Issuu on Google+

february 2012

north shore­—family, community and you

Love

for life

digital edition


Fe br Fr ua e ry e h 11 e ,1 a 0 rt am s to cr 2 ee pm n at in Go gs lf M ill

Join us in taking the first step to a healthy heart.

Most people who die from a sudden heart attack had no idea that they were at risk. That’s why we’ve made early detection of heart disease our mission. Please join the clinicians of Advocate Lutheran General Hospital at Healthy Heart 2012, a heart screening and advice event at Golf Mill Shopping Center in Niles on February 11th from 10am to 2pm. Located at the Center Court, the screenings take less than ten minutes and are the first step toward a healthy heart. Together, our hearts beat as one.

Pre-register for your free heart screening. Call 1.855.ONE.HEART today and be one of the first 200 to receive a gift. We also offer FREE monthly health classes. Click here to see February’s Taking Care series u


contents volume 3, issue 4

Love for life u By Laura Hine, Liz Logan, Susan B. Noyes and Kim Treger

february 2012

Is ACT or SAT test prep Private quarters u right for your child? u By Tate Gunnerson By Liz Logan

Conceal or reveal:  r. Laura Berman: Expert Warm up with crackling D Lingerie for every day u advice on how to keep yarns u By Kathryn Achenbach your relationship hot u By Lisa Buscani By Marjie Killeen

family

30-second mom tips u By Amanda Armstrong, April Bowers and Shel Franco

 aking the case for summer camp u M By Kristina Tober

home

 razy for love u C By Kim Treger

 on’t ask, just do it: Helping friends D in need u By Laura Tiebert

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Design tips for romance-ready bedrooms u By Kristina Tober


a better you

Winnetka style: Finding downtown looks on the North Shore u By Samantha Kiersey A new spin on spinning: 5 reasons to get back on the bike u By Beth Engleman Strategies to stop fighting about money u By Megan Streit Hair beware u By Karina Parikh

dining and entertainment

Wine dinners on offer at Lyric Opera Wine Auction 2012 u By Julie Chernoff

Champagne for Valentine’s Day? Oui! u

mission statement

The mission of Make It Better Media is to be the most-trusted, easiest-to-use community resource and print magazine that helps you make Carrying forward the best of your life, and the lives of others, magazine better. Make It Better North Shore (ISSN No. 2151-0431) is published 11 times per year by Make It Better LLC, 1150 Wilmette Ave., Suite J, Wilmette, IL 600912642. Phone: 847.256.4642. Copyright 2012 by Make It Better LLC. All rights reserved.

Romantic restaurants for the month of love u By Julie Chernoff

make a difference

Better makers and their impact u Warming House in Wilmette welcomes teens u By Diana Pearl

in every issue make it better column u founder’s letter u you said it u fresh u tick tock u recommended events u events listing u

theater guide u book list u music by val u give time, give support, give things u closing thoughts u

cover Meredith and Jon Sinclair. Photographed by Lee Ross. Hair + makeup by Jules Ross february C o nt r i b u t o r s The Academy Awards are this month, so we asked our writers to tell us what they hope will happen on Oscar night. Look for their predictions next to their smiling faces.

Make It Better is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Copyright 2012 by Make It Better LLC. All rights reserved.

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online

Our better half is online:

FEBRUARY 2012

north shore—family, community and you

dr. laura berman helping friends in need hot lingerie for cold nights

Love

FOR LIFE

iPad edition

Make It Better iPad Edition We’ve gone high tech! If you have an iPad, download our FREE app, and you can read Make It Better on your iPad before the magazine hits your mailbox. We’ve loaded the app edition with extra features— videos, click to buy, and extra photo galleries. makeitbetter.net/ ipad (And while you’re there, we’d really appreciate it if you’d rate the app in the App Store and give us your comments. Thanks!)

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online

DEC

EMB

011 ER 2

north sho

re

family,

commu

nity and

you

ER ETT 1 B 201

warming hearts ds and han of secrets TV an HG star design

HERO ES

eco warriors green homes fierce mamas

flirting for fun

rate your high school the piv en regatt legacy a fashio the lak n al frescoe house dining

Cover Contest Winners Thank you for voting on your favorite covers for 2011. Here are the winners! 1st Place: December 33% 2nd Place: April 27% 3rd Place: July 17% All other covers received between 1 and 3% of the votes. Look for more great covers coming in 2012!

our better letter Our biweekly e-newsletter with up-to-the minute tips, trends and things to do. Sign up today at makeitbetter.net/ better-letter facebook facebook.com/ makeitbetter.net twitter twitter.com/ makeitbetterns email susan@makeitbetter.net

upcoming auction items Lookingglass Theatre and $100 • Trip to the 2013 Grammys to Bistronomic) (includes two tickets) •C  ooking Demo at Blooming• Night at The Elysian (will indales Home Store at Medinah clude a one night stay in an (cooking demo for up to 15 exec suite at The Elysian, $100 people at the store) to Mastros and breakfast or brunch at the hotel) makeitbetter.net/make-adifference • Lookingglass Theatre Night (will include 2 tickets to

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online

the hot list These are the writers who had the hottest online articles last month. Click and see why. 1. Liz Logan Make it Better’s Senior Editor often interviews local and international celebrities who are coming to Chicago or have local ties. Her interview with Jackie Seiden, a local Highland Park girl who’s taking Hollywood by storm, was our most popular article of the month. Check out the article makeitbetter.net/entertainment 2. Marjie Killeen Sex and the Suburbs deals with relationships—as well as what’s hot in and out of the bedroom. Marjie’s article “7 Naughty Ways to Have More Fun in Bed,” was very popular and it’s still online if you missed it at makeitbetter.net/morefun

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3. Kat Achenbach Our Fashion Editor dressed us from cocktails to family get togethers with “Holiday Party Fashion: 9 Pieces, 4 Outfits.” And since February brings a new round of parties, check out the article to find stylish winter party looks at makeitbetter.net/better-you 4. Christy Coughlin January is when we think about getting in shape (remember those resolutions!) and Christy’s article on “Beginning a Yoga Practice” was full of tips and motivation to get you started makeitbetter.net/ better-you 5. Jenny Muslin Etsy is an amazing but confusing universe of handmade goods. Jenny’s article simplifies the maze and gives great tips on how to find the best (so no regretsy!) makeitbetter. net/better-you


online

what’s hot this month On the better list Resources for life in the northern suburbs, recommended by Make It Better makeitbetter.net/the-better-list Red 21 (Barrington) “Some friends of mine told me about this great clothing store just for boys...seeing that I have two boys of my own, I decided to check it out. The prices were affordable, the clothes were unique, the quality was good, and the customer service was excellent.

Perlis Wellness Center “Absolutely loved everything about this office. The office itself is beautiful & inviting. The staff was extremely professional and could not have been nicer. Heard lots of wonderful things about Dr. Perlis; she proved to be all of that and more. Great experience!”

Lakeside Foods “This family-owned business epitomizes service. Phone them with your order and within an hour or two Hutch, the nicest man ever, brings it to your door.”

Harand Theater Camp “My kids had a great time here for many years. I would recommend it to anyone who wants their children to make great friends and increase their self confidence! It is run by the Harand Family and they make everyone feel like they are a part of their family,too. Parents included!”

Teddie Kossof Salon “I have been going to Teddie Kossof for years. The salon has always been and remains a great value. Inga in the color dept. is great! Great pedicures too.”

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founder’s letter

love these numbers

D

ear Readers, February may be the month of love, but Make It Better Media loves you—our audience— and the businesses and nonprofits you support all year 10

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long. And we’ve got the numbers from the past twelve months to prove it: 

we showed you the love: $30,000+ worth of tickets to theater, sports, music and dance events given away


founder’s letter

to you through our online channels 2 people sent to MercedesBenz Fashion Week in New York City this month 5 iPads and a $500 shopping spree given to online and magazine survey respondents 1 iPad and valuable help given away to over 200 participants at our Re:Work (Return To Work) Seminars. $500+ worth of gift certificates to restaurants, Whole Foods, retailers and other advertising partners given away to you through our online channels $1,400 worth of gifts from our spectacular 25 Days of Presents given to our Facebook fans

 $45,500+ worth of merchandise in the 450 goodie bags given away at Cause ‘N Effect at Northbrook Court 3,500+ people enjoyed fun and meaningful experiences at events we sponsored in partnership with Wintrust Financial, Westfield Old Orchard, Northbrook Court, Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, Oak Street Design and Autohaus on Edens and many more

we shared the love with others in need:  1,139 homeless adults and children received new winter outerwear through Warming Hearts & Hands $750,000+ raised for nonprofits makeitbetter.net

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founder’s letter

your participation numbers show your love for Make It Better, too: 1.1 million+ page views on makeitbetter.net 16,000+ new magazine subscribers 1,000%+ growth in Facebook fans & Twitter followers  1,396% growth in “Better Letter” email newsletter traffic  3,257% growth in Facebook mobile traffic   We’ve made it even easier for you to enjoy Make It Better by launching an iPad app (available in the app store) and digital edition of the maga-

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zine, available at makeitbetter. net/magazine. Please help us improve these numbers in 2012 by downloading our app, joining our social networks, participating in our content online and in print, and attending our events.   With Much Love,   Susan B. Noyes susan@makeitbetter.net my favorite numbers: Lives Made Better: 67,173 Money Raised for Not-for-profits: $1,464,657


make it better column

Michele and her sons

dark side of domestic life omestic violence is too often the secret, dark side of marriage—even in affluent communities like ours. Michele Weldon, Assistant Professor of Journalism at the Medill School at Northwestern University—who had three young sons at the time—had 14

february 2012

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the courage to leave her abusive marriage and write about it. Her book, “I Closed My Eyes: Revelations of a Battered Woman” (HCI Press, 1999), was an award-winning bestseller. It also launched her career into many other exciting directions. Here’s my conversation with her.

Photo of michele weldon by barb levant

D

By Susan Noyes


make it better column

SBN: Tell me about your marriage and how it ended. MW: I married a man I knew my entire life, the son of my parents’ good friends. All my friends were envious of me; he was the perfect boyfriend— smart, athletic, attentive, ambitious, polite, attractive. The first violence was four months after we were married and I was completely stunned and ashamed. He pushed me hard on my chest on New Year’s Eve of 1986, knocking me to the ground, leaving a bruise. The incidents of abuse were about annual, more frequent in the final years of our marriage. In the peaceful eras, the in-betweens, we had three marvelous boys. He went to law school at 30 after working as a journalist and was hired by a top Chicago firm when our children were

small. We continued to seek marriage counseling, nine years in all. The last incident, over the July 4 weekend in 1995 at his parents’ home was the final straw. “I learned that when you stand up to tell the truth, you will be supported and you will move forward. The choice then becomes how fast and how far you care to fly.” It took great courage almost 17 years ago to admit that my life was not as it seemed in all the holiday cards. Women like me are not victims. Women like me—who are successful, intelligent, confident and come from loving homes—are not victims. Men who are batterers are not litigating attorneys. They must be drug addicts or makeitbetter.net

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make it better column

alcoholics, losers. Neither one of us fit the stereotype. SBN: And your life now? MW: Of course I wanted to live happily ever after in my marriage. But now I live happily ever after with myself and my sons, family, friends, and exciting career. I am able to be productive and confident, to do everything necessary for the boys’ well-being and to also enjoy myself without wondering how anyone else will act. Living with someone unpredictable makes you wary to trust and relax. I have long since recovered from that and am able to have thriving, healthy, loving relationships. SBN: And your sons? MW: I believe with the love and support they have from me and my extended family,

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as well as coaches and friends, they see that they have a choice, never ever to behave that way. I know that they won’t. SBN: Food for thought for others? MW: I love that my life is what it appears to be, and there are no secrets. I learned that when you stand up to tell the truth, you will be supported and you will move forward. The choice then becomes how fast and how far you care to fly. To learn more about Michele Weldon, visit micheleweldon. com For an in-depth version of this interview, visit makeitbetter. net/weldon


Founder & President Susan B. Noyes Co-Founder & Vice President of Marketing Mindy Fauntleroy

Publisher & CEO Kimberly Carroll

Creative Director Cheryl Berman

Editor in Chief Laura Hine Senior Editor Liz Logan

Dining Editor Julie Chernoff Events Editor Kelly Konrad Fashion Editor Kathryn Achenbach Finance Editor Meghan Streit Fitness Editor Christy Coughlin Home Editor Tate Gunnerson Make a Difference Editor Laura Tiebert Pet Editor Elyse Russo Senior Living Editor Stuart Greenblatt Sex & the Suburbs Editor Marjie Killeen Contributing Writers Amanda Armstrong April Bowers Lisa Buscani Beth Engelman Shel Franco Samantha Kiersey Karina Parikh Diana Pearl Kristina Tober Kim Treger Photographers Erik Davis Tate Gunnerson Nathaniel Perry Lee Ross Art Director Jessica DeJong Designers Karilyn Owens Sarah Philippart Illustrator/Designer Megan Arenson Proofreader Julie Chernoff Chief Financial Officer Sandy Tsuchida

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Advertising Ad Sales Director Michelle Weiss Senior Account Executives Patti Augustyn Megan Holbrook Account Executives Julie Carter Stacy Ditka Deana Lewis Traffic Coordinator Jenny Newman

Community DEVELOPMENT Directors of Community Development Heather Blackwell Sharon Krone Sandra A. Miller Director of Special Projects Suzy Guyot Hilbrant

community connector Karen Miller

INTERNS

Samantha Kiersey Karina Parikh Diana Pearl

Make It Better

1150 Wilmette Ave., Suite J, Wilmette, IL 60091, 847-256-4642 Got feedback? E-mail susan@makeitbetter.net To advertise, contact michelle@makeitbetter.net Follow us on


you said it

get online

Here’s some recent feedback we’ve gotten from readers. We love to hear from you—so please send us your stories, comments, ideas, reviews and resources! WARMING HEARTS AND HANDS

I

heard that you delivered coats to Connections as a result of the Warming Hearts and Hands Program. I want to extend my thanks. For some reason, coats just haven’t been coming in this year like they have in the past, so this was particularly important. And, as usual, you all at Make It Better just handled the whole thing so efficiently—perhaps a tagline for

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you should be “Make It Happen,” since that is such a big part of what you do. Thanks again. —Sue Loellbach Director of Development Connections for the Homeless

BEGINNING A YOGA PRACTICE

I

was also intimidated walking in to my first yoga class. When I entered the doors at Heaven Meets Earth Yoga in Evanston, I was greet-


get online

ed with warmth and a wide array of students—self-conscious beginners, larger than a size 2 as well as experienced practitioners. No judgments. I’m considering becoming a yoga teacher now and taking their teacher training class— paying it forward! —Posted by Laura Caragher Polonsky

Want to read the article? Go to makeitbetter.net/better-you SHOPPING GREEN GUILT FREE & GLAMOROUS

L

oved this piece. Laughed out loud about the “18 years left on the warranty” for the stained-glass. Reminds me to check out the Junior League Thrift Shop again. —Posted by Dianne Burgin

Want to read the article? Go to makeitbetter.net/better-you

on our facebook page We’ve been giving away lots of swag, and that’s made a lot of lucky readers very happy. Make It Better Congrats to the winner of our giveaway of a dozen cookies from ByMDesserts, by Malika Ameen of Top Chef Just Desserts: Sarah Batka of Chicago! Congrats, Sarah! (You will LOVE the cookies!) Sarah Batka Um… AWESOME!!! Thanks so much. Do I have to share? Make It Better Not at all!! We won’t tell!!

Send us your comments. Join us at facebook.com/ makeitbetter.net click comment on any article on our site, or email susan@ makeitbetter.net

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fresh

what’s new

hot

safety net A new subscription-based service for your smart phone, StreetSafe, can help keep your loved ones safe. StreetSafe offers two features: A red button that when pressed immediately dispatches police to your location using GPS technology, and a green button that connects you to a live safety advisor who can help, or dispatch police should you need immediate help. “StreetSafe allows people to take charge of their own personal safety and walk with confidence, not fear,” says CEO Thomas Rissman of Wilmette. $20 monthly, $45 quarterly or $150 annually, at streetsafe.com

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fresh

in your community By Liz Logan

grand change There’s a new wine shop in Lake Forest: Grand Cru Wine Merchants, recently relocated from Arlington Heights, offers affordable boutique wine, spirits and beer from around the world. Proprietor Craig Brautigam is a graduate of the New England Culinary Institute, and has worked at the Chicago restaurants Le Francais and Trio. “Lake Forest is the kind of community that thrives with independent businesses, and we love to work with that kind of clientele,” Brautigam says. Grand Cru Wine Merchants, Forest Square Shops, 840 S. Waukegan Rd., Ste. #104, Lake Forest, 847-295-9463, gcwines.net

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fresh

what’s new

hot

let it snow! By this point in most winters, your children have probably lost multiple hats, scarves and gloves. Maria Callahan of Chicago, mother of twins, knows the feeling—that’s why she invented Snowman Scarves, which include a hat that connects to the scarf with a loop and a snap, and mittens made to fit into pockets built into the scarf. The whole package is made in Chicago, using highquality fleece. Snowman Scarves, approximately $45 at The Country Cobbler, 1708 Glenview Rd., Glenview, 847-724-3131; Ellen’s on Elm, 841 Elm St., Winnetka, 847-441-5240 and snowmanscarves.com

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fresh

in your community continued

flee bags Flee bags are fun and functional for women on the go. Reinventing oilcloth—a lightweight, durable and water-repellent fabric most commonly known for its use in vintage tablecloths. The company has just opened a new location in Winnetka, offering its signature collection of totes and handbags, backpacks, laptop and diaper bags, soft coolers, cosmetic bags, placemats, tablecloths and splat mats. Owner and company founder Suzanne Robin of Chicago says, “We are looking forward to becoming a stronger member of the North Shore community and connecting with all types of busy women on the fly!” Flee products are available at 561A Lincoln Ave., Winnetka; 877-FLEEBAGS, at select retailers around the country, and online at fleebags.com

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tick tock

trend report

what the north shore is reading about in february

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1

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4 5 6

1. Valentine’s day/romance - 46.6% 2. teen issues - 11.3% 3. celebrities - 10.9% 4. Local women entrepreneurs - 10.8% 5. Water parks - 10.3% 6. running- 10.1% B  ased on the most popular articles on Make It Better’s website in February 2011

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Photo of martha stewart by Eisenberg/Rolfes Photography; photo of women entrepreneurs by john reilly and violetta dominek

By Liz Logan


tick tock

Better or Bust

a test drive of hot yoga towels By Liz Logan Two of these towels for hot yoga get a “better” rating from us. To read about the other towels we tested, visit makeitbetter.net/yogatowels.

Photos courtesy of Yogitoes, gaiam and manduka

Yogitoes Skidless Premium Mat-Size Yoga Towel. $64-$69 ($46-$64 on amazon.com), yogitoes.com, available in extra long. Why it’s better: Silicone nubs on the bottom provide a great grip, and the lightweight towel is available in all kinds of colors.

Gaiam Grippy Yoga Towel. $35 ($26 on amazon.com), gaiam.com. Why it’s better: Best bang for your buck. This substantial towel’s PVC mesh-like nonslip backing ensures that it won’t move while you’re working out. Only downside? The towel only comes in brown.

Manduka eQua Mat Towel. $42 ($38-$62 on amazon. com), manduka.com, available in extra long. Why it’s better: While we love Manduka’s yoga mats, this towel lacks stickiness and grip; there’s not enough traction for yoga that involves a lot of sweat. If you’re ordering from Manduka, definitely go for a microfiber towel specifically for hot yoga.

Note: Unless otherwise noted, these towels are sized to fit regular yoga mats, 24 by 68 inches. Prices are rounded to the nearest dollar.

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tick tock

10-minute recipes

carrot ginger soup By Laura Hine


O

f every recipe I’ve ever shared, this has to be the most popular. You’ll only spend 10 minutes assembling ingredients and then it’s into the oven. An immersion blender makes quick work of pureeing the soup.

1 K pounds carrots, peeled and quartered 1 pound parsnips, peeled and quartered 1 large onion, sliced 3  -inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and diced 6 TBS unsalted butter 3 TBS dark brown sugar 8 cups chicken broth Pinch of cayenne pepper 2-3 TBS cream, or half and half

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1.Combine carrots, parsnips, onions and ginger in large roasting pan. Dot with butter and brown sugar. Add two cups broth, cover with foil and roast for two hours at 350 degrees. 2. P  uree in batches, pour in saucepan and add remaining broth and the cayenne. Heat to a gentle boil, then stir in the cream at end. Cook’s Note: Save even more time by using pre-peeled baby carrots.

For our “Better or Bust” immersion blender review, go to makeitbetter.net/ immersion


events

r e c o m m e n d e d

By Kelly Konrad

FEB

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2012 IKC Dog Show February 24–26 McCormick Place, Chicago | ikcdogshow.com

Everyone from dog owners to those just needing a doggie fix will have a great time at The International Kennel Club of Chicago’s annual event.Think “Best in Show” was just a movie? Here’s the real deal. Weekend Family 4 Class: Hot Chocolate  February 4 Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe chicagobotanic.org Sweeten a cold winter’s weekend with a trip to the Chicago Botanic Garden. There you’ll learn all about what makes the season’s best beverage. PreFEB

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registration is necessary, so call ahead to make a reservation. (Also February 18)

photots courtesy of North shore center for the performing arts and Chicago botanic garden

editor’s pick:


Chinese Golden 4 Dragon Acrobats  February 4 North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, Skokie northshorecenter.org Put a little spectacle into a Saturday afternoon—these acrobatic feats will chase away the winter doldrums for the day and have your kids attempting more than just a blanket tent city in the living room when you get home. FEB

Andrew Belle 14 February 14 SPACE, Evanston | evanstonspace. com Local favorite and rising star Andrew Belle plays a special Valentine’s Day show on the North Shore—don’t miss the VIP package, with a special acoustic set, premium seating and more. FEB

Chicago Auto Show 10 February 10–19 McCormick Place, Chicago chicagautoshow.com It’s the largest auto show in North America, and offers thrills for everyone—not just the gearhead in your family. Don’t miss special programming for women on February 15. FEB

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events

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Let’s Wine About 15 Winter February 15 Downtown Libertyville | mainstreet libertyville.org Baby, it’s cold outside, but don’t let that keep you from enjoying a winter wine-tasting stroll through 30-plus shops in historic Libertyville. FEB

Photo courtesy of Lincoln Park zoo

 Wine & Wildlife: 14 Animal Attractions February 14 Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago | lpzoo.org Follow your instincts this Valentine’s Day and hang out with some real animals. The Lincoln Park Zoo offers two sessions for zoo fans to mingle with giraffes and meerkats while learning more about how staff helps to facilitate animal love connections at the zoo. FEB


events

FEB

Windy City Circus

17 February 17–26

Navy Pier, Chicago windycitycircus.org Everyone loves a circus—and even more so when it does so much good. Windy City Circus is donating 80 percent of its proceeds to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana and to Special Olympics Chicago. Los Lobos 24 February 24–25 Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, Arlington Heights metropolisarts.com A band so nice, they’re playing there twice—catch this threetime Grammy-winning group in Arlington Heights. FEB

Lily Tomlin 25 February 25 North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, Skokie northshorecenter.org FEB

If Lily can’t make you laugh, I don’t know what can. Don’t miss one of THE comedy queens, playing two shows—a great Saturday night date option. BaconFest MKE 26 February 26 Harley-Davidson Museum, 400 W. Canal St., Milwaukee Can’t wait until Chicago’s BaconFest in April? Make it a day trip to Milwaukee and enjoy bacon any number of different ways. Bonus? Admission will also get you into the museum. FEB

meet the author Kelly Konrad, Glenview Kelly has long since given up on the Oscars since they fail to recognize the genius that is Will Ferrell. makeitbetter.net/meetour-writers

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event listings

r e c o m m e n d e d e v e n t s l i s t i n g b y k e l ly k o n r a d

february highlights ongoing IMAX: Rocky Mountain Express Through March 15 Museum of Science and Industry, 57th St. and Lake Shore Drive | msichicago.org Deconstructing Stereotypes: Top Ten Truths Through March Mitchell Museum of the American Indian, 3001 Central St., Evanston mitchellmuseum.org Field Museum: Natural Wonders—A Roman Mosaic from Lod, Israel Through April 22 1400 S. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago fieldmuseum.org Charles James: Genius Deconstructed Through April Chicago History Museum, 1601

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N. Clark St., Chicago chicagohistory.org Sonic Sensation Through April Kohl Children’s Museum, 2100 Patriot Blvd., Glenview kohlchildrensmuseum.org Shedd Aquarium: Jellies Through May 28 1200 S. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago sheddaquarium.org “Oh, You Flapper!” Fashion Highlights of the 1920s Through Spring Wilmette Historical Museum, 609 Ridge Rd., Wilmette wilmettehistory.org

week of february 1–7 Opera in Cinema: Aida February 2 (also February 5) Wilmette Theatre, 1122 Central Ave., Wilmette wilmettetheatre.com


event listings

Monthly Photo Walk February 4 Chicago Botanic Garden chicagobotanic.org Randolph Street Winter Market February 4 & 5 1340 W. Washington, Chicago randolphstreetmarket.com Guy Davis February 5 SPACE, 1245 Chicago Ave., Evanston | evanstonspace.com

week of february 8–15 Northwestern University Symphonic Band February 10 Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Dr., Evanston pickstaiger.org Spring Awakening Opens February 10 Ethel Barber Theatre, 30 Arts Circle Dr., Evanston communication.northwestern.edu

Grayslake Antique Market February 11 & 12 Lake County Fairgrounds, Grayslake | zurkopromotions.com Lost & Found: A Recycled Circus Opens February 11 Actors Gymnasium, 927 Noyes St., Evanston actorsgymnasium.com This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s Opens February 11 Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago 220 E. Chicago Ave., Chicago mcachicago.org Bikerman & The Jewish Avenger: Happy Anti-Valentine’s Day February 11 Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights metropolisarts.com

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event listings

week of february 16–22 Opera in Cinema: Il Trittico February 16 (also February 19) Wilmette Theatre, 1122 Central Ave., Wilmette wilmettetheatre.com Adler After Dark February 16 Adler Planetarium, 1300 S. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago adlerplanetarium.org The Prince Experience February 17 Viper Alley, 275 Parkway Dr., Lincolnshire | viper-alley.com Jill Sobule February 17 SPACE, 1245 Chicago Ave., Evanston | evanstonspace.com Kids Fare: Really Resonating Reeds February 18 Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Dr., Evanston | pickstaiger.org Ours to Fight For: American Jews in the Second

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World War Opens February 19 The Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center ilholocaustmuseum.org

week of february 23–29 DanceWorks 2012 Opens February 24 Josephine Louis Theatre, 20 Arts Circle Dr., Evanston | communication.northwestern.edu Entre Nous: The Art of Claude Cahun Opens February 25 The Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago artic.edu Winter Astronomy: Night Sky Viewing February 25 Heller Nature Center, 2821 Ridge Rd., Highland Park | pdhp.org MasterFreeze Theater February 26 Evanston Ecology Center, 2024 McCormick Blvd., Evanston evanstonenvironment.org


love

for life

F

ebruary is the month of love. Red hearts are everywhere from the grocery store to the artwork your child brings home from school. But living with another person has never been as easy as drawing a �. So we set out this month to find couples who are in love and plan to stay in love, and who were willing to share a behind-the-scenes look at their marriages. There’s no one secret they all share, except that they all make their relationship a priority. And, they all have a sense of humor about the inevitable setbacks and bumps in the road. Need more love and laughter? We have an interview with Dr. Laura Berman on page 60, and romantic lingerie on page 56. And on page 36, we found over-the-top proposals that might give you and idea or two for a big romantic gesture on February 14.

By L au r a H i n e , L iz Lo g a n , S u s a n B . N oy e s a n d K i m T r eg e r 39

p h oto s by l e e r o ss | h a i r a n d m a k e u p by j u l e s r o ss february 2012 makeitbetter.net


Kerry and Sarah Wood, Chicago

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ur love story is ongoing,” Kerry Wood declares with an appreciative glance at his wife, Sarah, seated next to him. “We met 12 years ago, when I was 22 and she was 21. I walked into the Chicago restaurant where she was working and … that was it.” Kerry grins broadly. “We were living together within three months.”  And their love story just keeps growing. The short version is they love each other, love their kids, love their city and love the city’s kids. A few minutes talking with Sarah explains why the young Chicago Cubs’ star pitcher from Irving, Texas, fell for the brunette beauty from Waukegan. She’s as smart, articulate, organized 40

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and loyal as she is beautiful.   They married and enjoyed traveling the world together for several years before their three children—Justin, 6; Katie, 4; and Charlie, 2—were born. The kids didn’t slow them down much, though; the entire family stays with Dad during most of his away trips. “We’re like a wolf pack, always traveling together,” Sarah declares.  The Woods love Chicago almost as much as they love each other. As one of Major League Baseball’s most wellknown relief pitchers, Kerry is loyal to the Cubs and Chicago. Besides a brief stint with the Cleveland Indians, he’s always been a Chicago Cub. Thoughtful and organized, the couple plans to raise


their children here and give back to the city they love— even after Kerry stops pitching.—through the Wood Family Foundation, whose mission is “to improve the lives of children in and around Chicago.” Kerry explains, “I probably have two or three more seasons left. Then I’m focusing on the foundation full time.” The foundation truly is a family affair. “We think it’s important to model for our kids,” Kerry says. “They did a lemonade stand for it last summer.” continued on page 50

For more information on upcoming events that support the foundation’s mission, visit woodfamilyfoundation.org, the Wood Family Foundation Facebook page or follow Kerry on Twitter at @kerrywood

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David and Dania Maas, Glenview

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ussian born Dania Kaseeva Maas was not destined to marry the boy next door. A secondgeneration circus performer, Dania had made her way to the U.S. and was performing her award-winning hulahoop act with The Big Apple Circus in 1991 when a singing ringmaster, David Maas, captured her attention. In her strong Russian accent she confides that the first time she saw him she felt, “there is nothing this man can’t do.” Her head lilts as she smiles from the corner of her eyes, like a shy school girl caught passing love notes. The now world-famous quick-change act they created was born of their desire for permanence between them.

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“We knew that if we didn’t work as a team, we’d always be traveling away from one another,” David explains. So they wove their talents into a show like no other. “A Magical Transformation” is the trademarked name for the quickchange act that has brought them fame as “America’s Got Talent” contestants; NBA, NFL and NHL halftime performers; and most recently as trainers for Katy Perry, who they taught to change costumes mid-song, without leaving the stage. Their home is a monument to all that they have created together; every room is flanked with photos of the couple with powerful leaders and celebrities from around the world. In Dubai,


New York and Alabama— all within a week of our interview—the rigor of their schedule is daunting. Ask how they negotiate the challenges of working with a spouse and David responds, “Everything we built is about the two of us working together.” This includes their two newest ventures, which came to fruition as they sought ways to spend more time in the home they’ve created in The Glen. The Laughing Chameleon is the dynamic variety club they opened in The Glen Town Center this continued on page 50

For more information on David and Dania’s latest ventures visit laughingchameleon.com and windycitycircus.org

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Meredith and Jon Sinclair, Wilmette

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heir story could be an American fairytale. Blonde, perky cheerleader meets tall, handsome basketball player at a smalltown high school in Pennsylvania. They fall in love and live happily ever after—married for 20 years, with two children, Truman and Max. When they first got married, Jon explains, “We moved to where we knew no one. So we were really forced to hang out with each other.” He adds, “That’s never gotten old for me.” And as befits the fairytale, both are successful. Jon is an executive vice president at Harpo, and he’s worked for Oprah for 16 years. Meredith is a writer/blogger, on-air

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contributor and has her own website hoo-dee-hoo.com. They’re also popular on Twitter, where their flirty interaction has over 11,000 combined followers. “Back in the day, we got two-way pagers,” says Jon. “We had those ten minutes and it turned into, ‘Hey, baby... ’ ” “It’s cheeky and flirty,” says Meredith of their communication evolution from beepers to Twitter. “Now it’s a really fun way to keep in contact with each other during the day.” And when they describe their schedules, it’s clear that keeping in touch through technology is part of what makes their relationship work.


“With Jon’s schedule, we never have family dinners,” Meredith says. “I felt really bad about that, but we adjusted our reality. We have family breakfasts.” Jon adds, “You can have the same kind of conversations over pancakes as you can over pot roast.” And even with the crazy schedule, there are some definite advantages to having a spouse working for Oprah. “I give better gifts, I listen better, I know how you all work,” says Jon, who has worked on thousands of Oprah episodes with a staff of mostly women. “I can’t get away with anything!” Meredith says continued on page 51

To check out Meredith’s blog, visit hoo-dee-hoo.com

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Andy Annacone and Bela Gandhi, Chicago

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inding the right person is a lot of work, Bela Gandhi often says to her clients in her business, Smart Dating Academy. But, oddly enough, her own love story came about easily and naturally. Bela met her husband, Andy, at Glenbrook South High School. They became friends and even counseled each other on their respective relationships. They became even closer at University of Illinois, where everyone told them, “You guys are going to get married,” to which they would respond, “No way!” Finally, at graduation, they started thinking about the future. “If we start dating, we’ll probably just end up married,” Bela recalls telling

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Andy (but no pressure!). After college, they dated for four years—“because we didn’t know enough about each other,” Andy says with a laugh— before marrying in 1997. Fifteen years later, they’re raising two kids: a daughter, Jaden, 7, and a son, Max, 3. “There’s no one else I would rather spend all my time with,” Bela says. “It’s an other-focused relationship,” Andy says, “we both spend a lot of time and a lot of focus on making the other person really great and successful.” “And happy,” Bela adds. “After so many years, I can’t imagine a relationship that doesn’t work that way,” Andy responds. Bela says she wouldn’t have been able to start her business without


Andy’s support (his stable job in finance didn’t hurt either). When she started Smart Dating Academy in 2009, Bela intended to match-make. But then, she realized it would be much more powerful to train people to be their own matchmakers—through online dating, attending events and leveraging their networks. She works with photographers, hair and makeup artists, and writers who help her clients with their online profiles, as well as stylists who help them look their best. And she coaches people on their dating behavior. “People think I’m taking broken people and continued on page 51

For more information about Smart Dating, visit smart datingacademy.com

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Ned and Debby Jannotta, Winnetka

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hen Ned kissed Debby for the first time, she promptly turned around and walked into a door. It was 1952, and Debby was at Princeton visiting her brother and touring colleges. Ned, a senior football player, had agreed to be Debby’s escort after the football game. “I thought she was cute then,” Ned says. “And I still do.” Debby ended up at Smith and although they saw each other occasionally, there was no repeat of the fireworks from their first date. It wasn’t until Debby had graduated from Smith and Ned was a Navy fighter pilot that their

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romance took its next big, dramatic turn. He flew his Navy plane from Virginia to the Naval Air Station in Glenview to propose. But instead of saying yes to the handsome man in uniform, she said no. Ned responded that she shouldn’t assume he would ever ask her again, so she said she needed to think about it, and he should come by her parents’ Winnetka house in the morning. So, in full uniform, on his way to fly his plane back to Virginia, he did stop by. She made him play badminton—55 years later, he still remembers sweating from the hot day and the waiting—but she said yes. That was


September, and by December they were married. And today, when they talk about how they met, their four children and 14 grandchildren, and years of happy marriage, you have to ask them, “What’s your secret?” “Don’t keep track,” Debby says. She’s talking about the marital scorekeeping that so many couples engage in: I got up with the kids; you should take them to the park. Instead her attitude is, “Just do, do, do for others.” She still gets up every day and makes Ned breakfast before he goes to work as chairman of William Blair. Their other secret is humor. Debby has been fighting breast cancer for the last 11 years, and while the cancer isn’t curable, it is treatable. They take her battle very seriously, but when they tell the story about Ned trying 49

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to help her with a feeding tube and the resulting fiasco, they are both laughing. They’re also big believers in having individual pursuits. As Ned says, “A reason to get up every day.” Debby and her friend Shirley Jaffee joined Joyce Rumsfeld’s fledgling Chicago Foundation for Education, which gives grants to Chicago Public School teachers with creative ideas for improving their classrooms and schools. For the past 25 years—through her cancer treatment and all the normal ups and downs of life— Debby has continued to raise funds for the organization. But perhaps the real reason for their long, loving union is that they both feel—as Ned succinctly put it—“I’d be in the soup without her!” —LH


WOODS, continued from page 41

The Wood Family Foundation launched in June 2011 and builds on Sarah and Kerry’s history of raising money for children’s charities. They’ve netted over $2 million in the last seven years. “We’ve already funded a playroom being built in the new Lurie’s Children’s Memorial. Now we’re targeting Chicago Public Schools in four neighborhoods,” says Sarah. Staying true to what they love has helped them build a firm foundation for their family and for others. With their commitment and energy, the Woods’ will be making life better for many children in and around Chicago for years to come. —SN

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MAAS, continued from page 43

December. The cabaretstyle theater features live comedy, music and magic acts discovered by David and Dania as they traveled the globe. “We are bringing entertainers that have never been available to a Chicago audience before—mind-blowing entertainment,” David says, with contagious enthusiasm. And tickets are already on sale for the couple’s nonprofit Windy City Circus, which debuts at Navy Pier from February 17 to 26. As befits their meeting, David and Dania seek to share the magic of the big top with all of Chicagoland. Once again, lifetime entertainers David and Dania have found a way to astound the crowd with what they can build together. —KT


SINCLAIR, continued from page 45

Annacone/Gandhi, continued from page 47

with a laugh. But Meredith didn’t use Jon’s contacts or access to launch her blog. Instead, she found her own path to success. Like her adventure last winter driving a Mercedes-Benz SUV to the Super Bowl, as part of a social media promotion. They might not work as business partners, but as life partners, the two are definitely in tandem. “I bring him out, and he grounds me,” says Meredith. Jon adds, “Without us getting together I don’t see how any of this would have happened.” —LH

fixing them,” she says. “That’s not it. It’s about helping people find their blind spots and move past them.” And Andy observes that Bela has found her calling, years after setting up their best friends from college, who are now married: “There aren’t many people I’ve ever come across for whom what they do is so well-aligned with who they are.” Having helped hundreds of people find their mates, Bela is sure that love is not a fairytale that just happens to people, the way it does in the movies. Although, it did just happen for her. —LL

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meet the authors Susan Noyes, Wilmette Because my 16 year old daughter aspires to write or direct an Oscar winning film, I hope that this year’s winners will be creative, gorgeous, glorious and further inspire her dreams. (For previews of Oscar-contenders, visit makeitbetter.net/oscars)

Liz Logan, Chicago Liz hopes that comedic geniuses Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumulo win a screenwriting Oscar for so brilliantly capturing the dark side of weddings in “Bridesmaids.”

Laura Hine, Wilmette As a former documentary filmaker, Laura hopes that her favorite “Page One: Inside the New York Times” wins Best Documentary, but she’s worried that it’ll get edged out by “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never.”

Kim Treger, Glenview Kim doesn’t feel qualified to predict this year’s Best Picture but does predict that this year’s Oscars will be Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, though The Artist in her, at Midnight in Paris, would put her Moneyball on something The Descendants like to call Hugo.

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family

Love

crazy for

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t the conclusion of every romantic comedy is an over-thetop proposal, but in real life such an extreme display of affection is only the beginning of the story.

Rock of Love

Make It Better’s own Account Executive Deana Lewis arrived at work one day to 54

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find her boss waiting outside. “There’s been a change in plans,” she said as she directed Deana to a chauffeured town car. Deana was handed a small red pouch and the same type of clue card used in “The Amazing Race,” a show she and her boyfriend, Jeff Kaplan, watch without fail. The card, titled “Our

Photo courtesy of deana lewis

By Kim Treger


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Amazing Adventure,” instructed her to go to the location of their first date. Her heart pounded in the car as she listened to Lindsay Mac’s “Seven Stones,” a song she and Jeff heard on their first date. Deana opened the pouch and discovered two stones. For the next hour, Deana followed clues to spots mean

ingful to the couple. With each clue came more stones until she landed at Navy Pier. There was Jeff on one knee at the foot of the Ferris wheel as he presented her the seventh stone; a diamond from his grandmother’s ring, set in an engagement ring that he had personally designed. Grand gestures may not be a necessity, but even if you’re already married, an over-thetop moment can create new traditions unique to the couple. For these couples, the engagement set the tone of what they hoped to build together. Knight in the Rookery

Does the romance of such a gesture really last? Ten years and two kids later, Chad and Nicole Boomgaarden of Wilmette both still giggle when they recount the tale of Chad’s proposal. makeitbetter.net

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Capitalizing on the beautiful backdrop provided by Nicole’s workplace in The Rookery Building, Chad schemed with co-workers to have Nicole step out of an elevator to discover the first of seven dozen roses. “Seven was her lucky number, from her sports jersey at New Tri56

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er, and we had been dating seven years,” Chad explains. At each turn of the staircase, Nicole discovered another dozen roses with an enclosure that explained the symbolic significance of the color to their relationship. At the bottom of the staircase, holding the final dozen roses,

Photo courtesy of Nicole Boomgaarden

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was her knight in shining armor. “The hardest part was finding a costume place that could rent me a suit of armor!” A Rockefeller Romance

As in marriage, the grace to recover when things don’t go as planned is essential. Ken Jay, of Milwaukee, had called in favors so when his girlfriend arrived in Manhattan just before New Year’s, she would discover a small wrapped box with her engagement ring under the famous Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. Hours before she was to arrive, her flight was cancelled. Two days later, Ken proposed to Sharon quietly, on a park bench, and told her of the original plan. While thrilled by his efforts, she claims that “being engaged was more than enough excitement and all I needed.”

The truth is there are rarely fairytale endings. Marriage is filled with difficult moments, tiny victories and even boredom. But romance—even when it’s imperfect—creates a unique story a couple can cherish through the years. Tell Us Your Love Story! Go to our Facebook page, facebook.com/makeitbetter. net, and share your overthe-top proposal or romantic Valentine’s Day story.

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making the case for summer camp

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t’s the same question every year: What are my kids going to do this summer? Should he go to lacrosse camp to get a leg up on fall tryouts? What about math camp to lighten her load this

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fall? Better yet, maybe this is the summer to learn Mandarin? After all, there’s no time like summer to get ahead. Then that little voice reminds you that your kids are burned out and need time

Photos courtesy camp songadeewin

By Kristina Tober


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outside, away from technology. Maybe this is the summer to stop over-thinking it all and send your kids to a traditional sleep-away camp. More than just fun

While some might deem this a slacker route, there’s plenty of evidence that good things happen when you go to summer camp. A study conducted by the American Camp Association

between 2001 and 2004 found that summer camp builds skills for life. Kids become leaders—building independence, a sense of adventure and selfconfidence—while also learning how to be team players by working together to solve problems and survive failure. These skills define lifelong success better than any report card. So what’s the magic of camp?

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Getting dirty in the woods

Kids aren’t just sleeping in the woods. They’re learning to identify poison ivy, spot animal tracks and navigate rushing water. They have time to study a bug, ask questions about what they see and learn a new skill. Even better, there’s no technology to distract them. “If we don’t get our kids into the woods, learning about and loving nature, we’re not going to have people passionate enough to save our planet in the future,” says Ellen Flight, director of Songadeewin, an all-girls camp and one of three summer camps operated by the Keewaydin Foundation in Vermont. Navigating the wild and unpleasant cabin mates

Camp isn’t always fun. The food is different, the showers 60

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are cold and at least one kid in your cabin will drive you crazy. But with this discomfort comes a lot of good. “Old-fashioned sleep-away camp is the best antidote to the extreme nature of our culture,” professes Dr. Wendy Mogel, acclaimed clinical psychologist and the author of the best-selling parenting books “The Blessing of a Skinned Knee,” and “The Blessing of a B Minus.” “We try to protect our children from every danger, from failure and discomfort. Our goal should be to keep them as safe as necessary, not as safe as possible.” “Even better, you don’t have your nervous, over-intelligent, meddling parents there to step in and save you,” Mogel says. “You have to learn to be a team player, sleep on an


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uncomfortable bed, and get along with the annoying kid in your cabin.” All this “good suffering” prepares kids for the realities of life better than any academic setting. Learn to work together— or you may not eat

Camp offers authentic experiences and real conse-

quences. If you forgot your raincoat, mom can’t bring it and you will get soaked walking in the woods. If you aren’t willing to paddle, the canoe will not move. Skipped the mosquito repellent? Prepare to scratch. “Kids learn what they are capable of, particularly in the wilderness,” says J.R. Verkamp, director of Koochi-Ching, an all-boys wilderness camp in Minnesota. “It’s amazing to see on a canoe trip how each boy figures out what he can do to help. More importantly, each begins to quickly understand that if I don’t do my part, everyone suffers. And through this process of working together as a community and helping others, these kids are building confidence and character.”

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don’t ask, just do it: Helping friends in need By Laura Tiebert

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hen there’s a new baby, or your friend has the flu, delivering dinner is definitely welcome. But when the worst

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happens—a husband dies suddenly, a child is diagnosed with a serious illness, or a painful divorce gets more painful— what do you do?


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“Calling and saying ‘Call me anytime, I’ll do anything for you’ isn’t going to help,” says a North Shore woman I’ll call “Amanda,” who has put some thought into this matter. “Be specific. What’s really helpful is to call and say, ‘We’re going apple picking. Why don’t you come with us?’ ” Amanda, who prefers to remain anonymous so as not to publicize her friend’s woes, says, “Years ago, a fellow mom lost her husband to a heart attack. She had three kids, ages 5, 3 and 1. She’s suddenly a single mom. How do you help her get through that?” Amanda learned by trying to help. “My friend was terribly lonely, especially on weekends. People do family activities all

weekend and would forget about them. But my friend still liked to do fun things, even with another family. She’d say, ‘My kids need to be around a dad figure!’ ” Amanda helped her friend by offering to come over for two hours on a Saturday so the friend could go for a run, or showing up at the end of the day to chat with her friend and help her through bath and bedtime with the kids. In another instance, a mother at Amanda’s school passed away. In front of the family’s home were two huge planters, which the mother always filled. In the spring, Amanda and her friends went and planted pansies and pussy willows. “We didn’t ask. We just did it,” Amanda says. makeitbetter.net

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we love you!

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Best Practices for Helping Friends Make dinner easy for the recipient by using disposable containers. Include paper plates and cups so clean-up is easy. A bouquet of flowers helps feed the spirit, so add some daisies or tulips. you! we love

groceries Flood your friend’s email with friendly, encouraging messages. Journal

you! we love

Offer to make lunches for school-aged children. you! we love groceries

Offer to grocery shop, Journal groceries or carpool.

Drop off magazines, or offer to bring books,Journal music and movies from the library.

Journal

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Drop off bagels and cream cheese one we love you! weekend morning—bagels can be frozen for later, and grocerieseaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a midnight/after-school Journal snack. Drop off healthy and fun snacks. loTrader Joe’s we ve you! has all sorts of things that are great for kids when they get home from school, or to take in their backpack. groceries

Journal

When you visit in the hospital, bring the little things you normally take for granted, like unscented hand lotion, lip balm—Aveeno or Kiehl’s are a real treat—or even sheer lipstick. Give a pretty journal and pen or two—can also be used as a guestbook.


ORTH SHO TH S

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PREM HORE’S IER CAMP

Sports  Adventure    Arts Aquatics  Ages 3 – 12

847.295.4900 bannerdaycamp.com


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date night in: make “the usual,” special

tips Make It Better and 30Second Mom are sharing tips to make February a month filled with love. Look for us on their website, and here are some of our 30-second favorites. Want more 30Second Mom? Check out their app: 30Second Mom tips and their website: 30secondmom. com For more of Make It Better’s favorites go to makeitbetter.net/30second

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by Amanda Armstrong

When time and budgets are tight, carve out date night at home to make “the usual” special tonight. Instead of the normal routine of rushing through dinner and shouting over the table, put the kids to bed early, prepare something simple and elegant for dinner, turn off the TV and set the mood without going anywhere. This is your time to talk and connect with your spouse. It doesn’t take much planning, just a little commitment. Savor your meal with a glass of wine and take your time enjoying bite by bite. You have nothing to do but enjoy each other’s company.


bl a ckh wks aa ckh wks a l b

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the couple that plays together, stays together

family date nights keep the family bond strong

by Shel Franco

By April Bowers

Does it seem impossible to spend time with Hubby? Is he always stuck in front of a game, and you hate sports? Trust us. A little compromise goes a long way. Surprise him with tickets to a live sporting event. You might be surprised by how much you enjoy the environment. Slide a little closer, and ask him to explain the finer points of the game. Compliment him on how much he knows. If in the end, you really hated every minute of it, then try something else. You have to find the common ground, and it should be more than those beautiful kids.

As much as date night with your spouse or significant other is important for your relationship, so is date night with your family. Clear at least one night per month for some family fun! The great thing about family date night is that it doesn’t have to be expensive. Order a pizza and play board games together, rent a “just released on DVD” movie, or go on a family hike or walk. What you choose to do with this time isn’t as important as following through with the time. It keeps that family bond strong by illustrating that family time is a priority despite everyone’s busy schedules.

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is act or sat test prep right for your child? By Liz Logan

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s an SAT or ACT prep course a lifesaver, or a total waste of time? A 2009 study commissioned by the National Association of College Admission Counseling showed that small improvements in test scores can make a difference in college admissions, but it also indicated that the average gain from commercial test prep is small, less than one point on the ACT and about 30 points on the SAT.

what’s a parent to do? College counselors at several North Shore high schools say that even in a recession, parents are still paying for test prep, hoping for high scores, 68

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with results both rewarding and disappointing. This depends, of course, on the student and the expectations. It is interesting to note that the Princeton Review reported a 21 percent loss of test prep revenue in the fourth quarter of 2010 compared with the same period in 2009. They attribute that loss to customers purchasing less expensive prep products like study guides over the pricier class option. So parents are still buying, but they’re going the more affordable route.

mixed reviews Doris Winchester of Winnetka had mixed results. She sent two of her older children


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to a Northfield-based tutoring center, spending hundreds of dollars, yet the result was only a gain of a couple points on the ACT for both children. Her youngest daughter, on the other hand, was tutored through Nurturing Wisdom, which serves the entire Chicago area, and the roughly $1,200 investment resulted in a four-point gain. Many North Shore parents opt for private tutoring, which is more expensive, but they believe it yields better results. Bev Pinaire of Wilmette says private tutoring was more effective for her children than group classes: Her son met with a tutor for a couple of two-hour sessions, $330 each, and his ACT math and English scores improved four points each. A Wilmette parent, who asked that her name not be

used, sent her children, including a son with learning disabilities, to Academic Tutoring Centers in Highland Park and says the results were excellent. Her son’s ACT score improved by six points, and her daughter’s went from a 27 to a 29.

getting results

Even if their kids test well, many North Shore parents still want them to have the extra help. As far as which programs work, counselors across the North Shore agree that it depends on the kid. Jim Conroy, chair of the post-high school counseling department at New Trier Township High School, says some parents swear by one service, while others say that same service failed their kid. Kids who are forced to go and don’t take the work serimakeitbetter.net

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ously don’t reap the rewards. “It’s like any other class—unless you’re committed, you’re not going to get the benefits,” says Joseph Lee, post-secondary specialist in the College Career Center at Evanston Township High School. Gloria Mueller, former coordinator of college counseling at Glenbrook South High School, says that test prep makes sense particularly for students who are testshy, as it helps them build confidence.

colleges say “show me those grades,” Conroy says. “You have to have a balance,” Mueller says. “Some families make testing their whole focus. It’s not what’s really important. What colleges are looking for is what kids have done over four years, not four hours.” Looking for some test prep or tutoring for your child? Find options on our Better List, makeitbetter.net/ the-better-list

grades versus test scores The counselors urge parents to keep an eye on the big picture and warn them against signing up their kids for test prep if it will hurt their grades, which are far more important. When given a choice between test scores and grades, 99 percent of 70

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Think testing is just a big game? You can avoid the whole problem by encouraging your kids to apply to schools that don’t require test scores at all. To see a list of these schools, visit fairtest.org/university/ optional


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timeline for college testing Matthew Pietrafetta, founder of Academic Approach, which offers test prep services, helped us develop this timeline for parents of high school students.

freshman year •T  ake academically challenging and appropriate classes •May/June - Possible SAT Subject Test* in Biology (if in honorslevel class)

sophomore year • F all - Take PLAN test (measures readiness for ACT) • F all - Take PSAT (if offered at school; measures readiness for SAT) • May/June - Possible SAT Subject Test in Chemistry or Physics (if in honors-level or AP class) •S  pring/Summer - Use results from PLAN (and possibly PSAT) to determine and strengthen areas student needs assistance. Flag areas of lower achievement and begin tutoring. If potential

for National Merit Achievement, prep for 11th grade PSAT

junior year • Fall - PSAT (measures readiness for SAT and National Merit Scholarship) • Fall - if advanced, attempt early completion of ACT • January/March – SAT (decide based on PSAT/PLAN results**) and prep for ACT • April - Prairie State Achievement Exam, which includes the ACT, but will not include the writing test as of this year • May - AP exams • May and June - SAT Subject Tests in Math, Science, History • June - possible ACT retest

senior year • Fall – Can retake the ACT or SAT or SAT Subject Tests *Only a handful of elite colleges require SAT Subject Tests. Schools that do require them ask for two or three, and some allow a student to submit only the best test scores. **All colleges accept either the SAT or the ACT, so your student should prepare for the one that he or she seems most likely to score well on.

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private quarters s to ry an d ph otos by Tat e G u n n er s o n

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hen designer Stephanie Wohlner first toured her client’s vintage Wilmette mansion, she knew it wouldn’t be an ordinary renovation project. Every surface in the massive (12,000–13,000 square feet) home needed to be restored, painted or papered, and the house’s formal layout and French architecture had to be balanced with the needs of the homeowners and their three children. In this Q&A with Make It Better, Wohlner dishes about the project.

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What state was the house in when you first toured it? When we walked in, it was a mess! It was overly styled— faux finishes, columns with grapes, trompe l’oeil—but you could tell that it had good bones. What’s the secret to making such a large home feel so cohesive and comfortable? Especially in a house this large, having a consistent theme creates a sense of peace. I like to know that if all the walls came down in the home, the house would still flow, so if you pulled a chair from the kitchen to the living room, everything would still work together. We also used warm wall colors and dark floors to ground the house and make it feel less enormous. 75

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It’s such a massive space. How did you decide where to begin? A house sort of speaks to me. This house definitely knew who it was. It had a lot of polished brass and gilded mirrors, so I went into that mode. You 76

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can’t really go modern with it, but we went through every room and oriented the house more toward the family. The children’s bedrooms have the same timeless vibe as the


entire house. Did you take a different approach when decorating the private spaces? I like having the children’s input. They know what they want. You just have to be a really good listener. I usually start off with something they love—a piece of memorabilia—and build the room around that. In the daughter’s room, we kind of cocooned the room in toile and added a valance over the bed. It’s a really beautiful princess room. The son’s room took on this nautical, Ralph Lauren kind of theme. The hallways are proportional in size to the rest of the home, and they actually feel like rooms. How important is the design of the peripheral spaces? Hallways are tough, but I’m obsessed with them. They

need to be filled up, otherwise they have an empty, unfinished feel. It’s kind of how you feel when you’re hungry. Depending on the width, you can put sofas, benches, even a desk in there—really use it as a room. For narrower spaces, I’d focus on a runner that has great texture and color. It gives you a window into the rest of the house. Thanks, Stephanie!

meet the author Tate Gunnerson, Chicago Tate is hoping that the Academy finally recognizes comedies and at least nominates Kristen Wiig for Best Actress for her role in Bridesmaids. makeitbetter.net/meetour-writers

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d e si g n t i p s fo r

romance-ready bedrooms s t o r y & p h o t o s b y Ta t e G u n n e r s o n

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beautiful bedroom can create an aura of romance and closeness every day for a husband and wife, says Summer Thorton of Summer Thorton Design.

Make it yours
 “I generally advise husbands to allow their wives to have a bit more influence in the bedroom,” Thornton explains. “It’s to their benefit, since the bedroom is a room makeitbetter.net

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that is really all about closeness and intimacy, which, generally speaking, wives thrive on— time together to talk, share, relax and love.” Cindy Galvin of Bardes Interiors in Evanston strives to create a quiet space where her clients, especially women, can relax and rejuvenate. 80

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“Having a moment to yourself is important for romance,” Galvin explains. Depending on the couple, this might mean incorporating extra closet space, adding a second master bath for privacy and forgoing modernday technology such as TVs, laptops and iPads. “Everywhere a woman looks in the house, she sees a million things she has to do,” Galvin explains. “Usually the bedrooms are a more feminine part of the house, and I think it’s important for a woman to have a sanctuary.” Make it sumptuous 
 Frank Ponterio of Frank Ponterio Interior Design in Lake Forest says his goal is to create a haven for his clients, starting with the bed.


home

“The design of the bedroom is about layering,” says Ponterio, who starts with a high-quality mattress from Hastens or a Vi-Spring from Chicago Luxury Beds. Next come top-of-the-line, highthread count linens and a final layer of shams, pillows and an elegant coverlet. Galvin stocks a variety of luxury sheets in her Winnetka boutique, MAZE Home, that she often recommends to her clients. “My customers say, ‘You won’t believe it, but my husband loves the sheets,’ so it’s not just women, it’s men, too.” Make it hot 
 “If this was the only room in the house, what would you need to survive for 48 hours without leaving the suite?”

Ponterio asks his clients. “Elements that are a must: an iPod docking station, fireplace and a wet bar stocked with Vosges chocolates and splits of their favorite champagne.” Galvin agrees that incorporating a fireplace is one of the best ways to create a romance-ready bedroom. “The most important thing is to have a fireplace in the bedroom,” Galvin explains. “If that’s not possible, candlelight hides a multitude of sins.” 
 But if fire in the bedroom makes you feel hot and bothered in the wrong kind of way, Thornton says there are alternatives: “There’s nothing more romantic than turning the lights down low on a beautiful chandelier.”

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conceal or reveal Lingerie

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e very

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if you love your shoulders ... Women’s shoulders, neck and collarbone are always sexy and pretty. Show yours off in a chemise that flatters your décolletage and skims over your midsection. Perfect for almost any figure. L to R: The Lacie chemise, $38, Victoria’s Secret; Elle MacPherson Intimates chemise, $88, ‘scilla; Fleur’t cotton and lace gown, $124, Posh (includes thong)

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Some days you want to show off your sexy shoulders or trim tummy. Other days, it’s more about snuggling on the couch. We’ve got you covered (or uncovered).

if you love your booty ... Thongs use to be exotic; now we wear them to avoid panty lines. These lacy looks will make his heart beat faster, and we love the gorgeous jewel colors. (Skip the predictable black and red lingerie sets!) L to R: Simone Perele bra, $88, lace thong, $38, both at Posh; Mary Green cami, $23.50, hipster, $14.50, both at ‘scilla; Elle MacPherson Intimates bra, $58, thong, $24, both at ‘scilla

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if you love your tummy ... You’ve toned and slimmed, so show off your midsection. And honey, even if you’ve got a little roll or bump, go for it! These are sexy pieces we want you to wear with confidence. L to R: Eloise lace bralette, $44, Hanky Panky lace thong, $18, both at Anthropologie; Cosabella lace bra, $60, lace thong, $39, both at Posh; Lou Paris bra, $129, bikini, $69, both at ‘scilla

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if you love being warm... Comfortable doesn’t have to mean ratty. Even if you’re in the mood for sipping a cup of tea and reading a book, you can still look fabulous. L to R: Gilligan O’Malley pajama set, $29.99, Target; Eberjey cami, $62, sleep pant, $62, both at ‘scilla; Cosabella cami, $72, wide leg sleep pant, $115, both at Nieman Marcus by katherine achenbach & evangeline politis photos by nathaniel perry

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a better you

winnetka style Finding downtown looks on the North Shore By Samantha Kiersey

Why drive all the way into the city when you can find chic looks right here on the North Shore? Park once (for free!), walk to all these stores and grab a delicious lunch. Shopping locally has never been so fun.

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Want more Winnetka shopping and our lunch suggestions? Check out our online guide to home dĂŠcor stores in Hubbard Woods. makeitbetter.net/hubbard-woods

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Photos by erik davis

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1. Davis Miller 549 Lincoln Ave. | 847-501-5511 davismiller.com Featuring new designer brands as well as a chic consignment salon, Davis Miller is a great stop for the high-end clothing lover looking for a unique look and a great deal. 2. Frances Heffernan 810 Elm St. | 847-446-2112 francesheffernan.com Since first opening its doors in 1932, Frances Heffernan has carried an impressive variety of international designers. Sister store Frannie brings a youthful, casual selection to the mix. 3. Gray 821 Chestnut Ct. | 847-446-5650 grayboutique.com The brainchild of Winnetka resident Laura Schoch, Gray is the place to find classic pieces with a forward-leaning flair, as well as looks from up-and-coming local designers.

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4. J. McLaughlin 567A Lincoln Ave. | 847-501-2957 jmclaughlin.com Boasting classic clothing with a preppy flair, J. McLaughlin is the perfect place to shop if you love bright colors. Bonus: They have a great men’s line. 5. Neapolitan 715 Elm St. | 847-441-7784 neapolitanonline.com Bringing high-end style to the North Shore, Neapolitan is home to beautiful clothes and resort wear, as well as fashionforward shoes and accessories from big-name designers. 6. Valentina 566 Chestnut St. | 847-446-5480 facebook.com/shopvalentina Grab your latte! Next door to Starbucks, Valentina is the perfect place to liven up your wardrobe with pieces from Alice + Olivia, Splendid, Citizens of Humanity and more.

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dr. laura berman:

Expert advice on how to keep your relationship hot re kids, stress or boredom putting a damper on your libido this Valentine’s Day? Chicago’s own leading sex and relationship expert Dr. Laura Berman is here to help. Dr. Berman is the author of the books “The Passion Prescription” and “Loving Sex,” and has been the go-to “Sexpert” for both

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Oprah and Dr. Oz. You can see her in action during the second season of “In the Bedroom with Dr. Laura Berman” on OWN or check out the video of our full interview at makeitbetter.net/drlaura. Here’s an excerpt from our conversation. Sex and romance can fade over the years. Why is it important to keep things hot?

Photo courtesy of laura berman

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By Marjie Killeen


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When sex is working it’s just one small part of the larger relationship, but when it’s not working, it starts to take on a life of its own and cause a disconnect between the two of you. It’s natural in a long-term relationship for things to get a little tired, a little predictable, and so it’s important to make things as spontaneous and interesting as they can be. Part of the problem for parents is that it’s hard to escape their kids. Do you think it’s bad for kids to know their parents are having “private time?” Absolutely not. I think the opposite. You’re the model of what a loving, intimate relationship looks like. Obviously children do not need to know the details of your sex life or see you having sex—that’s why you always put a lock on the door. But for them to know

that you guys have special private time—you can even set a timer or say “after this cartoon Mommy and Daddy will be right back” —I think that’s a really important message to give your kids about what to expect in their own loving relationships. A lot of women wish they felt like having more sex, but feel too tired or stressed. What can women do to boost their own desire? Part of it is intellectual. If you want him to feel more emotionally close to you and connected and romantic, he gets there through sex. So you have to think of sex as nurturing the romantic connection in the same way that kissing and cuddling and talking nurture it for you. The other thing is to figure out what’s standing in the way of your libido, whether it’s changmakeitbetter.net

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ing your lifestyle to create more opportunities to give yourself more energy or taking better care of yourself. You’re not your best self when you’re drained of energy. Also, do what you can to protect the spontaneity. How can you make things spontaneous? Embracing sex dates is not something to shy away from. Even though it doesn’t feel spontaneous, you can create spontaneity within it. Most of us know that if you’re waiting for sex to happen spontaneously you can wait a long time. But if you know that on Thursday night we have a sex date, you can get playful around it and flirt with one another or send a sexy text. It’s a great way to ensure your sexual connection stays strong. What do you recommend to make big occasions like Val92

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entine’s Day or an anniversary more special and passionate? Try something new, whether it’s a toy or a position or a sexy outfit or a roleplay. Give your partner a little book of coupons for a couple of sexual things that he really enjoys that aren’t at the top of your list. Surprise him. Create a fantasy box where you both write down all the fantasies you want to act out or play with and pull one out of the box from time to time. meet the author Marjie Killeen, Wilmette Marjie nominates “Crazy, Stupid, Love” for Best Picture, partly because Emma Stone and Julianne Moore are so appealing and adorable, but mostly because of the way Ryan Gosling looks without a shirt. makeitbetter.net/meet-our-writers


a better you

a new spin on spinning 5 reasons to get back on the bike By Beth Engleman

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pin” is back and better than ever, thanks to an influx of new studios and classes that offer a fresh approach to working out. If you haven’t been to spin class since Bill Clinton was presi

dent, here are 5 reasons why it’s time to dust off your spin shoes and get back on the bike. 1 It Burns (Calories)

When it comes to losing weight, it’s all about the calomakeitbetter.net

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ries, which is why spin class is a dieter’s best friend. According to Jennifer Solberg, coowner of Spynergy Cycling Studio, a person can burn up to 1,000 calories during a 55-minute class. The calorie count depends on a person’s body weight.   2 It Works the Whole Body

“Spin class is not just about working the legs,” says Jason Bressler, owner of Revolution Spin in Evanston. These days people want a workout that combines cardio fitness with full-body toning, which is why most studios incorporate interval training, yoga and weights into many of their classes.

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3 it Conditions the Triathlete (or Tri-Curious)

Interested in a triathlon? Indoor cycling is a great place to start, as there are a number of local programs dedicated to conditioning and training. Drew Surinsky, founder of Nice Guy Training, offers a popular “brick class” that combines running and cycling. Signing up for an indoor cycling or brick class is also an excellent way to meet others who are interested in training for a tri. 4 Anyone Can be a Champion

When it comes to indoor cycling, Bressler believes anyone can look and feel like a champion. “Spin classes are fun and


a better you

engaging,” says Bressler, “but they’re also highly individualized, as participants are challenged at their own level.” An avid fitness buff, Bressler fashions his classes after P90X, where the instructor counts down the time throughout the challenge. “I like to remind my students that the next two minutes might be a grind, but if they just hang in there, we’ll accomplish this goal together.”

tribute to the Zen-like setting that makes participants feel like they are getting away from it all, without really getting away. Best of all, a vigorous cardio workout is a great way to burn off excess energy and de-stress.

5 It’s a Great Escape

meet the author Beth Engleman, Glenview Beth is hoping Miss Piggy finally gets the recognition she deserves with a best actress nomination. makeitbetter.net/meetour-writers

“We want our clients to feel like they’re at a spa,” says Eva Lasacco, co-owner of Joyride Cycle Studio in Highwood. Bamboo flooring, velvet curtains and soft lighting con-

For more information about the spin studios mentioned here, as well as links to their websites, visit makeit better.net/spinning

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strategies to stop fighting about money By Meghan Streit

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orth Shore therapist Pam Meyerson works with dozens of couples every week, and she says money frequently

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comes up in sessions. She says our feelings and attitudes about money often relate to our childhoods. Maybe your parents struggled, so you’re a saver. Or perhaps your family expressed love with presents, so you overspend. Meyerson says being aware of your spouse’s—and your own— emotional issues about money can decrease friction. “I try to get people to un-


a better you

derstand why money plays the role it does in their lives,” Meyerson says. “Everybody has money anxiety, but different purchases trigger it for different people.” You may be familiar with this dynamic: You want to take the kids to Disneyworld and your spouse wants to sock away money in their college funds. When you clash, your instinct may be to criticize, but if you understand your spouse’s values about money, you may be able to hold your tongue—and avoid an argument. “Instead of trying to control the other person, try to understand them,” Meyerson says. “There has to be some middle ground.” If your budget is tight, Meyerson suggests using cash or prepaid debit cards to control spending. If neither spouse can

blow the budget, you’ll prevent fights. Interestingly, Meyerson says a little avoidance may also be helpful in stopping spats. If your budget comfortably includes dinners at nice restaurants, but you still get anxious when the check comes, just let your spouse pay the bill. Tina B. Tessina, a California psychotherapist and author of “Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting about the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage,” advises couples to treat finances like a business. That means clearly defining your responsibilities and agreeing on a plan to meet financial goals. As you would with an important work project, schedule regular meetings to monitor progress and update each other. “Don’t expect to be able to discuss finances successmakeitbetter.net

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fully while you’re on the run, when it’s late at night or while watching TV,” Tessina says. “Instead, make a date for discussing finances, and take the time to sit down together with all the proper information, and discuss your needs, wants and means.” That said, Tessina says each spouse should have a little “mad money.” “The bulk of the money should go into a joint account to cover mortgage, groceries, kids’ clothes, etc.,” Tessina says. “But you should each have a little stash you can spend without checking with your partner.” For complex matters like retirement planning or purchasing a vacation home, couples can benefit from professional guidance. Highland

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Park financial planner David Engle says a trusted advisor can run the numbers so you can evaluate options. Plus, a professional lends an objective perspective, which can help spouses avoid disagreements over major expenditures. meet the author Meghan Streit, Chicago Meghan thinks there were plenty of award-worthy films in 2011, including “The Help,” “Midnight in Paris” and “The Descendants,” but she’ll be tuning into the Oscars primarily to  admire (and critique) the leading ladies’ dresses, hairstyles and accessories.  makeitbetter. net/meet-our-writers


a better you

hair, beware!

By Karina Parikh

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, which means it’s time to ditch those baggy sweaters and jeans in favor of perhaps more revealing numbers—and force that unruly body hair out of hibernation.

type

Pros

Tweezing

Tweezing is an inexpensive, convenient method for hair removal. A good tweezer can last for years, and it’s great for touching up in between major hair removal procedures.

Wax

Waxing is popular because it’s accurate and quick, removing hair with a single rip (ouch!). It can can take care of hair anywhere, including the ultra-sensitive bikini area. And for busy, but brave souls, home waxing kits are available.

Threading

Threading is an excellent chemical-free alternative to waxing and is generally a quick process (eyebrows usually take 10 minutes). Since it only involves a thread, it’s a great option for those with skin allergies.

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As you begin to plan out your spa appointments, how do you decide which method of hair removal is best? Use this guide as your go-to for all of your hair removal needs, so you can choose which method is the perfect one to make this Valentine’s Day a little sweeter.

Cons

Best for

Frequency

Tweezing is painful and time-consuming. Eyebrows Though there are tricks to ease the pain (such as plucking after a hot shower), it takes time to get it right. Knowing the shape of your eyebrows is a must, so start with a professional shaping.

Any time

If you have sensitive skin or allergies, test Bikini, Arms, the wax on a small area. Also, wax is not Legs, and water-soluble, so use oil or lotion to remove Face excess. Waxing can lead to painful, unsightly ingrown hairs, so do your research on spas and technicians.

Every three to six weeks

Though much quicker than plucking, thread- Eyebrows and ing is no match for waxing in terms of Upper Lip amount of hair removed at a time. Threading can still be quite painful and is not recommended for those with very sensitive skin.

Every four to six weeks or whenever needed

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type

Pros

Sugaring

Sugaring is like waxing, only with natural ingredients such as water, sugar and lemon juice; so fewer skin allergy problems. The residue cleans off with water. Sugar paste is removed in the direction of hair growth, lessening the pain.

Depilatory Creams

Depilatory creams are inexpensive and made for home use. Powerful formulas promise hair removal in as little as three minutes, and creams can remove a large area of hair at once without the cringe-inducing pain of waxing.

Laser

Since it’s a non-invasive procedure, laser hair removal is virtually painless. Most laser procedures promise to eliminate the need for shaving or waxing, although it takes weeks, even months, to see these results.

Epilators

A good epilator can last a long time, and usually costs the same as a one-time waxing session. Epilators are made for specific parts of the body, and some have sleek, purse-friendly designs.

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Cons

Best for

Frequency

Sugaring gel and paste are tricky to work Bikini, Arms, with; they are recommended only for the Legs, and experienced. Although ingrown hairs are Face reduced with sugaring, it still remains a problem. Make sure the technician is experienced!

Every three to six weeks

Depilatory creams are made of chemicals Face, Arms, that are harsh and drying to the skin, and ap- Legs plying a depilatory cream is messy. Creams do not remove the hair from the follicle like waxing or sugaring, so expect to use creams frequently.

Any time

Laser hair removal is expensive, and takes Anywhere many sessions to see results. Lasers only target active follicles, so the laser doesn’t affect every hair during a session. It’s not recommended for darker skin, as it can change pigmentation.

Depends on the procedure, usually every four to six weeks until results are achieved

Epilators take a bit more time to remove hair Anywhere than alternative procedures, and are usually not as accurate in removing hair. Some epilators do not remove hair from the follicle, effectively working in the same way as traditional shaving.

Any time, usually every four to six weeks

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spectacular wine dinners at lyric opera wine auction 2012, bid now!

ď ° Chicago Cut Steakhouse

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nce every three years, the Lyric Opera of Chicago presents its Wine Auction, a highly anticipated event for lovers of fine wine and luxury living. The 10th triennial auction event, chaired by our very own Susan Blanken-

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photo courtesy of chicago steak house

By Julie Chernoff


dining

baker Noyes, founder of Make It Better Media, will be held on Friday, February 10th and will feature wine gems from around the world as well as amazing, unique dining opportunities with some of Chicago’s finest chefs and restaurants.The many one-ofa-kind dining opportunities, which are available for online bidding at makeitbetter.net/wine-auction, include: Charlie Trotter Opens His Home for the Lyric For the first time ever, Charlie Trotter opens his home for a dinner for eight, including wines from the Willamette Valley’s Evening Land Vineyards, served by Master Sommelier Larry Stone. Valued at $20,000+. New Restaurant, Old Wines! Carlos and Debbie Nieto have donated a 5-course dinner for six at Nieto, their new, upscale bistro in Highwood; Johnson Ho of Pantheon Wine Shoppe is bringing the wine, and that’s always a treat. Valued at $5,430.

Extravaganza for 12 at L2O This ten-course dinner at the glamorous L2O will be in an ohso private room so that there’s plenty of room for the 20 amazing bottles hand-selected by Master Sommelier Jay Fletcher and donated by Mr. and Mrs. James Sandner. Valued at $14,850. French Fantasy Dinner in your home Host a wine-tasting dinner in your home that will give you bragging rights for years! The delectable meal will be prepared by Calihan Catering

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and paired with wines from Knightsbridge, including a 1982 and 1970 Château Mouton Rothschild; 1996 Château Lafite Rothschild; 1996 Dom Pérignon Oenotheque; 2003 Maison Louis Jadot Chevalier Montrachet Les Demoiselles; and a 1955 Rieussec Grand Cru Sauternes. All this and eight tasting sets of Riedel Vinum glassware. Ooh-la-la! Valued at $8,025. the best of chicago and California The very hot Chicago Cut Steakhouse pairs with Napa Valley’s Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars to tickle your taste buds. Each course is paired with current wines and library releases. The winning bidder will also take home a magnum of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars’ 2007 CASK 23 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, the winery’s flagship wine. Do-

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Bid on these dinners and other in advance of the event at makeitbetter.net/ wine-auction nated by Chicago Cut and Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. Valued at $3,425. Les Nomades Provides a Thrill Enjoy dinner for eight at this Zagat All-Star with wines and sommelier service provided by Chicago’s Tenzing Wine & Spirits. Chef Chris Nugent’s brilliant food will sing when paired with these wines. Valued at $2,000. Additional dinners at Coco Pazzo, Piccolo Sogno, Naha and more. Truly an auction for the ages!


dining

champagne for valentine’s day?

oui! By MIBs

Photos courtesy of Moët Hennessy

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f course you’ll be breaking out some bubbly on February 14. For help with the selection, we interviewed Dom Pérignon’s Chef de Cave Richard Geoffroy, who will be in town this month as the Lyric Wine Auction’s Honored Guest.

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Why do we think of Champagne for Valentine’s Day? Champagne has a deserved legacy of being the most special and beautiful of all wines. This comes from its delicate creation in which many varying conditions have to be perfect to achieve the intensity and harmony of its sparkling qualities. This combined with the power it has to bring people together, especially in moments of celebration, make it the natural wine of choice for Valentine’s Day. Yet, Champagne, like Valentine’s Day, should be enjoyed and celebrated everyday! Why is rosé Champagne more expensive than its counterpart?

 Rosé is more rare—the conditions for the delicate Pinot Noir grapes have to be just right to produce rosé. This results in a

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much smaller production making it more rare and thus priced at a higher point. Rosé Champagne is especially romantic, because of course, it’s pink! But what else makes it appropriate for Valentine’s Day?

 Dom Pérignon Rosé is the crown jewel of Dom Pérignon. It requires much more love and care in its creation, making it a poetic synonym for what couples toast on Valentine’s Day. Enjoyed alone or with a meal it is a symbolic choice. 
Our current Dom Pérignon Rosé is vintage 2000. This millennial wine boasts black cherry, cocoa and cardamom on the nose and smooth fruit flavors on the palate. Should it be paired with a Valentine’s meal, it’s delicate enough to work with fish and its Pinot Noir char-


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Dom Pérignon does not release a non-vintage champagne, and does not produce a wine from every year’s harvest. Only when the conditions of harvest are right for Dom Pérignon is a vintage declared. 




acteristics compliment heartier meat dishes.
 



Can you explain the difference between vintage and non-vintage Champagne?

 A bottle of vintage Champagne includes grapes from one specific harvested year. Non-vintage or multi-vintage champagne incorporates base wines from multiple harvests; therefore, the bottle cannot be attributed to just one year.

And what’s the difference between sparkling wine and Champagne?

 Only sparkling wine produced in the Champagne region of France is called Champagne. 


 You started your wine career in California, land of sparkling wine. Any favorites for the romantic who can’t afford Champagne this Valentine’s Day?

 Chandon, which is a Napa sparkling wine, is a great option.

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romantic restaurants fo r t h e m o n t h of l o v e By Julie Chernoff

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hy should we limit romance to February 14? With so many date-night possibilities on the North Shore, February could be a whole month of love. It could happen! Leave this list somewhere conspicuous so that even the most clueless of spouses will get the hint. Vive la romance! (And not just on Feburary 14!)

Arlington Heights

La Tasca, 25 W. Davis St., 847398-2400, latascatapas.com Sangria and tapas puts you in the mood for el amor.

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Le Titi de Paris, 1015 W. Dundee Rd., 847-506-0222, letitideparis.com Frenchified and lovely; no one makes better Lobster Bisque. Barrington

Barrington Country Bistro, Foundry Shopping Center, 700 W. Northwest Hwy., 847-842-1300, barringtoncountrybistro.com Feed each other the Grand Marnier SoufflĂŠ. Et voila. C h i cag o

Francesca’s Bryn Mawr, 1039 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., 773-5069261, miafrancesca.com The low-lit bar has cozy booths to keep away the winter chill. Snuggle while you share risotto.


dining

Jin Ju, 5203 N. Clark St., 773-3346377, jinjuchicago.com Soju martinis and bibim bop are the new red wine and beef bourguignon of love. L20, Belden-Stratford Hotel, 2300 N. Lincoln Park W., 773-8680002, l2orestaurant.com This gorgeous restaurant is dressed to impress, with a prix fixe seafood menu that’s every bit as elegant and dramatic. Wow your significant other with a visit. Marigold, 4832 N. Broadway, 773-293-4653, marigold restaurant.com If hip lovers from a Bollywood film lived in Chicago, this is where they’d dine.

Photo by eric davis

Deerfield

Wildfish, 730 Waukegan Rd., 847-317-9453, wildfishsushi.com Ask for a booth in this dark and very groovily designed place; eat sushi and get busy.

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E va n s t o n

Bistro Bordeaux, 618 Church St., 847-424-1483, lebistrobordeaux.com Oysters. Steak Frites. Chocolate Terrine. Owner Pascal Berthoumieux. Yum. Stained Glass, 1735 Benson Ave., 847-864-8600, thestainedglass.com What’s sexier than a flight of intriguing wines? You, after you finish them. Quince, 1625 Hinman Ave., 847570-8400, quincerestaurant.net Quiet, intimate space with fantastic food from Chef Andy Moto. The man has a way with lamb… and the desserts are crazy good.


dining

Glenview

La k e F o r e s t

Flight Wine Bar, 1820 Tower Dr., 847-729-9463, flightwinebar.com Sharing small plates + tasting many interesting wines = romance.

Bank Lane Bistro, 670 N. Bank Lane, 847-234-8802, banklanebistro.com Cozy, romantic spot with inspired food. Overlooking historic Market Square.

Hig hwoo d

Froggy’s, 306 Green Bay Rd., 847433-7080, froggysrestaurant.com The twinkly lights, the beautiful greenery, and yummy French cuisine are all conducive to love. Gabriel’s, 310 Green Bay Rd., 847433-0031, egabriels.com Spring for the degustation and something from Gabriel’s stellar wine cellar. Totally worth it. H i g h l a n d Pa r k

Abigail’s American Bistro, 493 Roger Williams Ave., 847-849-1009 Cozy, crowded, but the food is inspired and you will be, too. Benjamin, 1849 Second St., 847748-8737, benjaminrestaurant.com Ask for an upstairs booth in what I call the leopard grotto. Rowrr.

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S ko k i e

Libertad, 7931 N. Lincoln, 847674-8100, libertad7931.com Flirty drinks made with HUM liqueur paired with spicy, delicious Nuevo Latino menu. Charcoal Oven, 4400 Golf Rd., 847-675-8062, charcoaloven restaurant.com This is where Harry Connick, Jr. would take a date. Still the best lamb chops anywhere, served in the supper club of your memories. Winnetk a

Restaurant Michael, 64 Green Bay Rd., 847-441-3100, restaurant michael.com Feel coddled by the perfect service and luxe food. A date-night magnet.


Resort/Holiday Collection

Women’s Designer Shoes and Acces sories www.shirise.com 341 Park Ave, Glencoe • 847.835.2595 •


entertainment

warm up with crackling yarns By Lisa Buscani

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t’s the middle of winter; a perfect time to sit back in a dark room and watch a good yarn. Head out to local theaters and warm up with some crackling good stories, and maybe even some songs.

Northlight Theatre’s “Black Pearl Sings!”  January 13-February 19 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie 847-673-6300 | northlight.org

Northlight favorite E. Faye Butler stars in this Depression-era story of two women:

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an imprisoned singer and a song collector determined to show her talent to the world. The show features lovely a cappella renditions of littleknown American folk songs; it’s an uplifting evening of rootsy tradition.


entertainment

TimeLine Theatre’s “Enron” January 27-April 15 615 W. Wellington Ave., Chicago 773-281-8463 x6 | timeline theatre.com

A West End hit, this savagely funny, sprawling tragedy chronicles one of the most infamous scandals in business history. The piece offers unique insight into the backroom deals and rush of greed that triggered a staggering financial collapse in a world where nothing is as it seems. Emerald City Theatre’s “Alexander and Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” February 18-June 17 The Apollo Theater, 2540 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago 773-935-6100 | emeraldcity theatre.com

Emerald City Theatre brings Judith Viorst’s clas

sic children’s book to life as a high-energy musical. Alexander has the worst day of his life: no dessert at lunch, kissing on TV and the knowledge that grown-ups just don’t care! It’s a fun instruction manual that shows kids how to deal with everyday frustrations. Theater Wit/Boho Theatre, “The North Plan” February 23-April 1 1229 W. Belmont, Chicago 773-975-8150 | theaterwit.org

Acclaimed director Kimberly Senior directs this dark, political satire about a federal bureaucrat locked up in a small-town Missouri jail. He’s desperate to escape and thwart a constitutional crisis that would throw the country into tyrannical turmoil.

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Goodman Theatre’s “The Convert” February 25-March 25 170 N. Dearborn St., Chicago 312-443-3800 | goodmantheatre. org

The British left southern Africa long ago, but the effects of their rule still linger. “The Convert” takes a look at the cultural and religious collisions caused by colonialism. Jekesai, a young Christian convert, escapes a forced marriage. She’s caught between family loyalties and her new faith when an anti-colonial uprising forces her to choose where her heart belongs. meet the author Lisa Buscani, Chicago And the Oscar for Best Actor goes to: Rod Blagojevich!” Lisa thinks he’s a shoe-in. makeitbetter.net/meet-ourwriters

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theater guide  American Theater Company 773-409-4125 | atcweb.org “Disgraced,” through March 4  broadway in chicago 800-775-2000 | broadwayin chicago.com “American Idiot,” at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts/ Oriental Theatre, February 7 - 19 “South Pacific,” at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, February 14 - 26  chicago children’s theatre 773-227-0180 | chicagochildrens theatre.org “The Houdini Box,” through March 4  Chicago shakespeare theater 312-595-5600 | chicagoshakes.com


entertainment

“The Feast: An Intimate Tempest,” through March 11 “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” February 7 - April 8 “Short Shakespeare! The Taming of the Shrew,” February 25 - April 7  the citadel 847-735-8554 | citadeltheatre.org “Sirens,” February 3 - March 4  Emerald City Theatre 773-529-2690 | emeraldcity theatre.com “Snow White,” through May 20  Goodman Theatre 312-443-3800 | goodman theatre.org "Race,” through February 19  marriott theatre 847-634-0200 | marriott theatre.com “Legally Blonde,” through April 1

 Steppenwolf Theatre Company 847-335-1650 | steppenwolf.org “Penelope,” through February 5 “Time Stands Still,” through May 13 “Garage Rep,” February 2 April 8  Lookingglass Theatre 312-337-0665 | lookingglass theatre.org “Mr. Rickey Calls a Meeting,” through February 19  Writers’ Theatre 847-242-6000 | writerstheatre.org “The Caretaker,” through March 25 “Hesperia,” through March 18

To read reviews of many of these shows, visit makeit better.net/entertainment

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book list a love-ly book list • By Nancy Randall, The Book Stall

1 The Paris Wife by Paula McLain A moving, fictionalized telling of the courtship and marriage of Ernest Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley Richardson. He is 21 years old and unpublished when he marries the 28-year-old Hadley. Although the marriage ends in divorce, this is a love story about a less secure, more sensitive Hemingway and the woman who had faith in his abilities. 

2 Paris without End: 

The True Story of Hemingway’s First Wife by Gioia Dilberto If you prefer nonfiction, you’ll want to read this true account of the Hadley RichardsonErnest Hemingway relationship. Their passionate courtship and their family life in Paris with their baby, Bumby, is a compelling, poignant read.

the book stall | 811 Elm St., Winnetka 847-446-8880 | thebookstall.com

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entertainment

3 To Be Sung Underwater by Tom McNeal This is the love story of the year! It examines one woman’s journey into her past and the man she left behind. Long after the final chapter has been read, this novel continues to haunt.

4 The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern This debut novel is a fantasy love story about two young magicians who are forced into a competition where each magical feat must become more and more sensational. Beautifully written and totally enthralling, Morgenstern somehow makes love believable in an unbelievable world.

5 Must You Go? My Life

With Harold Pinter by Antonia Fraser If Hadley and Hemingway were the golden couple of Paris in the ‘20s, Pinter and Fraser were their

counterpart in England in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Fraser, a highly esteemed British biographer, and Pinter, the Nobel Prizewinning playwright, hobnobbed with celebrities and intellectuals throughout the world.  However, unlike most high-profile marriages, their steadfast love for each other endured for over 30 years.

6 Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy Tolstoy is arguably the greatest writer the world has ever known, and he certainly knows how to write an emotionally wrought love story. The novel centers around an adulterous affair between Anna, wife of Alexei Karenin, and Count Vronsky, a bachelor. A parallel love story involves Kitty and Levin, a young couple who end up happily married. Tolstoy illustrates how love can sometimes be detrimental and destructive and other times beneficial and fulfilling.

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music by val By Val Haller of Valslist

Through chaos as it swirls/ It’s us against the world ... -Coldplay (new album Mylo Xyloto)

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usicians say it best. Their poetic lyrics swoon and croon their way into our hearts. They comfort us and celebrate with us. Like a best friend, it’s as if they were listening as we fell in love, broke up and got back together again.  Here are some of my favorite songs about love.   Love At First S’yte (sound byte) 1. “This Year’s Love” by David Gray 2. “Gamble Everything For Love” by Ben Lee 3. “Oh” by Dave Matthews

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4. “ Lovin’ In My Baby’s Eyes” by Shannon McNally 5. “I Need You” by America 6. “ I’d Rather Dance With You” by Kings of Convenience


entertainment

7. “ A Man Is In Love” by The Waterboys 8. “ Gotta Have You” by The Weepies 9. “ Make You Feel My Love” by Adele 10. “Stoned Love” by The Supremes 11. “ For You from You” by The Northwoods

A Few Upcoming Shows for Date Night: (Valslist favorite artists) Dark Star Orchestra at Vic Theatre (similar vibe = Grateful Dead) feb

12. “ Nothing Fancy” by Dave Barnes 13. “Love My Way” by Grant Lee Phillips 14. “Different When It Comes to You” by Bruce Cockburn 15. “ It’s Us Against the World” by Coldplay To download this playlist, visit valslist.com

Sharon Van Etten 16 at Lincoln Hall (similar vibe = Lucinda Williams meets Brandi Carlile) feb

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Jay Nash at SPACE 8 Evanston, 8pm (similar vibe = James Taylor meets Springsteen) feb

Livingston Taylor 25 (James’ brother) at SPACE, 8pm (similar vibe = his brother, James Taylor) feb

Colin Hay (from Men 10 at Work) at Park West feb

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better makers and their impact 1

 

Shown in photos: (1) Dr. Jacob Bitran of Highland Park, oncologist, president of Lutheran General medical staff and gala honoree, with his family, including his mother, sister, children and grandchildren. From left to right: Mark Davidson; Lauren Davidson; Jane Siedband; Martha

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All photos courtesy of Advocate Lutheran

Lutheran General 2011 Winner’s Circle Gala: Derby for Life November 19, 2011 Arlington Park Attendees: 613 $250,000 raised


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Bitran; Dr. Leonard Siedband; Dr. Jacob Bitran; his wife, Linda; Dina Grossman and Dean Grossman. Front row: Adam Grossman, Page Grossman and Hannah Davidson; (2) Tony Armada of Glenview, president of Advocate Lutheran General/Advocate Lutheran General Children’s Hospital (3) Event Chair Cindy Kulik of Glenview; (4) A patient being treated at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital. Funds raised support the Lutheran General Oncology Research and Education Endowment, which has produced medical advancements and breakthrough cancer care; (5) Gwynne and Scott Chovanec of Highland Park.

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Shown in photos: (1) Event Co-chairs Michael Rosengarden and Gene Minsky, both of Lake Forest; (2) Jeannine and Gabriel Viti of Highland Park; (3) Bonnie Minsky of Lake Forest and Carolyn Martinelli of Glenview; (4) A Safe Place’s “Safe Room” at the courthouse, where people can receive assistance with orders of protection. Funds raised support A Safe Place’s safe housing and supportive counseling services for victim-survivors of domestic violence in northern Illinois. Make It Better was the media sponsor of this event 4

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A Safe Place’s “Unmask the Violence” Exmoor Country Club, Highland Park November 9, 2011 Attendees: 194 $64,000 raised


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American Cancer Society Luncheon with Martha Stewart November 10, 2011 Orrington Hotel, Evanston Attendees: 320 $15,000+ raised

Benefits photos by Eisenberg/Rolfes Photography; Impact photo courtesy of the American Cancer Society

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Shown in photos: (1) Co-chair Connie Teska of Chicago, Co-chair Shannon Weasler of Glenview, Martha Stewart, Chicago Women’s Board President Stacey Barrins, North Shore Women’s Board President Andrea Hurteau of Winnetka; (2) Angie Campolo of Winnetka, with North Shore Women’s Board Members Megan Galante of Glenview and Jan Evans of Winnetka; (3) MC and ABC7 anchor Kathy Brock of Winnetka, and Martha Stewart; (4) Martha Stewart and Make It Better’s Senior Editor, Liz Logan; (5) ACS provides patient-navigation services to help cancer patients understand their treatment.

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(1) Board Member Lauren Krieg of Evanston and Board President Deb Danson of Evanston; (2) CNE Early Head Start home visiting reaches families by delivering parent support and child development services directly to their homes; (3) CNE Video Editor Philipp Batta of Chicago with Marvet Marsh and Shanika McIntosh of Evanston, CNE clients and “stars” of CNE’s video, which followed Shanika through a busy day as a single working mother of 4-year-old Jalin. Marvet was also featured

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in the video, which showed the impact of CNE Early Head Start programs and services on the life of a family within the Evanston community; (4) CNE Board Member Patrick Fitzsimmons and wife, Shelley Spencer Fitzsimmons of Evanston.

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All photos courtesy of the Child Care Network of Evanston

Child Care Network of Evanston* Woman’s Club of Wilmette October 22, 2011 Attendees: 128 $39,000 raised


Photo of Dia S. Weil, Roger Ebert and Chaz Ebert by Johnny Knight, all other photos by Dan Rest; Impact Photo of Harold Washington Library by Wisley, Flickr Creative Commons, flickr.com/people/wisley/

Chicago Public Library Foundation’s Annual Carl Sandburg Literary Awards Dinner University of Illinois at Chicago Forum October 20, 2011 Attendees: 625 $1.25 million raised Shown in photos: (1) Carl Sandburg Literary Awards Dinner Co-Chair Dia S. Weil and Carl Sandburg Literary Award Winner Roger Ebert; (2) Alan and Kathryn Freemond of Winnetka; (3) Karen Gename of Plainfield and Charlie Martin of Winnetka, both from R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company; (4) The Chicago Public Library Foundation was founded in 1986 as a true public/private partnership with the City of Chicago to ensure the margin of excellence for Chicago’s outstanding library 4

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local treasure

before

after

warming house in wilmette welcomes teens he Warming House of Wilmette recently underwent a complete redesign thanks to Design for Dignity (D4D), an organization that redesigns and renovates existing spaces for nonprofits. The Warming House, located in Howard Park off of Ridge Rd., provides afterschool and weekend programs for eighth grade and

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high school-aged teens. It’s a safe and supervised atmosphere, free of the substanceabuse pressures often found in high schools. They attract teens by offering activities and services, from supportive counseling to movie nights. “This is so exciting for the teens that use our facility on a regular basis and the staff who work effortlessly to provide a quality environment

Photos courtesy of designs for dignity

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By Diana Pearl


local treasure

and programming for them,” says Cynthia Doucette, executive director of The Warming House. Run by a staff of paid employees and student volunteers from Northwestern University, there is no fee for teens to attend the Warming Center. Instead, they rely on grants and private donations from members of the community. D4D renovated and redesigned The Warming House’s space to give it a more contemporary, updated environment. D4D replaced the worn out furniture and equipment with new and modern furnishings and materials for teens, including ping-pong tables, billiards, flat-screen TVs, space to study and more. D4D projects rely on probono design professionals, including architects, interior de

signers and contractors. Some of their previous projects include the Childcare Network of Evanston and the Broadway Youth Center in Chicago. Their work is fueled by their belief that the physical environment can have a large impact on the work and experience of a nonprofit organization and the people it serves. Doucette says, “For teens that participate in our daily activities and use the center’s resources, this renovation has provided a high-quality, healthy environment that will encourage our youth to make positive decisions and help them cultivate valuable, sustaining relationships.” For more information about The Warming House, visit warminghouse.org, and for more information on Design for Dignity, visit designsfordignity.org. makeitbetter.net

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make a difference

Improve the Lives of Individuals with Disabilities ď ° Our Place of New Trier Township 1020 Forest Ave. | Wilmette, IL 60091 | 847-446-6773 ourplaceofnewtrier.org Volunteers needed to support teens and adults with developmental disabilities engaging in community-based vocational experiences, lifelong learning classes and social opportunities. Four days a week, participants restock, sort donations and assist patrons at the New Trier Township Food Pantry, as well as support the staffs at the Glencoe Public Library, the Winnetka Thrift Shop and ManorCare Nursing Care Facility. Consider serving as one of the following: 1) Program volunteer in vocational, recreational and social activities; 2) Administrative assistant; 3) Board/committee member. For more information please contact Jane Gallery by email at info@ourplaceofnewtrier.org.

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photo courtesy of Volunteer Center of New Trier Township;

By Sharon Krone


photo by eileen ryan photography

make a difference

Serve on the Board of Directors of a Safe Housing Organization A Safe Place 2710 17th St. | Zion, IL 60099 847-731-7165 asafeplaceforhelp.org A Safe Place is a nonprofit that provides safe housing and supportive counseling options to survivors of domestic violence at no charge to clients. They seek committed people to be volunteer directors, attending one meeting/month and serving on one sub-committee. Meetings are held in Zion or conducted via conference calls. For more information please contact Chairperson of Board Development Ingrid Wiemer at 847372-0570 or Interim Executive Director Noelle Moore at 847731-7165 or nmoore@asafe placeforhelp.org

REMIX II: Tuned Up Chicago Symphony Orchestra 220 S. Michigan Ave. | Chicago, IL 60604 | 312-294-3181 | cso.org/remix Proceeds from REMIX II support the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s learning and access programs for students of all ages. REMIX II: Tuned Up is a fundraising event presented by the Women’s Board of the CSO. REMIX II takes place on Friday, March 2, 2012 at Architectural Artifacts in Chicago. Donations can be sent to REMIX II at the address above. For more information or to purchase event tickets or packages, call or visit the website.

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make a difference

can be sent to the address above or submitted online. For more information, call or email info@caninetherapycorps.org.

Support Dog Teams and Animal-Assisted Therapy Programs  Canine Therapy Corps 1700 W. Irving Park Rd., Ste. 311 Chicago, Illinois 60613 773-404-6467 caninetherapycorps.org Financial donations will help recruit and certify dog teams, design and manage animalassisted therapy programs, and evaluate and enhance their effectiveness. Unique in the Chicago area, Canine Therapy Corps provides free animalassisted therapy for individuals recovering from physical and emotional trauma, and helps motivate clients to live life to the fullest. Donations

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Help Connect Homeless Youth and Adults to Necessary Services and Supplies The Night Ministry 4711 N. Ravenswood Ave. | Chicago, IL 60640 | 773-784-9000 thenightministry.org The Night Ministry helps Chicago’s vulnerable youth and adults who struggle with homelessness, poverty and loneliness. Monetary donations are accepted through our website or by mail. Additionally, throughout February, your visit to The Signature Room at the 95th atop the John Hancock Center benefits The Night Ministry—10 percent of proceeds from the Charity of the Month menu will be donated. For more information, please contact Shannon Sudberry at Shannon@thenightministry.org or 773-506-6009.


make a difference

Donate Books to Underprivileged Youth in Chicago Glenview Community Church Nursery School 1000 Elm St. | Glenview, IL 60025 847-729-1440 | gccns.com Glenview Community Church Nursery School is accepting new and gently used book donations, which they will distribute, through Book Worm Angels, to classrooms throughout Chicagoland. Their goal is to collect 2,000 books this school year. The Reach Out For Reading collection box is in the GCCNS entryway. Your child will be proud to contribute the gift of reading! Contact Marcia Kiraly at 847-729-1440 or marciak@gccucc.org or visit the website for further information.

Donate Auction Items to Benefit Youth JobReadiness Training q Youth Job Center of Evanston, Inc. 1114 Church St. | Evanston, IL 60201 | 847-864-5627 youthjobcenter.org The Youth Job Center of Evanston is looking for items to include in its silent auction at their annual gala on April 28. Specifically, they welcome items donated by local businesses (gift cards, merchandise); tickets to sporting events, concerts or plays; services including legal help, financial planning, or decorating advice; and experiences such as in-home dinner parties, guided tours, vacation homes and destinations. All proceeds raised by the silent auction directly support the Youth Job Center’s job-readiness and placement services for youth ages 14-25. To find out more, call or visit the website, or contact khoopingarner@youthjobcenter.org. makeitbetter.net

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closing thoughts

romantic reads

reels

Compiled and edited by Liz Logan

We asked our fans and friends on Facebook to tell us their favorite romantic books and movies. Here’s what they said: 134

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The film “Life is Beautiful” ... sooooo good! —Connie Snedaker Deal “It’s Complicated!” What a GREAT movie—so many regrets! —Maria Elias-Williams For books, “Pride and Prejudice.” For movies, “A Room with a View.” —Sheila Lehr The movie “Diva.” —Laura Moch DeGrandis The book “Pride and Prejudice” is up there on my list. —Ruth Nieboer The movie “Truly, Madly, Deeply.” —Mindy Wallis For movies, “Somewhere in Time.” —Marla Green It might be cheesy, but “The Notebook” gets me every time I see it. —Lisa Herbst Gruchot 135

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Make It Better February Digital Edition