “An Inspector Calls” december 4–January 12 773-244-8119 | remybumppo.org Silk Road Rising “Paulus” November 12–december 15 312-857-1234 | silkroadrising.org Spartan Theatre (at the Den) “The Pillowman” december 6–15 773-569-3454 | spartantheatre.org Theater Wit “The Santaland Diaries” Through late december “Burning Bluebeard” Through January 5 773-975-8150 | theaterwit.org

Photo courtesy of sean williams

It must be december: The chicago area’s stages are crowded with sugarplum fairies, Scrooges and a macy’s store elf named crumpet. christmas shows dominate the month, but some theaters are offering intriguing plays without any overt holiday theme. Just think of it as their gift to those of us who need an occasional break from the shopping and festivities.

Cadillac Palace Theatre “Elf the Musical” Through december 15 800-775-2000 | broadwayinchicago.com

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book l ist

best reads for 2013 b y k e l ly k o n r a d

So many books, so little time. That’s my motto. 2013 was a great year for anyone that likes to

read—spectacular books from just about every genre filled the bookshelves. There truly is something for everyone this year.

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Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls David Sedaris If you’ve never read one of Sedaris’ selfdeprecating essays, I don’t want to know you. He is a master of dry wit and will have you laughing out loud. This collection has a somewhat bittersweet flavor to it, but remains enormously entertaining.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette Maria Semple A wild ride, indeed. Join bee branch as she tries to uncover just what made her mother, bernadette—a once promising architect—go crazy, and then just go away. It’s an engrossing, funny and heartbreaking page turner.

Nine Inches Tom Perrotta A superb collection of short stories that detail so much that is the human condition. Perrotta is in his element writing about frailty and dysfunction in personal interaction, to the point you feel the characters more than you read about them.

After Visiting Friends Michael Hainey Sometimes, the truth is better than fiction—in particular, when it involves your family history. Former chicagoan michael Hainey retraces his long-dead father’s steps in the years, months and weeks leading up to his passing. It’s a fantastic memoir.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane Neil Gaiman dark and magical at the same time, Gaiman knocks this tale out of the ballpark. It’s the spectre of death that lingers over two worlds for the book’s main character, as he revisits his youth and the mystical characters that remain.

Dante’s Wood Lynne Raimondo Another local author makes good in her debut—a top-notch mystery that follows sleuth mark Angelotti as he tries to save the wrong man from a lifetime in jail. Well-rounded characters, plus a variety of plot twists and turns, will keep you up reading all night.

Life after Life Kate Atkinson If only we could have a do-over. And another. And another still. Atkinson’s tale of a girl reliving her life over and over until she accomplishes her mission is intriguing, and a crazy good read.

Motherland Amy Sohn The mother of crazy when it came to this year’s books. You will gasp out loud at the antics played out by the mothers of Park Slope in NYc. This read is perfect for an escapist weekend or as an antidote for the book that had everyone in your book club snoozing.

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The holidays are upon us, and if you find yourself lucky enough to have a few spare moments, pick up one of these great books. I promise you won’t be sorry!

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Andrew Belle

by va l h a l l e r The holidays are busy, especially if you’re the host. House guests. Menus. Cooking. Lists. Fatigue... and then you hit the wall. For me, this usually occurs halfway through. I’ve been known to sneak up to my bedroom for a nap (maybe they’ll think I’m at the grocery store), or I’ll quietly slip out the door with my dog Lucy for a quick solo walk around the block. I inhale and relax. No one knows I’m gone; they’re busy watching football or chowing down on my Frito dip. The cousins are lost in a video game frenzy; the grandparents have nodded off while reading the newspaper by the fireplace. I step back into the house and head back to the kitchen; the next meal is waiting to be prepared. Although holiday time is home time, an evening out would be a treat for all. Live music is a great option. It’s better than booked restaurants, crowded stores and “magical” holiday-hyped events with sugar-plummed kids. There are many small venues in downtown Chicago that offer a different kind of magic. The artists who play these venues will guarantee it. As you plan ahead, why not try one? You may get hooked. HOLIdAY PLAYLISTS:

Need some holiday/entertaining playlists? Try our new iPhone app, ValslistRadio—it’s all there.

Photos courtesy of sPace

deceMBeR SHOWS NOT TO MISS

Dec. 2 Rick Springfield at City Winery (flashback—‘80s pop) Dec. 5 Polica at Metro (introducing a new sound, electronica) Dec. 6 Booker T. Jones at SPACE (take the grandparents—R&B/soul) Dec. 7 Leo Kottke at SPACE (singer/songwriter) Dec. 8 Steep Canyon Rangers at Old Town School of Folk Music (family bluegrass)

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Dec. 13 Beyonce at United Center (holiday gift for the family) Dec. 20 Andrew Belle at SPACE (fabulous artist for any age) Dec. 26, 27, 28 Poi Dog Pondering at City Winery (rock for the family) Jan. 4 Otis Clay at SPACE (chill out after the holidays)

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M A K E A DI FFE R E NCE

BY CO CO K E E VA N

HELP CLOSE THE OPPORTUNITY DIVIDE Year Up Chicago 312-726-5300 | yearup.org/chicago Year Up Chicago is asking for volunteers to contribute their time as résumé reviewers, tutors, mentors or guest speakers. Volunteers will provide personal assistance to students and interns looking for academic guidance, support or advice. Year Up strives to close the opportunity divide by providing urban young adults with the skills, experience and support that will empower them to reach their academic and professional potential. Time commitment varies from two

HELP AT-RISK YOUTH MAKE A NEW HOME Lawrence Hall Youth Services 773-769-3500 | lawrencehall.org Lawrence Hall, a not-for-profit child welfare agency established to assist at-risk youth and their families, is accepting donations in the form of unused basic necessities, housewarming gifts and items for welcome baskets. Clients receive toiletries, cleaning supplies, clothing, home goods and other items for personal use to help them feel at home in their new surroundings. Lawrence Hall’s services are designed to develop the self-worth, knowledge and skills children and young adults need to lead independent and productive lives. Donations can be sent care of Nora Goray to 65 E. Wacker Place, Suite 1300, Chicago, 60601, or to 4833 N. Francisco Ave., Chicago, 60625. SPREAD HOLIDAY SPIRIT TO CHILDREN IN NEED  El Hogar Del Niño 312-733-5584 | elhogardelnino.org El Hogar del Niño – The Home of the Child – seeks to meet the needs of the entire family so that children can develop in environments that are culturally, emotionally, psychologically, socially and financially strong. El Hogar accepts in-kind dona-

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hours to a lengthier months-long commitment. Visit their website or call 312-726-5300 for more information.  DEVELOP FAMILY LITERACY IN TEEN PARENTS Literature for All of Us 847-869-7323 | literatureforallofus.org Literature for All of Us needs volunteers to serve as casino dealers at its third annual WORDPlay Gala at the Standard Club on February 8, 2014. No prior casino experience is necessary, as volunteers will receive a brief training and orientation the night of the event. Volunteers will receive a complimentary meal and are invited to an after-hours dance party following the gala. Literature for All of Us brings the rewards of reading and writing through book group discussions to teen parents and other young people in underserved neighborhoods. The organization develops family literacy by providing children’s literature and child development resources to teen parents. For more information, go online or call 847-869-7323.

tions of toys, sporting goods and school supplies from its Amazon wishlist. Gifts can be purchased and delivered through Amazon. For more information or to view a full list of desired items, visit elhogardelnino.org. DONATE GENTLY USED CLOTHING FOR CHARITABLE RESALE Lambs Farm 847-362-4636 | lambfarms.org Lambs Farm accepts donations in the form of new or gently used items for sale at their Cedar Chest Thrift Shop. This resale shop, featuring a large assortment of merchandise including clothing, toys, furniture, jewelry, home décor, books, housewares, electronics and shoes, benefits Lambs Farm, which helps people with developmental disabilities lead productive, happy lives. Donations are accepted from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday at Lambs Farm, 14245 W. Rockland Road in Libertyville.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF EACH ORGANIZATION

OFFER YOUR MEDICAL EXPERTISE Old Irving Park Community Clinic 773-427-0298 | oipcc.org The Old Irving Park Community Clinic offers volunteer opportunities for medical and mental health professionals and administrative volunteers alike to do everything from licking envelopes to diagnosing complex medical and behavioral health conditions. Health care professionals volunteer for clinical sessions – three to four hours per month – to provide patients with primary diagnostic and therapeutic medical intervention, laboratory and radiology referrals, health education and awareness, and treatment referrals. Administrative volunteers answer phones, help manage patient records and assist in other behind-the-scenes activities. For more information, visit oipcc.org/get-involved.

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MAKE DREAMS COME TRUE Orchard Village 847-967-1800 | orchardvillage.org Orchard Village seeks generous contributions to its Annual Fund. Gifts will support the achievable dreams and aspirations of individuals with developmental disabilities under the care of Orchard Village. Such goals include: living in a real home; securing a competitive, full-time job; making progress in achieving personal goals; and mastering the skills necessary to lead a rewarding and independent life. For more than 40 years, Orchard Village has partnered with communities to empower individuals with developmental challenges to achieve fulfilled lives. Checks can be made payable to Orchard Village and mailed to 7670 Marmora Ave., Skokie, 60077, or made online at orchardvillage.org/donate. GIVE STUDENTS A FIGHTING CHANCE IN EDUCATION Stand for Children Illinois 312-626-2596 | stand.org/Illinois/ Help ensure that all children, regardless of background, graduate from high school prepared for, and with access to, a college education. Stand for Children is a national education advocacy group devoted to improving public schools and closing the achieve-

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ment gap by supporting policies and practices that ensure all school systems have effective leadership, transparent information and sufficient funding. For more information, go online, or send donations to 850 W. Jackson Blvd., Suite 330, Chicago, 60607. ď ° SUPPORT EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION Infant Welfare Society 847-491-9650 | iwse.org The Infant Welfare Society of Evanston is accepting donations to fund its care and early education programs and to support their familiesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; efforts to be self-sufficient and effective providers. A donation of $25 pays for diapers for one classroom for a week, while $250 pays for two months of cab fares for low income families attending parent-child educational groups. IWSE is always in need of diapers and cans of formula for its low-income families. Donations can be sent to (or dropped off at) Infant Welfare Society of Evanston, 2200 Main St..

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M A K E A DI FFE R E NCE

better makers and their impact 1

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LYRIC OPERA OF CHICAGO

Opening Night Gala Benefit and Opera Ball October 5, 2013 Civic Opera House and Hilton Chicago $900,000 raised SHOWN IN PHOTOS:

(1) Opening Night chairman Corinne Wood of Lake Forest, Opera Ball chairman Cathy Osborn of Winnetka, Women’s Board president Anne Reyes of Lake Forest; (2) Kim and Eric Smith of Evanston; (3) Andy and Betsy Rosenfield, Benefit Committee and Women’s Board member, of Lake Forest; (4) Benefit Committee and Women’s Board member Becky Knight and husband Lester of Winnetka; (5) Performance at the Lyric Opera.

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Make It Better was the media sponsor of this event.

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PHOTOS BY 1, 2 AND 3 BY CHERI EISENBERG, PHOTO 4 BY ROBERT KUSEL, PHOTO 5 BY DAN REST

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M A K E A DI FFE R E NCE

EVANSTON COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

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Celebrate! Evanston benefit October 26, 2013 Levy Senior Center $221,000 raised SHOWN IN PHOTOS:

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Make It Better was the media sponsor of this event.

YWCA EVANSTON

ACT IMP

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YWomen Leadership Awards Benefit October 16, 2013 Hilton Orrington $100,000 raised

PHOTOS BY JILL BRAZEL

(1) Jennifer Eberle, ECF board member Kevin Mott and ECF board member and Benefit co-chair Julie Captain, all of Evanston; (2) Edward Pate and wife and retired Evanston/Skokie School District 65 principal Clara Pate of Chicago; (3) 2013 Jim Kogen Foundation Spirit Award winner Judy Kemp and ECF board member Diana Cohen, both of Evanston; (4) One of the evening’s beneficiaries was ECF’s on-going kindergarten-to-workforce readiness initiative, Every Child Ready for Kindergarten, Every Youth Ready for Work.

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ACT IMP

PHOTOS BY EVANSTON PHOTOGRAPHIC STUDIOS

(1) State Representative Daniel Biss and Evanston Alderman Mark Tendam of Evanston; (2) YWomen co-chairs Susan Hope Engel and Niki Moe of Evanston, Alaka Wali of Evanston, Rohina Malik of Skokie, YWCA President and CEO Karen Singer and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Evanston-North Shore Alumnae Chapter President Nell Rice, both of Evanston, and Mercedes Fernandez of Skokie; (3) Alice Chrismer, YWCA Director of Development Kathy Slaughter and Bob Chrismer of Evanston; (4) Proceeds from the event help support YWCA Evanston/North Shore programs and services that empower women, including domestic violence services and education.

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M A K E A DI FFE R E NCE | local treasure

BY SUSAN B . NOYE S KIPP—THE KNOWLEDGE IS POWER PROGRAM—is

a national network of free, open-enrollment college preparatory programs and a philanthropic wunderkind. Founded in 1994 by Mike Feinberg and David Levin, two Teach For America corps members, the program has grown from just two middle schools in 1995 to nearly 150 schools in 20 states and Washington, D.C. Levin and Feinberg envisioned KIPP charter schools as programs for building a better tomorrow, and the programs operate so effectively that they offer a model for all public schools. The principles which govern a KIPP charter school transcend socio-economic boundaries, providing all children with the knowledge, skills, character and habits necessary to succeed in college and beyond. All KIPP schools share a set of core operating principles collectively known as the Five Pillars. These fundamental tenets, paired with a focus on leadership, sharing and excellence in teaching, form KIPP’s effective educational approach. • All students can and will learn. With no imposed selection criteria, KIPP welcomes all students to enroll—and succeed—in these public schools. Enrollment is voluntary, with students and their families committing to success. • College graduation is the goal. College culture, in the form of regalia and spiritwear, is on display

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Let t y

throughout each school, and students receive college guidance as early as kindergarten. • Character is as important as academics. Key traits are explicitly emphasized and developed: social intelligence, self-control, zest, optimism, curiosity, grit and gratitude.

KIPP’s Character Cards

• The schools hire, nurture and empower visionary leaders and excellent teachers. • KIPP fosters a culture of continuous learning. • Data informs school improvement decisions. Rigorous self-assessment through reliable measurements contributes to continuous improvement. A recent visit to Chicago’s KIPP

Po g r

e bin

Create Middle School demonstrated the program’s application of these principles in very unique ways. Enthusiasm, discipline, focus, animated communication and playful curriculum seem the norm in the classrooms filled with neatly uniformed students. Youthful, engaged teachers radiate care as they teach a standardized curriculum. KIPP Chicago Executive Director April Goble noted that the fifth grade multiplication game we observed is essentially identical to one she taught 11 years ago, when she started teaching for KIPP in New York City. Goble started her career in education as a Teach For America teacher in one of Washington, D.C.’s toughest schools. “As a first generation college student, I started with TFA to give back,” she explains. “But I fell in love with teaching and couldn’t walk away from the [intractable] problems I saw.” Nothing is as compelling, though, as success. “I was skeptical of KIPP until I saw its effect on my former students,” Goble says. After a stint with KIPP in New York City, Goble moved to Chicago to grow the KIPP network here. KIPP recently opened its fourth Chicago school, putting it on target to reach its goal of 12 area schools by 2020. KIPP CHICAGO BY THE NUMBERS

• 96 percent of KIPP Chicago alumni have graduated high school, compared with an anticipated 63 percent of Chicago Public Schools students • 92 percent of KIPPsters have matriculated to college

PHOTO COURTESY OF KIPP

KIPP is proof that setting high expectations and teaching character development works

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CLOSI NG T HOUGH TS

Y P P HA

! S Y A D I L O H

ours! y o t y l i ter fam t e B t I e ur Mak o m o r f

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can

change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. â&#x20AC;&#x201C;Margaret Meade

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10/31/13 10:43 AM

Make It Better December 2013  

2013 Holiday Gift Guide, Shop River North, Asian Dining List, Holiday Theater

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