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D I G I TA L E D I T I O N JANUARY 2012

north shore

family, community and you

THE

ISSUE

best desserts guide to family health the reality of reality tv stardom

with

Julia Sweeney


contents volume 3, issue 3

40

33 features 33 North Shore happiness project

By Rachel Bertsche, Laura Hine and Liz Logan

71 Guide to family health

By Christy Coughlin, Patty Lamberti and Meghan Streit

family

40 The reality of reality 42 30 Second mom tips TV stardom By Annie Burnside,

By Kim Treger

44 The happy mix

Belinda Clarke, Jan Mostrom and Meredith Sinclair

54 Pops of delight

home

By Tate Gunnerson By Kat Achenbach

50 Tricks of the trade: 56 7 Naughty ways to Lighting have more fun in bed By Kristina Tober 4

By Marjie Killeen

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january 2012

54 a better you 58 Beginning a yoga practice

By Christy Coughlin

60 Chicago’s home dÊcor stores: New inspiration downtown

By Jenny Muslin

dining and entertainment 62 Libertad: Thrilling new Nuevo-Latino restaurant in Skokie

By Julie Chernoff


cover Actress/Comedienne Julia Sweeney (Wilmette), Photographed by Lee Ross Hair + makeup by Jules Ross

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72 64 Just desserts

By Julie Chernoff

66 A new year for theater

By Lisa Buscani

guide to family health 72 How to find the right doctor

By Patty Lamberti

74 How to find the best hospital for you

By Patty Lamberti

76 7 simple steps to lose 5 pounds

By Christy Coughlin

77 Anxiety-busters: 5 activities that help kids relieve stress

By Beth Engleman

78 Concierge medicine: How much would you pay for perks

By Meghan Streit

make a difference 82 Better makers and their impact 85 Everett Elementary School embeds service in academics

By Olivia Murawski

in every issue 16 make it better column 18 founder’s letter 22 you said it 24 fresh 26 tick tock 28 recommended events 30 events listing 67 theater guide 68 book list 69 music by val 80 give time, give

support, give things 86 closing thoughts

editorial policy P  ages with this designation are sponsored content and are paid for by the advertiser

january Contributor s This issue’s theme is happiness, so we asked our writers to tell us what free thing makes them happy. Look for the results next to their smiling faces! mission statement

The mission of Make It Better Media is to be the most-trusted, easiest-touse community resource and print magazine that helps you make your life, and the lives of others, better. Carrying forward the best of magazine Make It Better North Shore (ISSN No. 2151-0431) is published 11 times per year by Make It Better LLC, 1150 Wilmette Ave., Suite J, Wilmette, IL 60091-2642. Phone: 847.256.4642. Copyright 2012 by Make It Better LLC. All rights reserved. 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:

become a fan on facebook! Our Facebook contest, “25 Days of Presents” was so popular with readers and retailers that we ended up with more than 25 fabulous gifts to giveaway. We’ve saved some of our favorites to chase away the January blues. ‘Cuz who doesn’t love to win free stuff?

To enter, just “Like” us on Facebook. For each giveaway, we’ll randomly choose one of our Facebook fans to win. Go to facebook.com/ makeitbetter.net

SHOP YOUR CLOSET Sick of everything you own? Maybe you just need a fresh perspective on your clothes. Check out how one stylish gal found she really did have something to wear (and she didn’t have to buy a thing.) makeitbetter.net/better-you/fashion

don’t miss 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 6

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Join our community conversation.

facebook

facebook.com/ makeitbetter.net

twitter

twitter.com/ makeitbetterns

email

susan@makeitbetter.net


online

auction

the hot list

Bid on items that benefit local not-for-profit organizations. Watch for auction items benefiting North Shore Country Day and the Lyric Opera at makeitbetter.net/makea-difference

These are the writers who had the hottest online articles last month. Click and see why. 1. Fashion Editor Kat Achenbach’s “Fall Nail Trends” was a big hit with our readers. (Hint: “In” colors reflect the elements of fire, water, earth and air.) Kat’s fashion and beauty advice can be found at makeitbetter.net/better-you 2. Our Dining Editor Julie Chernoff’s scoop about the closing of Carlos and interview with owner Debbie Nieto about plans to open a new place in Highland Park was an online hit—like most of her articles! makeitbetter.net/dining

dining New restaurants are opening all the time. Follow Julie Chernoff’s reviews and recommendations or send us your own makeitbetter. net/dining

3. Events Editor and popular book reviewer Kelly Konrad’s article “5 Great Reads for your Book Club,” was discussed by book clubs all over the North Shore and beyond. Missed it? Go to makeitbetter.net/ book-club

Looking for a great restaurant suggestion? You can search our listings by neighborhood, cuisine or price.

beauty

4. Kim Treger’s article about the Gaynor sisters and their almost brush with fame as reality TV stars on the proposed show, “Thicker Than Water,” was so popular online that we reverse published it. You can read it on page 46.

Your beauty habits might be making you look older. Check out “Five Bad Beauty Habits” and how to replace them with healthier (younger looking) habits instead. makeit better.net/beauty

5. Laura Hine’s recipes and cooking tips have long been favorites on Make It Better. Each Monday on the home page we feature “What’s Cooking” and a recipe by Laura or a favorite local chef or author. Go to makeitbetter.net/dining

Follow Julie’s food musings on Twitter @juliechernoff

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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

Fitness Together “I was very impressed with the variety of exercises and the one-to-one attention the trainers provide at this facility. It is pristine, private and a perfect place to get in shape. I highly recommend Fitness Together.”

Burhop’s Wilmette “Don’t have a recipe? Doesn’t matter. Stop into Burhops, select a nice piece of fish and ask anyone working behind the counter. They are all knowledgeable and can recommend any number of easy, delicious ways to prepare the fish.”

McGaw YMCA’s Camp echo “Great family camp as well as youth camp. A wonderful camp that builds confidence and helps develop youth as leaders. Highly recommend.”

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Make a Messterpiece “Great choice for hands-on play. Perfect for those days when it’s too cold outside. We’ve been to 3 birthday parties and my son is still asking to go back. Thanks for coming to Glenview!”

Wonderkids Bath Capes and more “My kids LOVE their cape towels! They wear them after the bath, at the pool and even on the beach. I also love Wonderkids’ chalkboard placemats. Great idea!”


founder’s letter

the happiness survey Dear Readers, e wish you a happy, healthy New Year! In that spirit, we’ve sent you this Happiness issue, which includes our annual Guide to Family Health. In his book, “Thrive: Finding Happiness the Blue Zones Way” (National Geographic, 2011), Lives Made Better: Dan Buettner studies four 51,761 of the world’s happiest geographic areas based on sevFunds Raised eral significant polls. One for Not-for-Profits: $1,461,657 of them—the World Values Survey—suggests that on av-

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erage richer, healthier, highly educated people tend to be happier. (For a bonus list of Buettner’s recommendations for happiness, download the free Make It Better app for the iPad.) This would imply that our community should earn a relatively high score. However, other factors that Buettner finds to be important predictors of happiness


“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy.’ They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” — J o hn L e nn o n

are not necessarily part of our culture. This got us to thinking: Just how happy are the northern suburbs? To find out, we posted a survey online in December. We admit that our survey was not as scientific as those cited in “Thrive,” but we believe the results to be credible in a “Blink”—by Malcom Gladwell—sort of way. Your answers proved that we are, indeed, relatively happy in the northern suburbs: 74.6 percent of our respondents checked happy, very happy or thriving. The response breakdown was: Thriving........................................... 7.5% Very Happy.................................... 34.3% Happy.............................................. 32.8% Not Particularly Happy................ 16.4% Unhappy.......................................... 5.2% Miserable........................................ 3.7%

Make It Better hopes to help improve those already excellent numbers. We have ideas and resources in this magazine and online that will help more of our community thrive—or at least develop greater resilience.  As always, we hope to receive recommendations from you, too. You can help make us, and others, better. Please send these recommendations to me at susan@ makeitbetter.net. Thank you. 

makeitbetter.net

best of 2011

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3D Mammography

We can give you a clearer picture of your breast health. Advocate Lutheran General Hospital is the first hospital in the Midwest to offer 3D Mammography, a breakthrough method that allows doctors to see three-dimensional images of the breast. That improves their ability to detect abnormalities, allows for a more precise screening and helps provide the clear diagnosis you need. To schedule your 3D Mammography screening, call 847.723.3100 or click to visit advocatehealth.com/3Dmammo u

Stay on top of your health with our Taking Care series. Click here to see a list of this month’s classes u


make it better column

resilience: the (not so) secret ingredient to your happiest life By Susan B. Noyes

N

othing makes me happier than having all my family at home—healthy, gathered around the dinner table eating food we cooked together, teasing and telling stories. That’s my happy ideal. But with a family as large as ours, that ideal is harder than ever to achieve. Someone is out of town, overseas, sick, struggling, at practice or otherwise engaged. So I’ve cultivated other aspects of life that also make me happy; I think of them as hard work, easy play, connecting with good people and good ideas, helping others, and nurturing passions and resilience. More specifically, these are the things that make me happiest: Family, food, fun, friends, fitness, ideas and ideals, purpose, passion, travel, helping others and resilience. Although resilience is at the bottom of the above list, it’s probably the most important ingredient to a happy life. It allows a person to suffer life’s inevita

ble hard knocks and come back stronger than ever. Resilient athletes, artists, patients, entrepreneurs, lovers and others inspire me. Raising resilient children drives me. Feeling resilience—after losing a loved one, my health, the game, my creativity, or money pursuing my dreams—comforts me. So how do you nurture resilience? And doesn’t living in our “perfect” northern suburbs make it harder to be knocked down by life in the first place? makeitbetter.net

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make it better column

Avoid the perfection trap! Don’t be afraid to try something hard that’s outside your accomplishment comfort zone. Be inspired by the success stories in our midst to set big goals and give yourself permission to fail on your journey to achieve them. You will learn about yourself, contribute something to the world, be a better person for the effort and inspire others —including your kids—because you tried. Your determination will grow with each stumble. Eventually, you will achieve that dream—or something even better. Giving your kids permission to try and fail at what interests them—along with your unconditional love—is important for nurturing their resilience, according to expert Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg. His book, “A Parent’s Guide to Building Resilience in Children and Teens: Giving Your Child Roots and Wings,” (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2006) is particularly insightful. Practical advice to improve your own resilience can be found in “The Power of Resilience: Achieving Balance, Confidence, and Personal Strength in Your Life” by Dr. Robert Brooks and Sam Goldstein, or in Dr. Brooks’ monthly

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email newsletter at drrobertbrooks.com. Fortunately, the northern suburbs abound with outstanding resources to help adults or children find strength. These include churches, synagogues, The Family Institute of Chicago, The Family Network, Family Service Centers and LEAD. Find them in our “Better List” by looking under Family Resources. Help can come from nontraditional sources, too. For example, one mother recently explained, with great passion, how much teen acting coach Carol Dibo of the Actor’s Training Studio had helped her daughter through difficult times. As I mention above, stories about other people’s resilience inspire me. If you have a good one to share, please send it to susan@makeitbetter.net. In the meantime, I wish you a Happy—and Resilient—2012. This article—like most in Make It Better— originally appeared on our website and was chosen for the magazine because of its popularity. To find more information on Dr. Ginsburg and a link to his book, “A Parent’s Guide to Building Resilience in Children and Teens: Giving Your Child Roots and Wings” (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2006) please go to makeitbetter.net/resilience


Follow us on

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 Molly Gilbert Erin Keane Angela Kwan Kristina Tober Kim Treger Photographers Jon Cancelino Nathaniel Perry 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 Michele Bass Julie Carter Stacy Ditka Megan Haveron Susan Hirschhaut 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

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


get online

you said it

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! in Response to “Feliz Navidad! Mexican Restaurants for Festive Dining” I take issue with the omission of Tamales in Highland Park in your article about Mexican restaurants. Tamales is probably closer to the unique and superior cuisine of Frontera Grill than any of the others mentioned. Not sure if this was a weird oversight or a deliberate omission. This article works as an endorsement and it looks bad for such a longstanding community favorite to be absent from the list. —Marla Chernof Cohen

Author’s Response

To Marla Chernof (no relation!) Cohen: Thanks for sharing your opinion of Tamales with us. The article was by no means meant to be an exhaustive list of Mexican restaurants on the North Shore; many were left off that could easily have been listed. Due to space constraints in the December issue of the magazine — where this article was originally published — I had to limit myself. I will definitely check out Tamales in the future. —Julie Chernoff

Send us your comments. Join us at facebook.com/makeitbetter.net click comment on any article on our site, or email susan@makeitbetter.net 18

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get online

winnetka village affordable housing As a North Shore resident and reader, I was wondering when “Make It Better” was going to do an article on the Winnetka Village’s Affordable Housing proposal and the efforts (from various sources/ groups) to help it move forward. —Jen McQuet

Editor’s Note

Make It Better has reported on the affordable housing controversy in Winnetka. Check out the thoughtful and balanced article at makeitbetter.net/ affordable-housing.

on our facebook page In Response To: Senior Editor Liz Logan’s hilarious list: “You Know You’re Martha Stewart When…” You have “never ordered a pizza.”

In Response To: A sneak peek of our December cover! Could our cover boy, Eli Newman of Deerfield (age 5), be cuter? We don’t think so!

That’s a serious character flaw. —Kelly Konrad I think that sheds an incredible light on Martha’s level of passion for life. —Lisa Degliantoni

So adorable —Sheilah Burnham Supermodel! —Jamie Raffel Pollack

What a shame! Missing out on yummy goods... —Debbie Madlener

Cutest cover boy ever! —Laura Tiebert

Maybe someone has ordered it for her? :) —Joanne Leiman I think that may be one of MS’s little white lies... lol —Priscilla Humay

Too cute! —Taryn Brody Stein

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tick tock

1 0 - m i n u t e r e c i pe s

pulled pork memphisstyle barbecue By Laura Hine



G

ot 10 minutes? We thought so. Each month we’ll bring you a recipe that takes 10 minutes of prep time (or less) and for 2012, each month, we’ll be featuring a small appliance that can help you

get the job done. For January, it’s a busy mom’s all-time favorite: the slow cooker. Need an upgrade? Go to makeitbetter.net/slowcooker to see the results of our Better or Bust test.

Serves: 10-12
 Prep time: 10 minutes
 Cook time: 8 hours


1. Combine ketchup, Worcestershire, vinegar, mustard, garlic, paprika, sugar, Liquid Smoke and onion to make BBQ sauce. 2.Trim any visible fat off the pork shoulder.Put in a slow cooker and coat with the sauce. 3. Cook at least 6 hours and up to 8 hours on low. Take meat out and let rest. Put sauce into a glass measuring cup and let the fat float to the top. Skim off the fat, then return the sauce to a small

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pan and boil until thickened, about 10 minutes. 4. When the pork is cooled, shred the meat, discarding the fat and bone. Then add to the hot barbecue sauce. Serve on buns with coleslaw.

 Cook’s Note: I turned up my nose at Liquid Smoke, but it’s actually an all-natural product and when there’s snow on the grill, it’s a great substitute for smoking. You won’t fool a Memphis pit boss, but it’s pretty darn good!

FUEL restaurant Photo by erik davis

1/2 cup ketchup 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar 1 tablespoon mustard 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 1 teaspoon paprika 1/4 cup brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon Liquid Smoke 1 onion, finely chopped 3-4 pounds pork shoulder (bone-in)


tick tock

t r e n d r ep o r t

what the north shore is reading about By Liz Logan



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1. Beauty Trends – 17.3% 2. New Restaurants – 15.7% 3. F amily Outings & Activities – 15.1% 4. Cooking – 11.8% 5. New Books – 11.8% 6. Marriage – 4.9% 7. Horseback Riding – 4.8%

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8. Helping Friends – 4.4% 9. Breast Cancer – 4.2% 10. Affordable Housing – 3.7% 11. College Admissions – 3.7% 12. Saving Money – 3.5% 13. Flirting – 3.4% Based on the most popular articles on Make It Better’s website in a given month

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tick tock

Be t t e r o r Bu s t

T

By Laura Hine

he dribble of coffee on my creamcolored, dry-clean-only coat was the final straw. I needed a reusable travel mug that didn’t leak, could go in the dishwasher and was BPA-free. All our previous mugs—fancy, stainless steel or cheap, mostly giveaways with logos—eventually leaked because we throw everything in the dishwasher. (And I consider that a triumph over dirty dishes being left on the counter!)

 I tested six different mugs. Some claimed to be dishwasher safe, but once I read the fine print, at least one part had to be hand-washed. (Busted!)

 The winner? This simple to-go mug by Copco gets a “Better” mark. It mimics the paper throwaway one from your favorite coffee shop, but you can reuse it again and again. Top rack dishwasher safe and leak-free. Best of all, it’s inexpensive and widely available at big box stores for about $8 or online at amazon.com. For more Better or Bust product reviews, visit makeitbetter.net/better-or-bust

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Photo courtesy of copco

travel mug


fresh

hot

from chaos to control

molto italiano!

Barb Flanagin of Northbrook became known in her community for organizing Hurricane Katrina relief efforts in New Orleans, and now she’s working on a new relief effort: Easing the stress of the college admissions process, with the help of George Rumpf, who, like her, is a Northbrook parent and successful businessperson. Having been through the process with their own children, the duo started College Chaos Consultants, which offers one-on-one guidance as well as the College Chaos Kit, a college application workbook.

Everyone needs some hearty Italian food after a long day of shopping at Westfield Old Orchard. You’ll find it right across the street at Father & Son Italian Kitchen, a quick, new casual dining concept from the owners of Marcello’s. The spot will feature gourmet flatbread- and panstyle pizzas, pastas, grilled sandwiches and salads—similar to the food at other Marcello’s locations in Lincoln Park, Logan Square and Northbrook. Carry-out is available, too.

College Chaos Consultants, 224-723-5258, collegechaosconsultants.com

Father & Son Italian Kitchen, 9735 Skokie Blvd., Skokie, 847-933-9100, fatherandson.com

monday morning fresh start Find more “new & hot” businesses online each Monday makeitbetter.net

Photos courtesy college chaos consultants, father & son kitchen, gigi bottega, and big bob’s

what’s new


fresh

in your community By Liz Logan

fashion passion

super bowl chili bowl

Gigi Bottega, a new women’s clothing boutique in Evanston, specializes in affordable, contemporary women’s clothing that’s trendy but not over-the-top. Owner Gina Vericella of Chicago says everyone from college-age women to younger moms to women in their 50s have found clothing in her shop. Brands include BB Dakota, Topin and Lucca Couture. Most price tags are below $100.

In a hurry to put together a Super Bowl feast? Let Bob and Sue Sagerstrom of Park Ridge help you out, with their addictive beef or veggie chili. Bob, a Park Ridge native, and Sue, a Glenview native, have been married for 25 years, many of them spent developing their chili recipe. And Bob knows his way around food: He’s been in the restaurant biz for 35 years, working for Lettuce Entertain You, Portillo’s, Brown’s Chicken and the Chicago Chop House.

Gigi Bottega, 612 Davis St., Evanston, 847-425-5158, gigibottega.com

Approximately $6 retail for a 24-ounce jar, at Lakeside Foods, 800 Elm St., Winnetka, 847-446-7720; Happy Foods, 6415 N. Central Ave., Chicago, 773-774-4466 and 6783 Northwest Hwy., Chicago, 773-7635877, bigbobschili.net

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events

r e c o m m e n d e d

By Kelly Konrad

Elvis Tribute Artist 5 Spectacular January 5 Centre East, Skokie | northshorecenter.org

Randolph Street Market January 7 – 8 1350 Randolph St., Chicago randolphstreetmarket.com

“Suspicious Minds” shouldn’t think twice about heading to Skokie for a one-nightonly experience with The King of Rock and Roll. From his rockabilly ways as a newbie on the scene to the flamboyance that marked his Vegas years, there’s something for every kind of Elvis fan in this show.

The holidays are over—now it’s time to shop for YOU! Enjoy all things vintage and eclectic during the Randolph Street Market’s indoor season.

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American English January 6 SPACE, Evanston | evanstonspace.com

There’s no better way to beat back the post-holiday doldrums than with a night out at SPACE singing along with one of the premier Beatles tribute bands. 26

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Chicago Sketch Fest January 5 – 15 chicagosketchfest.com

Over 150 performances—including familyfriendly shows—make for a great way to kick off the New Year with a smile on your face. jan

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editor’s pick: The Dolphin Show January 20 – 28 Cahn Auditorium, Evanston nudolphinshow.com jan

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Celebrating 70 years, the Dolphin Show is the nation’s largest student-produced musical and is a North Shore tradition every January. This year, The Dolphin Show is proud to present “42nd Street.”

photots courtesy of the dolphin show and northbrook winter carnival

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events

 Northbrook Winter 14 Carnival January 14 Meadowhill Park | nbparks.org

North Shore Jazz Fest January 21 Glenbrook South High School, Glenview | gbhsweb.glenbrook225.org

Don’t hate it, embrace it! Winter is here, so make the most of it—take on the snowshoe obstacle course, decorate a sled, enter the chili cook-off and snack on a s’more by the bonfire.

Who needs to head downtown when some of the best jazz in the country is right here in the ‘burbs? Enjoy the DePaul Jazz Ensemble, along with the U.S. Marine Corps Jazz Ensemble, as they headline the daylong music festival in Glenview.

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Winnetka Community House Movie Night: “Megamind” January 20 620 Lincoln Ave., Winnetka winnetkacommunityhouse.org

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Make it a movie night with your neighbors— enjoy a screening of “Megamind” at the Winnetka Community House. While kids snack on popcorn, juice and hot chocolate, adults can enjoy wine, beer and socializing.

Kids Fare: Simply Sensational Symphonic Band January 21 Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, Evanston pickstaiger.com jan

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A high-octane Saturday morning—let the little ones mix it up with NU’s Symphonic Band on stage.

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events

Polar Bear Plunge January 28 Oak Street Beach lakeviewpolarbearclub.com jan

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We know it’s on your bucket list, so strip down to your suit and do it already! The Lakeview Polar Bear Club sponsors this annual event, with proceeds supporting local children with life-threatening illnesses. jan

 Joshua Bell

29 January 29

Chicago Symphony Orchestra | cso.org Make plans now to see the 2010 Instrumentalist of the Year, violinist Joshua Bell, when he performs at the Symphony Center. jan

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It’s the fourth year for this alternative expo, featuring a visual art and graffiti gallery, breakdancing exhibitions, a film screening, literary performances, DJ music, and more. Capitol Steps January 26 – 29 Centre East, Skokie northshorecenter.org

Smart Farm’s Frozen Zucchini

29 5K Snowshoe Adventure Race January 29 Citizens Park, Barrington | smartfarms.org Support Smart Farm with an afternoon of snowshoeing fun—prizes, great goodie bags and more await you.

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This musical political parody performance makes a North Shore stop every year, but with the upcoming election, it’s sure to have an extra punch! 28

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meet the author Kelly Konrad, Glenview Kelly’s free dose of happy? Her 80s music playlist on her iPhone. Singing it out loud in front of her kids is just a bonus. makeitbetter.net/meet-our-writers

Photo courtesy chicago symphony orchestra

The Winter Block Party for Chicago’s Hip-Hop Arts January 21 Wrigleyville | wbez.org jan


The Lester Lampert Engagement Ring Collection

✽ Unlike any other.

DESIGNED & CREATED AT 57 EAST OAK STREET • CHICAGO 800-228-9436 • WWW.LESTERLAMPERT.COM


events listing

recommended events listing

january highlights By Kelly Konrad

ongoing Art is Alive in Highland Park January 6 – 30 The Art Center, 1957 Sheridan Rd., Highland Park theartcenterhp.org Field Museum: Chocolate Around the World Through January 8 1400 S. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago fieldmuseum.org Dr. Suess & The Art of Invention Through January 8 Museum of Science and Industry, 57th St. and Lake Shore Dr. msichicago.org The Art of Gaman: Arts and Crafts from the JapaneseAmerican Internment Through January 15 The Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center, Skokie ilholocaustmuseum.org Inside Marina City: A Project by Iker Gil and Andreas E.G. Larsson Through January 15 The Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago artic.edu 30

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Howard Finster Vision House Through January 31 Village of Long Grove longgroveonline.com Deconstructing Stereotypes: Top Ten Truths Through March 2012 Mitchell Museum of the American Indian, 3001 Central St., Evanston mitchellmuseum.org Charles James: Genius Deconstructed Through April 2012 Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark St., Chicago chicagohistory.org Sonic Sensation Through April 2012 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 2012 Wilmette Historical Museum, 609 Ridge Rd., Wilmette wilmettehistory.org


events listing

january 1 – 7

january 15 - 21

Flames of Paris: Bolshoi Theatre of Moscow January 5 (also January 8) Wilmette Theatre, 1122 Central Ave., Wilmette wilmettetheatre.com

What Are The Bees Telling Us? January 19 Ryerson Conservation Area, Riverwoods lcfpd.org

American English January 6 SPACE, 1245 Chicago Ave., Evanston evanstonspace.com Monthly Photo Walk January 7 Chicago Botanic Garden 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe chicagobotanic.org

Snowshoeing for Kids January 21 Evanston Ecology Center, 2024 McCormick Blvd., Evanston evanstonenvironment.org

january 22 - 28 U.S. Marine Jazz Band Orchestra January 25 Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Dr., Evanston pickstaiger.org

january 8 - 14 Treewhispers Opens January 14 Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe chicagobotanic.org

Winter Astronomy: Night Sky Viewing January 26 Heller Nature Center, 2821 Ridge Rd., Highland Park pdhp.org

Ronnie Baker Brooks January 14 Viper Alley, 275 Parkway Dr., Lincolnshire | viper-alley.com Jigglejam January 15 SPACE, 1245 Chicago Ave., Evanston evanstonspace.com

The Bluest Eye Opens January 27 Josephine Louis Theatre, 20 Arts Circle Dr., Evanston communication.northwestern.edu

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North Shore Happiness Project

n o r t h

s h o r e

p r o j e c t

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hen we started brainstorming about this issue’s happiness theme, we gleefully listed off the usual suspects: chocolate, purses and days off work! But digging a little deeper, we found that the people, experiences and attitudes that make us happy are long-lasting. While not shocking, we found that things don’t really make us happy. More stuff does not equal more joy. Instead, the reverse might be true. More time spent thinking, creating, laughing and sharing food with people we love are the real keys to happiness. What follows are some unique portraits of happiness, North Shore- style. And make sure you check out page 114, our Closing Thoughts, where you, our readers, tell us what makes you happy.

by R ach e l B e rt s ch e , l au r a h i n e a n d l iz lo ga n p h o t o s o n pag e 3 4 & 3 5 by l e e r o s s | h a i r & m a k e u p by j u l e s r o s s


laughter julia sweeney’s happy life—laughter, entertaiment, curiosity and truth By Laura Hine

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Photos by lee ross, hair + makeup by jules ross

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ulia Sweeney has had all the things people think will make them happy: money, success, fame, career, family. But, according to her, none of those things is the secret to happiness. “I wanted to be an actress, I never cared that much about being famous, but I wanted to be respected by my peers, and being funny was important,” she says. “Then I did get that, and it was good—I don’t want to downplay it—but it didn’t feel like a full meal.” After she left “Saturday Night Live,” where she created her iconic character, “Pat,” her brother died of lymphoma and she battled cervical cancer. “It was a real wake-up call about family and what was most important. There’s a lot of emptiness in show business—I know people will be shocked to find that,” she says with her trade-


mark deadpan delivery, before she laughs. Based on these experiences, Julia wrote and starred in three monologues, “God Said, Ha!” “In the Family Way,” and “Letting Go of God.” She’s now working on a book, “If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Your Mother,” that chronicles her life as a single, then married, parent of her adopted daughter. With marriage came her move to the North Shore, which she says is clearly a better place to raise a family than Los Angeles. “Now that I’ve got the family thing, I’m like, ‘Family’s great, but it isn’t quite like getting out there on your own and making it.’ People aren’t telling you you’re great all the time,” she says. She uses these wry observations—totally true, and often an “aha” moment for the audience—to make a point, as well as to entertain. “When I did ‘Letting Go of God,’ it went down a lot easier because it was funny,” she says of her monologue that explored her serious journey from Catholic to atheist, but with a laugh-out-loud kind of humor. “People were able to

hear it—I mean not my family because they were so upset—but audiences were much more open to what I had to say because it was funny.” When we moved the conversation to talk about happiness and what it means, Julia honestly admits that while she loves her family and her success, in the end, that isn’t what her happiness depends on. “Being curious is the greatest gift of happiness to yourself. People who are interested in knowing more and understanding what’s closer to being true are the happier people later in life,” she says. “I feel I have that, and that’s my insurance for whatever might happen.” It doesn’t hurt that she’s not terribly interested in possessions, and says that the things that make her the happiest are pretty much free. Books, movies— and, of course—the ability to make us laugh while we think about her ideas for what is true and right. To watch Julia’s monologues and TED talks, visit makeitbetter.net/sweeney or download the Make It Better iPad app in the App store makeitbetter.net

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food beth aldrich’s happy, healthy love affair By Laura Hine

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hen Beth Aldrich talks about food, she’s not just happy; she’s in heaven. “I don’t just love eating food. I love looking at it, smelling it, thinking about it… It’s an obsession in the best possible way,” she says in the new book she wrote with Eve Adamson, “Real Moms Love to Eat: How to Conduct a Love Affair with Food, Lose Weight and Feel Fabulous” (NAL Trade, 2012). It’s not a diet book or a health book; it’s about loving food, but also about loving yourself enough to eat the very best food. We met just before the launch of her book, and Beth is a picture of her philosophy in action. She’s slim and full of energy. You’d never guess that a serious car accident in 2007 changed her life. She went from successful television

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host to patient, and while she worried that the damage to her face meant the end of her career, this mother of three sons had time to think about what was important and what would make her happy. “Food makes us feel good,” she says. “And I knew I could make a difference in how people think about food.” She started studying at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City, because she says that she had a feeling that this was the place that could teach her about food, health and—she hoped—happiness. The result? A new career, a new book and yes, she’s happy. “When someone I’ve helped calls back and they’ve seen results, I get giddy,” she says. “When you find the right path you know you should be on, there’s such joy.” From her lovely home in Wilmette, Beth lives what she teaches. In her book, she doesn’t ask you to deny yourself or count calories. But each week, for 10 weeks, she asks you to try five things.

Most are simple: drink more water, have one ounce of dark chocolate each day (yay!) or try a new food. A few are tougher: start each day with a green smoothie, teach your children to help in the kitchen, and go vegetarian one day a week. But you only have to do five things for that one week. And in the end, it adds up to a healthy diet. “The goal isn’t to be bone thin,” she says. “It’s about bridging the gap between guilt and pleasure, and enjoying food for what it is.”

Check out our writer’s experience trying out the “Real Moms Love to Eat” 10week program at makeitbetter.net/ real-moms. To learn more about the book, go to realmomslovetoeat.com makeitbetter.net

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creativity making meaning—and maybe happiness—through art

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By Liz Logan

lying through the air in the grandest of ballet jumps at the Evanston School of Ballet is where Melissa Thodos found the joy in dance. Now, as founder and artistic director of Thodos Dance Chicago, where she is also a choreographer, the Evanston native thinks back to those classes as the beginning of her life’s work. “Dance is where you can play,” she says. “You can give form to your thoughts and feelings, see them expressed; communicated back to you and an audience.” Musings like this one make some of us green with envy. We wish we could quit our day jobs and pursue our passion. But people in creative professions aren’t necessarily happier. Their jobs can be satisfying because they create meaning—a sense of identity and a connectedness to others—but that

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meaning doesn’t guarantee happiness. “I don’t associate happiness with any creative person,” says Dr. Eric Maisel, a psychologist who specializes in creativity and has written numerous books on the challenges of the creative life. “Being creative means manifesting our potential; it’s more making ourselves proud than happy.” But doing what we feel we were “meant to do” can be key to developing our identities, and there might be happiness in that. Franny Billingsley of Highland Park, a young adult and children’s book author and 2011 National Book Award finalist for “Chime” (Dial), agrees with Maisel: “Happy isn’t the right word. Fulfilled one of sarah nishiura’s quilts

Photo courtesy of Sarah nishiura

creativity + passion = bliss?


is better. I am often not happy when I’m writing. But, it’s how I make sense out of life.” Sarah Nishiura of Chicago, a fine artist who found her calling as a quilter several years ago, recalls that finding her artistic comfort zone was difficult. “The art world right now is conceptual, and I don’t want to articulate concepts,” she says. “When I switched from painting and drawing to making things with my hands, in an established tradition, it was a relief. It’s where my heart is.” Then, once the work is done, many artists find joy in sending a piece out into the world, where other people can connect with it, and therefore them. Thodos cherishes the idea that dance can help audiences transcend the world around them. After an abstract piece she choreographed, “Loss/Found,” about her father’s death, an audience member told her, “I cried, and I don’t know why.” Nishiura values the accessibility of quilting. When a gallery owner scorned her work as decorative, she thought to herself, “If somebody hangs it on their

wall and it makes them happy every day, then it’s successful.” For Billingsley, being nominated for the National Book Award gave her new perspective on 12 long years of writing. “I’m moving through the dark, feeling my way, not sure what I’m going to see when I reach the end,” she says. “The nomination validates my journey.” If you never quit your day job, but keep creating through your hobby, that’s nothing to disparage. According to Maisel, it can be meaningful as well as beneficial to your health, serving as a kind of meditation or a way of finding solitude. On the other hand, maybe happiness is overrated—or as Maisel puts it, “an elusive by-product of doing your work.” He says, “The goal is manifesting your potential and living by your values. If you get a little happiness out of that, that’s terrific.”

For an extended version of this story, download the FREE Make It Better iPad app in the App store makeitbetter.net

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friends buddy system: friends are crucial to happiness, so hold onto those gal pals! By Rachel Bertsche

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hen it comes to women’s happiness, there’s nothing more likely to put a spring in your step than friendship. The research is overwhelming. Friends directly influence your stress levels, sleep habits, weight, health and even your long-term survival. Scientists and philosophers agree: social connections are the single greatest contributor to reaching that state of bliss. Pals, as it turns out, are vital to every phase of life. Sure, you probably remember your grade school BFF, the attached-at-the-hip classmate with whom you traded secrets and friendship bracelets. But a 2010 Pew Research Center report found that retirees who are satisfied with their number of friends are nearly three times more likely to be happy than those who aren’t. Another study found that when compared to time spent with relatives, children, colleagues or even

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a spouse, adults rank time spent with friends as the most enjoyable. And yet, the time when we need friends most—the years when our identities might shift from “single girl in the 3 tips for finding time for friends Make it a standing appointment. Friends are as important to your health as your weekly trainer date, so treat it as such. Pencil monthly brunches or weekly mani-pedis into your schedule for months at a time—it’ll take the work out of trying to find time for get-togethers. Join a club. Or start one. Research shows that being a part of a group that meets just once a month will give you the same increase in happiness as doubling your salary. Start a book club, a knitting group, a recipe swap—whatever interests you. Turn your solo activities into friend-date opportunities. Do you go for a run every morning? Why not bring a buddy along? Or run those lunchtime errands with your best friend from work. Time with gal pals doesn’t have to revolve around a meal, or take hours at a time. Make it work with your schedule.


city” to “wife and mom taking care of everyone else”—is the very stage when it’s hardest to hold onto those relationships. Researchers say that between the ages of 25 and 40, female friendships are most at risk. To any woman who has ever tried to hold a job, raise a child, and maintain a marriage, this news comes as no surprise. These are the years when we establish who we will be and what our lives will become; we’re so focused on climbing the career ladder and building a happy home that taking time for—gasp!—fun with friends feels like a selfish indulgence. As it turns out, the opposite is true. Keeping up independent friendships is one of the best things you can do for both your marriage and your career. But my spouse is my best friend, you may be thinking. And while it’s a sweet sentiment, it comes with some dangers. Sociologists use the term “cocooning” to refer to couples who spend all their time together at the expense of outside friendships. In the short term, cocooning increases closeness in a marriage. Over the years, however, it places unnecessary burdens on the relationship, increasing the likelihood of loneliness and divorce.

And in the office? According to Gallup research, having a work BFF is one of the best things you can do for your career. That single friendship will make you seven times more engaged in your job, thereby increasing your value as an employee. People with at least three friends at work are a whopping 96 percent more likely to report being “extremely satisfied with their lives,” though only two out of 10 people report spending time with coworkers outside of the office. Sure, finding time to spend with friends can be tough when date nights, rides to soccer practice, conference calls and a never-ending to-do list are all vying for your attention. But girl talk shouldn’t be considered a superfluous extra, something attended to only if there’s time. Resolve today to make time for pals. It might be the best thing you can do to make this year your happiest yet.

Rachel’s new book, “MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend,” is in stores now.

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work lessons from “the happy 100”

author joanne gordon on finding happiness at work By Liz Logan

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s a reporter at Forbes years ago, Highland Park native Joanne Gordon worked on the magazine’s annual ranking of America’s richest people, “The Forbes 400.” But along the way, it occurred to her that it would be much more interesting and relevant to measure happiness. So Gordon—whose name you might recognize from last year’s bestseller “Onward” (Rodale), her collaboration with Starbucks Chairman, President and CEO Howard Schultz—decided to seek out 100 women who love their jobs, in hopes of revealing the secrets of truly meaningful work. The result was her 2005 book, “Be Happy at Work: 100 Women Who Love Their Jobs and Why” (Ballantine). We sat down with Gordon to talk about the 100, who range from house-

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hold names like the Indigo Girls, Stockard Channing and Lesley Stahl, to an animal trainer, a hospital clown, a mechanic and a stay-at-home mom. Of all the women you talked to, who inspired you the most? The massage therapist, Annette Keith. She was trapped in a marriage and a job she did not love. She wanted to be a massage therapist, but her husband didn’t approve. Not only did she get divorced, but also she picked up and left town to go to massage school in Colorado, in her mid-40s. We always have the power to whip the rugs out from under our lives and change something. We can reinvent our lives at any age. We don’t have to be bound by stereotypes or fears or the status-quo. So what makes women happy at work? The Happy 100 had three things in common: process, purpose and people. Process means that you are challenged by, but capable of, the day-today tasks of your job. continued on page 44


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Purpose means that you feel good about what you’re doing, it sits well with your values. People means that you like—and at the very least are respected by and respect—the people with whom you work. Respect shows up in a lot of ways: how you’re evaluated, how you’re paid, etc. In this recession, a lot of people are just grateful to have jobs. Isn’t happiness at work a luxury? Don’t assume you have no choice just because the choices have been reduced. Don’t abandon what’s important to you. You deserve to love what you do

for a living. People are still getting jobs. There’s no reason—especially if you’re talented and have great experiences— to give up the search. If you can’t make a move, try to look at things you can expand on to meet some of the P’s. Be proactive. Ask for what you want. Be creative. Ask for support. I quote the movie “Thelma and Louise”: “You get what you settle for.”

To find out what kind of work makes you happy, take the quiz from “Be Happy at Work,” online at makeitbetter.net/ happyatwork

meet the authors

makeitbetter.net/meet-our-writers

Rachel Bertsche, Chicago Sleep! Rachel is embarrassed to admit she needs about nine hours of sleep a night. When she gets it, she’s a whole different, happier, more pleasant person. Just ask her husband.

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Laura Hine, Wilmette When Laura walks in the door (after a full day of working as Make It Better’s Editor in Chief) and sees not a mess, but shoes put away and dishes in the dishwasher—she couldn’t be happier. Why does this happen only on rare occasions?

makeitbetter.net

Liz Logan, Chicago As Make It Better’s Arts & Entertainment editor, Liz is thrilled to have achieved one of her long-term career goals: Getting free press tickets to the theater, where she often rubs elbows with top critics (hello, Chris Jones!).


family

the reality of reality tv stardom

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e’ve all had the reality star fantasy. Sure, you’d need a suit of armor to defend yourself against any one of “The Real Housewives”—and there’s that nightmare about munching toddlersized insects while waiting to be voted off the latest island on “Survivor.” Yet, deep down, we all think we could do it better. Maybe, as it did for Bill Rancic from “The Apprentice,” a few weeks on a reality show would secure us a 46

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lifetime of television opportunities and even a spouse. The Gaynor sisters—all 5 of them, from the North Shore—were slated to be stars of Bravo’s new series, “Thicker Than Water.” After weeks of taping, and reviewing a proposed schedule for the first season, the Gaynors refused the contract and decided the price was too high for this dose of reality fame. Melissa Gaynor Mastros shared some of the realities they learned about reality TV.

Photo courtesy of the gaynor family

By Kim Treger


family

You’re not an actor, but you play a character

Drama isn’t discovered—it’s created

“We were actually given characters to portray,” Melissa says. “Pink Sneakers (the production company) gave us all roles. My husband was “Funny Guy” and I, the only married sister with kids, was to play “Nagging Housewife.” The taping was unscripted, but scenes were pitched, choreographed and often reshot. The Gaynors began to grow concerned about how playing characters such as “Party Girl” and “Worry Wart” might affect their careers and personal lives. They imagined their employers, students and clients reading harsh critiques of their portrayals, in blogs and gossip magazines.

Before Pink Sneakers arrived with their own cameras, microphones and crew, they sent the 5 sisters a list of more than 100 questions that the family was to answer on film. Questions included: Which sister is the biggest drama queen? Which is the worst at keeping secrets? Who gets the most money from your parents? Naturally, it wasn’t long before old grievances resurfaced and tears were shed. One of the first scenes the producers filmed was Melissa and her husband debating whether or not to have a fourth child. “It’s clear that they wanted us to get in a fight about it,” she recalls. When they look back on it, the Gaynor sisters love having such a fun story to tell, but have absolutely no regrets about keeping their reality out of America’s living rooms.

Celebrity doesn’t pay the bills

Each of the girls would receive just $10,000 per season, so they clearly couldn’t give up their day jobs. Unfortunately, the contract also required that they remain available to fly across country at a moment’s notice for TV appearances and promotions. The Gaynors asked about securing more money to offset possible threats to their current livelihoods, but meet the author Kim Treger, Glenview their requests were refused and they were Kim finds the fastest way to winter happiness is to pound the told plenty of families were willing to do pavement for a quick 5 miles— the show for free. The family quickly deeven if it seems that the wind is duced that the only draw to reality star- slapping her from all four directions. dom is the allure of fame. makeitbetter.net/meet-our-writers

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family

tips

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ou’re stretched and pulled in all directions, and Elisa All, who recently founded 30 Second Mom and is herself a busy mom, gets exactly what you need. “Moms need nuggets of information,” she says. And she provides that with

a mobile app and a website. Categories include: kids, food, health, technology, money, home, travel, beauty, relationships, activities and holidays. And each month, Make It Better will be featuring a few of our favorite tips from 30secondmom.com.

mind trickery — your key to getting stuff done by Meredith Sinclair I’m quite sure that Freud or Pavlov have some deep theory as to why my “dress-up and get more done” thing actually works. I just know that when I get the heck out of my yoga pants, throw on something I would wear if I were headed to a high-paying office job and even slip on a pair of cute shoes, I get more accomplished at home. I run the world from my kitchen island, writing columns, shooting vlogs, filling out school forms and making family appointments. When I look the part of “Director of Domesticity,” I always end the day with more stuff crossed off my list!

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family

let your smartphone help you to sleep by Jan Mostrom I’m a great believer in earplugs for sleep, but if you don’t like them or can’t use them, here’s another way to get yourself to sleep: download a nature sounds application to your smartphone. When you want to relax or go to sleep, just turn it on with the built-in timer and the sound of waves crashing or brooks babbling will lull you into a restful slumber. I’ve also downloaded it onto my kids’ phones so they can turn it on when they are having a hard time getting to sleep, and it works like a charm!

find hidden travel gems with a click by Belinda Clarke In Illinois alone, a short car trek will get you to the world’s largest ketchup bottle and a historic Mississippian Indian settlement that dates back as far as 100 A.D. Every state has hidden historical gems just waiting to be visited. With a little help from Google, or your state’s tourism or natural resources site, it’s easy to plan an educational and economical adventure. Type “hidden gems” or “historical sites” along with your state’s name into your favorite search engine and you’ll get a list of options, many of which you probably didn’t know existed.

thank you! gratitude is a game changer by Annie Burnside Gratitude is a game-changer! It is much more than just saying “thank you” to be polite. Truly feeling gratitude is a high energy output that shapes your future reality through the ripple effect. The fastest way to change any life experience is to ramp up the gratitude. No matter where you are, you can look around and hold an “Appreciation Blitz” in your heart and mind by appreciating as much as possible from where you stand right now to increase the energy surrounding any situation. Dig deep if you have to, but keep this tip handy and utilize it daily, not simply when life begins to feel heavy.

Elisa All is founder of 30 Second Mom. For more of our favorite tips, go to makeitbetter.net/30sec. Also, look for the 30 Second Mom app on iTunes.

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the

happy mix Thomas Wesely helps his client make a happy home even happier B y T ate G u n n e r s o n

A house isn’t worth anything if you can’t make it comfortable to live in,” explains Thomas Wesely, an Evanston-based interior designer who set out to do just that for his friend when she bought a 1920s-era Tudor-style home, which is located on a leafy street in Evanston. We sat down with him to talk about the transformation.

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 Tell us a little about the house. The house had great bones and interesting architecture. It’s not often you walk into a house that’s 82 years old that’s only had one owner. The house hadn’t been so bastardized that we couldn’t return it to its original condition. For example, they hadn’t taken out the original stairway railing. It had been painted, but that’s fixable. The interior design has both traditional and contemporary elements. Was that intentional? My client’s previous home was traditional, and I wanted to respect that vibe, but update her color palette and mix in some more contemporary elements. For example, the window treatments in the living room are beige linen with an over-the-top fringe. I also used a more contemporary, casual rug to bring down the formality of some of this traditional furniture. There’s a lot going on, but it should read that nothing is fussy or precious, which is the idea. How did you update the kitchen? We took out a small powder room, so we were able to pick up another three and a half feet of space for the refrigerator. I also separated the oven from the 52

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stove so that it’s easier to use both appliances at the same time. One window had been covered up, but we could see that it still existed, so we opened it up and centered the range underneath it. Why did you select a different color for the range cabinetry? We used custom cabinetry painted a different color so that it stands out as a furniture piece. It also has a different granite countertop, different pulls and furniture legs to differentiate it from the other cabinetry. I wanted the space to look more like a butler’s pantry than a kitchen, so that somebody sitting in the dining room would be looking at That’s a lot of pressure! Did you meet the something cool rather than at a refrig- goal? She moved in on time, but we just finerator or a range. ished the master bathroom two weeks You also added bathrooms and painted or ago (a year after we started). papered every wall in the house. What was the most challenging part of the project? Final thoughts about the project? The timeline! She bought this house I think we hit a happy mix between before she had sold her other house, so respecting the house and updating it we thought that we’d have at least six to suit the life of the current owner. months to do the renovation. Actually, To see the before and after photos of this the house sold in a week, so we had less house go to makeitbetter.net/happy-house than four weeks. Within that month, I had to design the kitchen, have it demolished, design a powder room and meet the author Tate Gunnerson, Chicago master bath, coordinate plumbing and Nothing makes Tate happier choose the paint colors. than free time. makeitbetter. net/meet-our-writers 54

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home

tricks of the trade: lighting Put ting the Spotlight on Good Design By Kristina Tober


home

home

I

f you think lighting a space well is as simple as plugging in a lamp, think again. Like any design element, careful thought and planning—along with knowing your options—can make the difference between a sterile space and one that offers the perfect marriage of functionality and aesthetics. We consulted with two industry experts, Tim Archibald, principal architect at Midwest Architecture Studio, and Jamie Myers, designer with the continued on page 52

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home

Susan Fredman Design Group, plus the International Association of Lighting Designers, for their thoughts and advice on how to achieve a well-lit space. M ak e a Pl an

Whether you’re working with an architect or a designer or going it alone, you need a lighting plan. Archibald suggests starting with a simple sketch of your room shape. Think about what you want the lighting to do functionally and aesthetically. Make sure to include your furniture, as well as where you will hang art or place treasured objects. Then, after thinking about all the ways you will use that space, indicate where you want light and for what purpose. B u dg e t

If you’re getting into electrical work, your plan should indicate where you need outlets (wall and floor). Your electrician will map out what type of wiring is required. It’s also a great shopping tool for your designer or sales person at a lighting showroom. 58

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Size an d i nten sit y

Defining the space and function ahead of time ensures that you end up with the right-sized fixture and intensity of light. For example, if you want adequate reading light next to your bed, the sales person might rec-

Photo on left and previous page courtesy of

O u tle t s an d wi r i n g

Susan Fredman Design Group; photo on right

How big a project are you willing to take on? (Cut into your ceiling, floors and walls, and hire an electrician? Or just switch out existing fixtures? Or plug in a few lamps?)


home

ommend a swing arm sconce that can or “can” lighting, preferring cans that are only 3 to 4 inches in diameter, with take a 40- to 60-watt bulb. trim that matches the ceiling. Start at th e Top : Over h e ad If you can’t dig into your ceiling, anLig hti n g General overhead lighting is neces- other option is track lighting—but opt sary for task-oriented activities and for smaller-scaled track systems for entertaining. To seamlessly add artifi- a subtler look. Added benefit? Track cial light, Myers recommends recessed fixtures offer more flexibility, allowing

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home

you to adjust the spot on the track and the angle of the light. If you want your fixture to add personality, Archibald recommends focal point lighting like a large chandelier, a modern fixture, or even fixtures with lots of color. Cove lighting can serve a dual purpose: enhancing the architecture of your space and providing functional lighting. Installed around the perimeter of a room, it brings artificial light into your space without cluttering the ceiling. Cove lighting can also be used as a decorative element to complement furniture design. No matter what overhead option you choose, always install a dimmer so you can adjust the intensity and control the mood. Dimmers are also a great bang for your buck—saving energy and extending the life of your bulbs. 60

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Fi lli n g i n th e B l an k s: Accent an d S eco n dary Lig hti n g

There are times when you want lighting to define a key element, and that’s where accent lighting comes in. For example, if you have built-ins with glass doors or open shelves, adding puck lights can highlight your books, accessories and family photos. (Myers likes LED puck lights for their energy efficiency, bulb life and low heat.) Directional recessed lights can spotlight artwork. Don’t forget table and floor lamps for working and reading. Lamps add functional and aesthetic value to your room, so don’t be afraid to get creative. Favorite found objects or treasured antiques can be transformed into functional light with style.


Resort/Holiday Collection

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


pops of delight Photo <credit>

Amid the monotony of winterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s puffer coats and snow boots, accessories in berry hues and natty textures take you from dreary to cheery.

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happy to see Scarves (1) Cashmere Wrap, $98, Banana Republic; (2) Burberry two-tone scarf, $295, Saks Fifth Avenue; (3) Gucci shawl, $595, Neiman Marcus BAGS (4) Tote, $128, Gap; (5) Reed Krakoff handbag, $990, Neiman Marcus; (6) Prada handbag, $1,730, Saks Fifth Avenue; (7) Satchel, $425, Kate Spade gloves (8) Pom pom mittens, $95, Kate Spade; (9) Portolano tech knit gloves, $55, Saks Fifth Avenue; (10) Opera gloves, $325, Tiffany; (11) Cashmere-lined gloves, $98, J. Crew

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bags (1) Crossbody bag, $98, Gap; (2) Stella McCartney clutch, $945, Shirise; (3) Jeweled cross-bag, $98, Banana Republic; (4) Quilted bag, $295, Kate Spade; (5) Haircalf clutch, $345, Milly bracelets (6) Chain bracelet, $39.50, Ann Taylor Loft; (7) John Hardy dragon leather bracelet, $275, Neiman Marcus; (8) Chain wrap bracelet, $75, Loriâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Shoes; (9) Balenciaga wrap bracelet, $215, Shirise;

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hats (10) Albertus Swanepoel cloche, $150, J.Crew; (11) Pom-pom knit hat, $29.50, Gap

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credits

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Photo <credit>

Stylist: Evangeline Politis Fashion Editor: Kathryn Achenbach Photographer: Kari Owens


sex and the suburbs

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naughty ways to have more fun in bed

By Marjie Killeen | Illustrations by Megan Arenson Relationships take work, but making an effort doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to be a drag. Inject some imaginative and goofy play into your lovemaking routine by following these tips from real North Shore womenâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;all of whom have 68

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sex and the suburbs

sworn me to secrecy about their time she might say to her man, “Hey identities. Mister, you look like a guy who has a hot wife.” Then he’ll look her up and Many couples only feel truly uninhib- down and say, “I do have a hot wife, but ited in a hotel room or when their kids she’s not as hot as you.” Then the two are out of the house, but the truth is, “strangers” go on to have a passionate adult play dates are easiest to sched- night. To heighten the illusion of newule at home in the evening. So before ness, create a sexy scenario and dress the the games begin, make sure you have part—a blonde wig, cowboy hat, pirate a decent lock on your bedroom door eye patch, tall boots, whatever—if it so you can get silly without worrying doesn’t turn you on, at least you’ll share about interruptions. a good laugh.

go on the prowl Make a regular date night extra exciting by letting your inner bad girl run the show. Get a bikini wax and a manicure in a deep, vampy shade. Send a risqué text or email to your mate early in the day, wear slinky lingerie to dinner, give him a peek at unexpectedly bare thighs over stockings, or hand him your panties on the way back from the restroom. It’s so wanton and unladylike, he’ll love it, and according to my seductive sources, you will too.

sweet treats It’s fun to sip schnapps out of a navel or paint each other with liquid chocolate, but one local mother of four uses this trick to encourage her husband’s good behavior. She’ll place a cherry lifesaver in an intimate spot about a half hour before having sex so when he explores the area he’s rewarded with a tasty, fruity surprise. (Note: Mint flavors are a no-no!)

host a quickie Only got a few minutes? Slip an inhello stranger vitation into your guy’s back pocket or A friend and her husband often use dinner napkin saying, “Your presence role-play to get in the mood. At bed- is requested in the master bathroom

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sex and the suburbs

from 8:35 to 8:42 p.m.” Chill little splits of champagne in the sink, light some candles, and wear nothing but high heels and clean fragrant skin under your bathrobe. When your guest arrives, he’ll be so impressed with your hostessing skills the party will be rocking in no time—and your kids won’t even know you’ve gone.

friendly competition Games are fun, especially when something exciting is at stake. Play gin rummy, poker, or Scrabble with your partner and let the winner cash in for backrubs, foot massages or any sexual favor of choice. bedtime stories Many North Shore couples use fantasy and erotica to get their fires burning. Making up sexy stories, reading romantic literature aloud, or watching scenes from a steamy movie arouses

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the imagination as well as the libido. The brain is the biggest sex organ, so why not give it some fresh material? new and improved Couples who share good sex lives are inventive, so if you and your partner have gotten into a rut, it’s time to do something different to spice things up. What new location or position or sex toy or technique would you like to try? If you need ideas, check out makeitbetter.net/better-you or ask your friends what they’ve been up to. It’s amazing what you might learn.

meet the author

Marjie Killeen, Wilmette Marjie believes one of the happiest ways to start the day is with a cup of freshly brewed coffee and the newspaper in bed—especially when both are delivered by her makeitbetter. sweet husband. net/meet-our-writers


better you

beginning a yoga practice By Christy Coughlin

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our hamstrings and low back are tight, and stress is stuck in your shoulders. Yoga could do you a world of good. Yoga appeals to men and women of all ages and abilities. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a lifelong practice that can continually change and grow with your body and lifestyle. You just need to start! This ancient Indian practice seeks to create a union of mind, body and spirit. In this country, Hatha yoga is most com-

monly practiced, focusing on asanas (postures) and pranayama (breathing). Yoga provides a connection between your mind and your body. The breathing exercises, pranayama, allow you to better deal with stress, and are tools you can use outside of class. According to Lisa Faremouth Weber, owner of Heaven Meets Earth in Evanston, â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you are continually stressed, you leave the door open to a variety of chronic health conditions like obesity,


better you

diabetes and heart disease. The ancient yoga masters taught that moving and breathing with awareness quiets the mind.” Faremouth recommends starting with an introduction to yoga class or series of classes. You will learn the poses with correct alignment and move at the right pace. While there are many at-home options for yoga, a class allows you to benefit from group energy, eliminate distractions and enjoy a relaxing environment. Ilse Sidles remembers feeling intimidated when she took her first yoga class. She describes herself as a tightly wound, on-the-go runner and mom, and says yoga completely changed her life. She is now co-owner of Sanctuary Yoga in Highland Park. Sidles is not only more flexible from yoga, but also has learned to slow down and have more patience with her kids. Overall, she feels she is a better person. Winter is a great time to begin yoga. Studios are warm and your movement creates even more heat. Bring a mat, water and wear comfortable clothing. You will find a peaceful rhythm as you move through the sun salutations, ease stress with deep breathing, and enjoy complete relaxation as you settle into savasana. Namaste.

yoga provides many benefits, including:

• Improves flexibility and range of motion • Strengthens muscles as you hold standing poses or use your arms to support your body • Works core muscles as you move from pose to pose • Improves posture and you’ll start standing taller • Eases muscle pain as you balance your right and left sides

meet the author

Christy Coughlin, Wilmette Christy’s black lab, Jet, makes her happy with his daily rituals (like bringing in the paper), affection (sometimes manifested in toe licking), and high energy (which always gets them outside). makeitbetter.net/ meet-our-writers

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Fine Cabinetry & Design 1665 old skokie road | highland park, il 60035 | nuhaus.com | 847.831.1330


a better you

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chicagoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s home decor stores: New inspiration downtown By Jenny Muslin

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1 Looking to spice up your humble abode? Venture to the city to check out the latest and greatest home stores. Here are our favorites and why we love them.

 1. Susan Fredman at Home 350 W. Erie St., Chicago 312-587-8150 | susanfredmanathome.com One of the coolest spots for a modern collection of tabletop items, glassware, home decor, furnishings and gifts curated with the eye of an interior designer. We especially love the kitschy pillows and gold-studded stacking bowls. The bridal registry is unique in that it allows couples to register for time with an interior designer, in addition to gifts from the store. The boutique has a sister store in Michigan’s Harbor Country. 


2. Green Home Chicago Design Center
 213 N. Morgan St. #1D, Chicago 312-432-9400 | ghcdesigncenter.com GHC Design Center follows the “green” trend as the spot for beautiful, eco-friendly 76

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interior design products with affordable options. Products include 100-percent recycled fiber pillows, soy and clay-based paints, and furniture made from recycled metals and sustainably engineered wood panels.

3. Classic Remix
 1015 W. Webster Ave., Chicago 773-661-6796 | classicremixchicago.com In March, Mary Garvey James opened her home boutique featuring a mix of old and new pieces from different eras. Garvey James says, “For hostess gifts I’m crazy about Cake kitchen papers, which put a new twist on paper doilies, disposable placemats and coasters. We also have a beautiful selection of reproduction serving domes, which look great hung on a wall or placed as an architectural piece in the middle of your dining room table.” 


Photos pages 75 and 76 courtesy of Susan Fredman at Home, Classic Remix, green home chicago design center and morlen sinoway

a better you


a better you

W. Fullerton Pkwy.

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W. Webster Ave. lark N. C St.

N. Sheffield Ave.

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Lake Michigan

W. North Ave.

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41 W. Division St. E. Walton St. W. Chicago Ave. W. Erie St.

N. Michigan Ave.

N. State St.

N. La Salle Dr.

4 2 N. Morgan St. N. Aberdeen St.

W. Fulton Market W. Lake St. W. Randolph St.

N. Orleans St.

W. Grand Ave.

5

1

4. Morlen Sinoway


5. Space 519 


1052 W. Fulton Market, Chicago 312-432-0100 | morlensinoway.com

900 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago 312-751-1519 | space519.com

Morlen Sinoway carries local and international pieces ranging from furniture to unique jewelry. Look for a reproduced 1960s Oculus Lounge Chair by Carl Hansen of Denmark; shop designer Lori Oelhafen calls this retrostyle chair the most comfortable piece they’ve ever carried. You’ll also find extraordinary new lighting pieces by local designer Steven Haulenbeek, available in custom sizes.



The former owners of Jake boutique opened Space 519 in the 900 North Michigan shops as a refined general store, specializing in hard-to-find items from home decor to apparel and accessories. Here you’ll see standout vintage midcentury furniture and artwork, as well as lovely gifts like coffee table books, jewelry and candles. 


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dining

libertad

Thrilling new Nuevo-Latino restaurant in Skokie

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By Julie Chernoff

ere’s why I love my job: be- Argentine, Brazilian and Mexican flacause every so often, I get vors and ingredients. to discover a new place that thrills me … even if it’s a 40-seater in C o c k ta i l s t h at H u m an unexpected location. Such is the case Start with a drink, by all means. Libwith Libertad, a Nuevo-Latino restau- ertad’s cocktail menu was crafted by rant located in downtown Skokie. Adam Seger, the creator of Hum SpirMy advice? Run, do not its and celebrated Chicago Libertad walk—okay, drive quickmixologist. Most of them 7931 Lincoln Ave. ly—to Libertad. From enfeature his Hum liqueur, an Skokie 847-674-8100 ticing cocktails to inventive intoxicating blend of ginger, libertad7931.com desserts, this place is a wincardamom, hibiscus, sugar ner. And the prices are so cane and kaffir lime. reasonable for the quality. Chef Armando Gonzalez, who’s S m a l l , D e l e c ta b l e D i s h e s done time in the kitchens of Mas, I could wax rhapsodic about the food Bin 36 and mk, clearly knows his for a few pages, but I can sum it up stuff. The menu is a deft mix of by saying it’s all delectable. Don’t-miss

Photo courtesy of libertad restaurant


dishes include the Calabacita ($9), a roasted mini pumpkin filled with an impossibly creamy wild mushroom risotto flavored with chile de arbol and a judicious hint of truffle oil. The sweetness of the pumpkin and slight heat of the chile, the earthy mushrooms and textured riso … it all works. Camarones ($15) include four large, grilled, head-on shrimp glazed with pomegranate, ancho chile and Hum, beautifully balanced, with sugar snaps, purple Peruvian potatoes and frisée. Fruity, spicy, and delish. Tilapia ($12), that blandest of fish, wakes up to this Peruvian take. Paired with mashed purple potatoes, sautéed leeks and wild mushrooms, and a slightly salty soy-lemongrass sauce, it was a hit. Forgive me Bubbe, but the Lomo (Pork Tenderloin, $13) was tender and juicy, given the glamour treatment with an herb and spice rub, mashed butternut

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squash, Brussels sprouts, applewoodsmoked bacon and apples caramelized in Mezcal. Desserts with Drizzle

There are three desserts on the menu, all Latino plays on classics, but the Layered Carrot Cake ($7) is out of this world. Drizzled with carrot syrup and crème anglaise and topped with roasted pineapple ice cream, it’s enough to make Bugs Bunny weak in the knees. Service was knowledgeable and warm, and the whole restaurant feels like a labor of love. I know that this place is going to take off. Get there soon, and thank me later.

meet the author

Julie Chernoff, Evanston Nothing makes Julie happier than watching her 22-pound cockapoo try to tackle a snow drift. makeitbetter.net/meet-our-writers


dining list

just desserts By Julie Chernoff

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ew Year resolutions made – check. Happiness Plan set in motion – check. Resolved: Eating dessert makes me a happier person. I don’t feel deprived, I feel indulged. And if it means cutting out the bread basket or eating a salad for lunch, so be it. But I can’t afford to be indiscriminate about what I eat; every calorie must be worthy. So here are some of the North Shore and Chicago restaurants that delivered the goods: a great dessert that I refuse to feel guilty about.

C h i c ag o Anteprima, 5316 N. Clark St., 773-5069990, anteprimachicago.com I was shaking after snarfing down the Espresso Budino with Cocoa Nibs. Still not sure if it was the sugar rush or the caffeine. Either works.

Hot Chocolate, 1747 N. Damen Ave., 773-489-1747, hotchocolatechicago.com James Beard-award winner and North Shore native Mindy Segal knows her way around the pastry kitchen. Each dessert is an explosion of flavors and ideas. Try the Glorious Apple, a warm

Fuel


dining list

apple confit and brown butter-streusel tart with cider semifreddo and an apple butter cream puff. Longman and Eagle, 2657 N. Kedzie Ave., 773-276-7110, longmanandeagle.com J.T.S. Brown Kentucky Bourbon Cream Soda with Almond Milk Ice Cream. The only dessert on this list that you will need your ID for. Be glad you’re of age. Peninsula Hotel, 312-337-2888, peninsula.com/Chicago Come the weekend, The Lobby is ground zero for The Chocolate Bar, an obscenely fabulous chocolate dessert buffet available Friday and Saturday nights from 8pm- midnight. It’s the Lollapalooza of chocolate, every weekend… and it’s indoors! Uncommon Ground, 1401 W. Devon Ave., 773-465-9801, uncommonground.com The S’Mores Tart. I thought it was going to be too much. It was, but by the time it was in my stomach, I didn’t care. Chocolate ganache in a graham cracker crust, topped with bruléed homemade marshmallow. E va n s t o n Campagnola, 815 Chicago Ave., 847-4756100, campagnolarestaurant.com Sometimes simple is best. Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta, creamy and lush, served with candied kumquats in a light syrup. Delicioso!

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Avil

Edzo’s, 1571 Sherman Ave., 847-864EDZO, edzos.com Made the old-fashioned way on a Multimixer spindle machine, these handdipped milkshakes are oh-so-right. Special flavors like Salted Caramel and the Spicy Mexican Chocolate (with Ibarra chocolate, ancho chile and cayenne) really rock my socks. Lulu’s, 804 Davis St., 847-869-4343, lulusdimsum.com Order the Wanton Wonton Sundae: rich coconut, banana fudge and vanilla ice cream between crispy wonton sheets sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and topped with chocolate and caramel sauces. Children, please share. Play nice. Quince, 1625 Hinman Ave., 847-570-8400, quincerestaurant.net A trio of hot, fresh Jelly Doughnuts, stuffed with raspberry, concord grape


dining list

or cranberry preserves, with a side of chestnut sabayon for ultra-extravagant dippage. H i g h l a n d Pa r k Abigail’s, 493 Roger Williams Ave., 847-780-4862, abigails.com The Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake has been on the menu since they opened, and you can see why it’s a keeper. Topped with sour cream ice cream and a cinnamon tuile, it’s irresistible. M, 675 Central Ave., 847-748-8954 Desserts with a southern twist. BananaChocolate Chip Bread Pudding is moist, sweet and redolent of bananas without cloying; just the right amount of melty chocolate, served warm. Sigh. Lin co lnwoo d L. Woods Tap, 7110 N. Lincoln Ave., 847-677-3350, lwoodsrestaurant.com The baked-to-order Gooey Chocolate Cake is big enough for a table of four, unless you are complete gluttons. It’s gooey. It’s chocolatey. It’s warm. It’s gone.

Wilmette Fuel, 1222 Washington St., 847-251-FUEL This summer’s Vanilla Pot au Crème was a thing of beauty, decorated with blueberry compote, a drizzle of 25-year old Balsamic vinegar and a shard of ginger glass. Winnetk a Avli, 566 Chestnut Ave., 847-446-9300, avli.us It’s a toss up between their Chocolava (baklava with layers of Callebaut chocolate) and the Greek Yogurt Mousse topped with Honey-Poached Figs. Decisions are hard! Restaurant Michael, 64 Green Bay Rd., 847-441-3100, restaurantmichael.com Honey-Mascarpone Cheesecake with pecan-poppyseed shortbread crust and citrus-honey syrup and fresh berries. I’m guessing this is what the gods ate on Mt. Olympus. Restaurant Michael

Northbrook Prairie Grass Café, 601 Skokie Blvd., 847-205-4433, prairiegrasscafe.com Pie. In any flavor. Chef Sarah Stegner’s mom, Elizabeth, is the architect of these beauties. Always seasonal, always delish, but the strawberry rhubarb is my personal fave.


entertainment

a new year for theater By Lisa Buscani

Lookingglass Theatre’s “Mr. Rickey Calls a Meeting” January 4-February 19 821 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago 312-337-0665 | lookingglasstheatre.org

risks alienating every ally he has in the game. Ed Schmidt’s fastball script gathers African-American personalities Joe Louis, Paul Robeson and Bill “Bojangles” Robinson together for a thought-provoking evening. Lifeline Theatre Kid Series’ “How to Survive a Fairy Tale” January 7-February 26 6912 N. Glenwood Ave., Chicago 773-761-4477 | lifelinetheatre.com

Jack grew up in a house without fairy tales, with a frog for a father and a prinBrooklyn Dodgers’ General Man- cess for a mother. Now, stranded in a ager Branch Rickey prepares to call up forest and threatened by trolls, witches Jackie Robinson to the majors—and and bears, he must figure out fairy tale

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Photos by Joan Marcus

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e’ve survived the holidays, people; we’ve cured the hangovers, sidestepped that unwanted mistletoe kiss and kept the holiday weight gain down. Let’s celebrate our endurance with some theater that examines resilience and the indomitable human spirit.


entertainment

rules and help his parents find their happy ending. Recommended for children ages 5 and up. Broadway in Chicago’s “Come Fly Away” January 10-22 Bank of America Theater, 18 W. Monroe St., Chicago 312-977-1700 | broadwayinchicago.com

Ol’ Blue Eyes is back; the perennial favorite’s work gets feet flying again in Twyla Tharp’s latest salute to the bobbysoxer’s dream. Sinatra’s vocals backed by a live band will keep you toe tapping until the wee small hours. Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s “Time Stands Still” January 19-May 13 1650 N. Halsted St., Chicago 312-335-1650 | steppenwolf.org

American Theater Company presents Ayad Aktar’s chronicle of identity and betrayal. As a Muslim-American lawyer moves up the corporate ladder, he loses sight of his cultural roots. Just as he accomplishes his lifelong career ambitions, he is personally and professionally betrayed.

Photojournalist Sarah has endured war after war, happily globetrotting in search of conflict. After narrowly surviving an Iraqi bomb blast, she returns home to be caught off guard by her lover James’ desire for home and family. Sarah then negotiates her addiction to adrenaline and the possibility of a “normal” life. meet the author American Theater Company’s “Disgraced” February 3-March 4 1909 W. Byron St., Chicago 773-409-4125 | atcweb.org

Lisa Buscani, Chicago Extra napkins from any restaurant make Lisa happy; the girl is just a hot mess. makeitbetter.net/meet-our-writers makeitbetter.net

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entertainment

theater guide  Chicago Children’s Theatre 773-227-0180 | chicagochildrentheatre.org “The Houdini Box,” January 27 – March 4  Chicago Shakespeare Theater 312-595-5600 | chicagoshakes.com “Elizabeth Rex,” through January 22  “The Tempest,” January 18 – March 4 “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” January 21-22

 Goodman Theatre 312-443-3800 | goodmantheatre.org "Race,” January 4 – February 19  Northlight Theatre 847-673-6300 | northlighttheatre.org “Black Pearl Sings!,” January 13 – February 19

 Steppenwolf Theatre Company 847-335-1650 | steppenwolf.org “Penelope,” through February 5  Timeline Theatre 773-281-8463 | timelinetheatre.com “Enron,” January 17 – April 15  Writers’ Theatre 847-242-6000 | writerstheatre.org “Hesperia,” January 24 – March 18

To read reviews of many of these shows, visit 86

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Photo by Liz Lauren

 Emerald City Theater 773-529-2690 | emeraldcitytheatre.com “Snow White,” January 21 – May 20


book list happy reads By Books on Vernon Tin Tin: The Life And The Legend The Sandwich Swap 1 Rin 5 by Susan Orlean by Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah Spanning 90 years, this is the moving account of Rin Tin Tin’s journey from orphaned puppy (found in a bombed-out kennel during World War I) to Hollywood and international fame.

Great American Cookbook: 500 2 The Time-Tested Recipes From Every State collected by Clementine Paddleford “How America Eats,” the first and greatest book of regional and American cuisine, has been updated for today’s home cook.

Lily eats peanut butter and Salma eats hummus, can they still be friends? This is a delightful picture book for children.

6 Floors by Patrick Carman Middle readers will enjoy the Whippet Hotel where every floor has its own wacky design, mysterious guests and an abundance of ducks. Leo, the janitor’s son, realizes it’s up to him to discover why the wacky hotel is falling apart.

Paper Strikes Back: An Origami Magic Of Reality: How We Know 7 Darth 3 The Yoda Book What’s Really True by Richard Dawkins and Dave McKean Scientist Dawkins and artist McKean have teamed up to share the magic of science with anyone who has ever wondered how the world works. This beautiful book comprises both science and art.

Folly: The Life And Breakthrough 4 Hedy’s Inventions Of Hedy Lamarr, The Most Beautiful Woman In The World by Richard Rhodes This is the surprising story of a glamorous movie star and an avant-garde composer who paired up on an invention that became the basis of many of our modern communication devices.

by Tom Angleberger Sixth grader Dwight crafted an origami Yoda in the earlier book. Now his nemesis, Harvey, has made an origami Darth Paper and McQuarrie Middle School will be the battleground.

Upon A Time In The Kitchen: 8 Once Recipes And Tales From Classic Children’s Stories by Carol Odell Soft illustrations enhance excerpts from more than 20 children’s books, each accompanied by an easy-to follow recipe. Try Treasure Island Marooned Cheese Toast or Alice’s Queen of Hearts’ Jam Tarts.

Books on vernon 664 Vernon Ave., Glencoe, 847-835-5180 88

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music by val By Val Haller of Valslist

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hey say happiness is a choice. Sure, we can wallow in our sorrow, hold a grudge, obsess about a bad day. Or we can think positively, let it go, and forgive. The latter is not so easy. There are books and tapes and TV shows and therapy sessions galore that offer us help. But everyone’s story is different and every choice is personal. There’s one universal thing that almost always works: upbeat music. If you’re skeptical, I urge you to try. Next time you’re mad at the world or broken-hearted, put on your headphones and press play. If it doesn’t cure you, at least let it provide temporary relief; it’s cheaper than the other remedies and the prescription never runs out! For fun, here’s a playlist with “happy” in every song title: Or, for a live dose, take in these shows: jan

20 jan

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Martin Sexton at Park West (a special treat for date night) The Kills at Riviera (grab another couple and head downtown)

See jane smile 1. “Happy” by Medina 2. “Happy Birthday” by Cracker 3. “Happy” by Martin Sexton 4. “Happy Ending” by Chuck Prophet 5. “Happy” by The Rolling Stones 6. “Happy That” by Jeffrey Gaines 7. “Happy” by Bruce Springsteen 8. “Happy Birthday” by Ryan Adams & The Cardinals 9. “Happy” by Brandi Carlile 10. “Happy Together” by The Turtles 11. “Happy to Be Numb” by Jason Reeves 12. “Happy Mistakes” by Kristoffer Ragnstam 13. “Happiness” by The Weepies 14. “Happiness (Jump Smokers Extended Mix)” by Alexis Jordan 15. “Happiness” by Goldfrapp 16. “Happy” by Never Shout Never To download this playlist, visit valslist.com jan

28

David Garrett at The Chicago Theatre (rock violinist—an amazing family show)

Feb

25

Peter Frampton at The Chicago Theatre (he can still sing and is fabulous in concert)

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family

health guide

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ealth is an integral part of happiness. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hard to feel content if a child is sick or a spouse has a threatening diagnosis. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re happiest when our families are healthy and well. So to help keep you healthy in 2012, hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s advice on finding the best physicians and hospitals for you, and adopting eating and exercise habits that will make you healthier (and even help you lose five pounds!). Also, we tackle whether or not hiring a health concierge is worth the money. We wish you health and happiness in 2012 and beyond!

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guide to family health

how to find the right doctor By Patty Lamberti

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ou can return shoes that don’t fit. You can sell a car you don’t like. But if you can’t find a physician you feel comfortable with, the consequences are more serious. Not liking your doc means there’s a greater chance you’ll put off preventive care visits, avoid getting medical care when you need it or worse, discount the physician’s advice or treatment. Here, Chicago area doctors share their best advice on finding a medical professional you like: 92

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Make a list about what matters to you before you start looking for a doctor

“What’s important to some patients doesn’t matter to others,” says Dr. Madeline Neems, internal medicine physician with the Northwestern Memorial Physicians Group. “Do you care about the age of a doctor? The gender? How long the doctor has been practicing?” Two things that should be on everyone’s list: What insurance the doctor accepts and location. “Make sure your doctor is in your network and practic-


es near where you live, or at least near where you work,” Neems says. “If you have a sinus infection, you’re not going to want to drive 25 miles.”

an approved formal training program in that specialty, and has passed a test that assures a sufficient fund of knowledge in that specialty.

Make sure the doctor can connect you with other physicians

Schedule a meet and greet

According to Dr. Judi Gravadal, Morris M. Goldberg, MD Chair of Family Medicine for Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, if you have a number of medical problems and need to see many doctors, your primary care doctor should work with them to ensure that you: Understand the care plan Get support in following recommendations Know how to continue your care when the consultant’s work is finished And pay attention to what’s on the wall

“It’s extremely important to find a physician who is board certified in their specialty,” says Dr. Theodore Mazzone, chair of the Department of Medicine for NorthShore University HealthSystem. “Having board certification is the most direct way to know if the physician has completed

You don’t have to wait until you’re sick to visit a doctor. “When you call, just explain that you’re looking for an initial meeting,” says Neems. “You can ask short questions during this time about the doctor’s philosophy, like ‘Do you ever prescribe antibiotics over the phone?’ ‘How do you feel about alternative medicine?’ This isn’t the time to get your blood pressure checked, but a time to learn more about the doctor and office.” According to Dr. David Ansell, vice president for clinical affairs and chief medical officer at Rush University Medical Center, you should ask what services the doctor performs in office, such as taking blood or EKGs. Of course, you can always Google a doctor’s name too. Most doctors have a web page, and at Rush, many physicians have posted a video in which they introduce themselves. However, be wary of the doctor reviews on Yelp. “People generally only write negative reviews there,” says Ansell. makeitbetter.net

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how to find the

best hospital for you By Patty Lamberti

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forget to ask your friends, neighbors and family. “We have 70,000 ER visits here. Word about our quality of bedside care has gotten around,” he says.

Research, research, research

Pay particular attention to the hospital’s report card

aving a baby? Have to undergo surgery or another procedure? Here, local doctors explain how to decide which hospital to trust. There are a variety of online resources when you’re considering which hospital is best for you. Hospital Compare and The National Research Corporation are two quality websites because they contain substantial data like complications, infection rates and patient satisfaction, according to Tom McAfee, president of Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital. “There’s nothing wrong with checking out Yelp either, but I wouldn’t rely solely on that,” he says. And don’t

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A hospital’s report card is an analysis of how well the facility performs on a series of measures, such as patient safety, staffing, patient satisfaction and cost of services. You can find report cards online at healthcarereportcard.illinois.gov, according to Dr. David Ansell, chief medical officer at Rush University Medical Center. “But it’s just a starting point. You can’t always judge a book by its cover, or a hospital by its report card,” he warns.


Keep in mind that report cards don’t tell the whole story

“Report cards and rankings by U.S. News and World Report aren’t always terribly helpful,” says Dr. Matthew Sorrentino, professor of medicine at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. “The best hospitals often have poor statistics because they are referred the sickest patients. University hospitals often have highest rates of death because the sickest patients go there.”

look at “How to Find the Best Doctor for You” on page 92. Make sure the hospital performs your procedure often

You wouldn’t go to a muffler repairman for a tire change, so don’t go to a hospital that doesn’t specialize in your procedure. “If you’re having a baby, make sure they do a lot of deliveries,” Ansell says. “If they deliver less than 1,000 per year, it’s not enough. Check out their C-section rates or how long they tolerate women being in labor.” Liking your doctor is more important than liking the One more tip (although clearly not the hospital most important): Make sure the cafeteIf you like a doctor, but the hospital ria food is something your friends and he or she practices at doesn’t have the family can tolerate! best report card, don’t worry. “The physician is most important,” says SorFor links to all the websites listed in rentino. “If he or she has a good staff this article go to makeitbetter.net/ and good team, that doctor may have best-hospital excellent outcomes.” To find a doctor,

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7 simple steps

to lose 5 pounds

1. Go big with the sunrise Studies show that a big, healthy breakfast speeds up your metabolism, allowing you to burn more calories throughout the day. Drink your fruit and veggies smoothie, and eat your oatmeal topped with walnuts and flax seed.

2. Eat for color Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be so full you wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have room for the bad stuff. Go for color: greens from broccoli, reds from peppers, purple from beets and blue from berries. These foods are much less calorie dense than processed foods, and a big plate full of salad greens will fill you up. 4. Skinny up after sunset Eat reasonable portions of healthy foods. Enjoy one piece of whole grain bread, but no more. Eat slowly, putting your fork down after each bite. Wait 20 minutes before you go back for seconds. Always sit to enjoy dinner with someone you love (or at least like a lot).

6. Walk under the stars Add 20 minutes of walking every night to your regular exercise routine. Make a deal with your husband, teen, neighbor or even your dog, to get out no matter what the weather. This walk will encourage you to move away from the dinner table and feel relaxed for the remainder of the evening.

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By Christy Coughlin

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Is it crazy to try and lose five pounds in a month? Not at all. These tips arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t getslim-fast schemes. Each makes you healthier, more vibrant and trimmer. Exactly what you need to get 2012 off to a great start.

3. Fill your cup Ditch the sodas and artificially sweetened drinks. They wreak havoc with metabolism and studies show that they are linked to cancer and obesity. Drink water as your beverage of choice. Enjoy your coffee in the morning and a little wine with dinner, but aside from that, drink the stuff from the tap.

5. No plastic or cardboard wrappers Anything that comes in a package is usually filled with sugar, fat and sodium. That means you have to cook. Keep it simple by steaming veggies, and baking chicken breasts. You can throw together an easy, healthy pasta dish in minutes. Eat before the meeting where donuts are breakfast. Eat a healthy dinner before the team pizza party. Focus on the conversation rather than eating food that isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t worthy of you.

7. What comes after x,y ... Your metabolism revs up when you get adequate sleep. Shoot for seven to eight hours every night. Turn off electronics at least an hour before bedtime. This includes the television and your iPhone.

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anxiety-busters: 5 activities that help kids relieve stress By Beth Engleman

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f your child tends to be a worrier or anxious, you can help your child cope with stress and anxiety by creating a “tool kit” filled with activities that calm the mind and the body.

Fun Dough
 Not only is fun dough (aka: Play-doh) a great tactile activity, it can also relieve tension and center the mind.  Occupational Therapist Angie Harisiadis, from Arlington Pediatric Therapy often uses fun dough with children who are overwhelmed by too much stimulation.  “Fun dough has a grounding effect for many children because it’s an engrossing activity that also encourages the use of multiple senses,” says Harisiadis. Chewing Gum
 According to Harisiadis, the oral motor work involved when chewing gum can help children remain alert, centered and calm. In order to maximize the effect, Harisiadis recommends chewing large pieces of gum that require deep chewing thus expending more energy.

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Bubbles
 Any good “bubble-blower” will tell you that the art of blowing bubbles is taking deep breaths, which, according to Debra Kowalczyk, a counselor in Palatine, is an excellent way to reduce anxiety.  Deep diaphragmatic breathing lowers the heart rate, expands the lungs and relaxes the body, which in turn calms the mind. Jump Rope
 Jumping rope, along with other forms of exercise such as running, walking or swimming are excellent ways to stave off anxiety as these activities boost “feel-good” endorphins and reduce cortisol, which is a hormone secreted when the body feels stressed. Jumping rope can also be meditative, as it requires complete focus, which helps shift the mind away from stressful thoughts and anxieties. Action Figures
 It’s time to bring out your old GI Joes and Darth Vaders because symbolic play is an excellent way to work through anxieties.  According to Developmental Therapist Nicolette Komie, this kind of play helps children sort through their fears in a non-threatening environment. For example, a child can “practice” asserting himself by having GI Joe stand up to Darth Vader in a playful situation. Over time, the child will gain confidence and be more willing to translate these skills into real life situations. 



Play also helps children develop symbolic solutions that can relieve anxiety such as spraying a pillow with monster spray before bed, or tossing the “bad guys” in jail and then throwing away the key! 


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concierge medicine : How much would you pay for perks? By Meghan Streit

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s a result of the reported pressure on primary care physicians to treat high volumes of patients to keep their practices afloat, some doctors are joining so-called â&#x20AC;&#x153;concierge medicineâ&#x20AC;? groups. The basic premise is you pay an annual membership fee, and in exchange, you get perks like 24/7 access to your doctor via cell phone, longer appointments and preventive health screenings. Concierge doctors see fewer pa-

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tients than their peers, giving them more time for each appointment. Fees and services vary by company, but one popular model is used by MDVIP, a Florida-based concierge group with doctors in Highland Park, Glenview and Chicago. A one-year MDVIP membership of $1,500 to $1,800 buys you increased access to your doctor, portable records, assistance getting care while traveling and a personalized wellness plan. An MDVIP mem-


bership doesn’t replace health insurance. Co-pays and other fees are billed to insurance carriers or directly to patients, just as they would be at a nonconcierge doctor. Mark Murrison, MDVIP’s president of marketing and innovation, touts the wellness plan as one of the chief advantages of membership. “We run a panel of diagnostics and labs, and then our screeners sit down and put together a wellness plan to determine the areas we need to be working on together to achieve the health goal,” Murrison says. That proactive approach, Murrison says, keeps MDVIP members healthier: “We have access to data that shows our members are hospitalized 65 to 75 percent less than non-members.” Another “pay-to-play” model is that offered by PinnacleCare Private Health Advisory, a Baltimore-based company with an office in Evanston. PinnacleCare members aren’t assigned to primary care physicians. Instead, they get health advisors who help them navigate complex medical situations by coordinating second opinions, finding specialists and explaining treatment options. Miles Varn, M.D., PinnacleCare’s chief medical officer, says annual fees range from $2,500 for healthy members to $7,000 or

more, depending on a patient’s needs. Varn says PinnacleCare members get individualized attention that can result in the best medical outcomes. He tells the story of one client who scheduled a mastectomy after being diagnosed with breast cancer at a respected medical center. The woman’s PinnacleCare advisor took her to a leading specialist, Varn says. “They reread the pathology, and it was actually not cancer,” he says. “It really makes you think how many people have procedures that might have been unnecessary, just because of what they don’t know.” Dr. Joel Shalowitz is the managing partner of a North Shore primary care practice and a professor at Northwestern’s medical and business schools. He says many non-concierge physicians already offer the services promised by concierge groups. Most doctors, Shalowitz says, have 24/7 answering services and HMOs require physicians to see patients with serious conditions within a certain time frame. “There’s nothing magical about concierge medicine, except that you’re buying access,” Shalowitz says. Think of it as a perk, but with a price. makeitbetter.net

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make a difference

Serve on Peer Jury, Perform in Reality Theatre or Mentor a Teenager OMNI Youth Services 1111 W. Lake Cook Rd. | Buffalo Grove, IL 60089 | 847-353-1500 | omniyouth.org

OMNI Youth Services is the largest and most comprehensive youth development organization in Chicagoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s northwest suburbs. Youth and adults may volunteer for a few hours a year or several hours a week. Opportunities include Peer Jury, REALITY Theatre, Youth Mentor, and Tutors/Resource Center Aids. For additional information, call 847-3531500 or email info@omniyouth.org.

Serve Your Community During The Day Of Service ď ą

Spin Your Butt Off and Support Lauri S. Bauer Foundation for Sudden Loss

Volunteer Center of New Trier Township Day of Service at New Trier Township High School 7 Happ Rd. | Northfield, Illinois 60093

Come spin at noon on January 28 at Lifetime Fitness in Vernon Hills to support the Lauri S. Bauer Foundation for Sudden Loss. The organization gives help, healing and hope to children and families that have suffered a sudden loss or crisis. Contact lmargolin@tulipsforlauri.org for more information.

People of all ages are invited to join in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on Monday, January 16 in the New Trier High School Northfield Cafeteria, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Volunteers will make no-sew blankets for children and the homeless, as well as completing additional projects for people in need both locally and globally. For more information, email info@volunteercenterhelps. org or elubonn@thekindnessconnection.org.

The Lauri S. Bauer Foundation P.O. Box 5368 | Vernon Hills, IL 60061 tulipsforlauri.org

photo courtesy of Volunteer Center of New Trier Township

By Sharon Krone


make a difference

Volunteer to Work with Seniors

Caring Connections for Seniors 1545 West Morse Ave. | Chicago, IL 60626 | 773-649-5838 caringconnectionsforseniors.org

help provide health care to those in need

Healthcare Foundation of Northern Lake County 114 S. Genesee St., Suite 505 | Waukegan, IL 60085 | 847-377-0525 | hfnlc.org This foundation funds programs that improve access to quality health care for Lake County’s low-income residents. They provide support for primary care services, medical supplies, pharmaceuticals and health care equipment, as well as community health education. Support should go to ATTN: Ernest Vasseur, executive director at the above address. 104

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support an enriching resource for children  Chicago Children’s Museum 700 E. Grand Ave., Suite 127 | Chicago, IL 60611 | 312-527-1000 chicagochildrensmuseum.org

Funds donated to Chicago Children’s Museum (CCM) support exhibits, programs and access initiatives, and help maintain a safe, nurturing environment filled with beauty, joy, magic and wonder for children and families throughout Chicago and its surrounding suburbs. CCM impacts nearly 700,000 visitors each year. Donations can be sent to address above or submitted through the website.

photo by eileen ryan photography

Since 2009, CCS has connected over 100 volunteers and senior participants to help meet the practical, emotional and social needs of seniors in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood and Evanston. Donations can be sent by mail to the address above. For more information, contact André Petty at 773649-5838 or email info@caringconnectionsforseniors.org.


make a difference

photo courtesy of the night ministry

Meet Basic Needs For Program Participants By Donating Personal Items  The Night Ministry 711 N. Ravenswood Ave. | Chicago, IL 60640 | 773-784-9000 thenightministry.org

The Night Ministry requests new, white, adult-size tube socks, new men’s and women’s underwear in a variety of sizes, deodorant and hygiene items. The Night Ministry reaches out to youth and adults on the street and from its Health Outreach Bus and Youth Outreach van. They serve individuals who face homelessness, poverty, abuse and neglect. Donations can be dropped off at the above location.

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make a difference

better makers and their impact 2

85th Annual Rush Fashion Show Palmer House Hilton, Chicago October 6, 2011 Attendees: 600 $500,000 raised

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This much-anticipated annual fashion show, featuring 125 models, raised money to benefit melanoma research. Shown in photos: (1) Jennifer Beacom of Wilmette modeling Frances Heffernan; (2) Kelli Moorhead of Lake Forest; (3) Nancy Connelly of Kenilworth modeling Loro Piana; (4) Womanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Board President Mimi Mitchell of Chicago, Dave Blowers of Northern Trust and 2011 Fashion Show Chairman Debra Beck of Winnetka; (5) A rendering of the new hospital at Rush

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Benefit photos by Bob Carl; Impact photo courtesy of Rush University Medical Center

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All photos courtesy of Kohl Children’s Museum

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This gala broke attendance and fundraising records for the museum, which empowers young children to become effective learners through selfdirected, complex play. 3

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All photos courtesy of the Chicago History Museum

Kohl Children’s Museum’s “An Evening to Imagine” Kohl Children’s Museum, Glenview October 15, 2011 Attendees: 620 $900,000 raised

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The Costume Council of the Chicago History Museum’s “Costume Ball” Chicago History Museum October 21, 2011 Attendees: 400 $300,000+ raised

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The Costume Council proudly supports the Chicago History Museum’s collection, which has grown to be one of the world’s premier costume collections, with more than 50,000 pieces, and the second largest costume collection in the U.S.

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Shown in photos: (1)Museum Founder Dolores Kohl of Highland Park and Chairman of the Board of Trustees Donna Sims Wilson of Chicago; (2) John and Rammina Hamill of Northfield; (3) Gala Chairs Fritz and Tracy Souder of Glenview, Governor of Illinois Pat Quinn and Museum President and CEO Sheridan Turner of Glenview; (4) A child plays at Kohl Children’s Museum

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Shown in photos: (1) Chicago History Museum President Gary T. Johnson, and Costume Council President and Honorary Event Chair Nena Ivon; (2) Michael and Kelly Golden of Winnetka; (3) Catherine and Reed Eberle of Winnetka with their daughter, Susanne; (4) An evening gown from the Chicago History Museum exhibit “Charles James: Genius Deconstructed”

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make a difference

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3 Benefit photos by Bob Carl; Impact photo courtesy of Rush University Medical Center

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The Cancer Wellness Center in Northbrook, through psychosocial support and education, seeks to empower those affected by cancer to enhance the quality of their lives. 4

Shown in photos: (1) Bruce Adams of Highland Park, with his wife and first speaker of the evening, Vicki Adams; (2) Cancer Wellness Center Board Member Brett Kroner of Lake Forest with his mother, Susan Kroner of Lincolnwood; (3) Cancer Wellness Center Board Member David Frank of Northbrook with his wife, Stacey; (4) An exercise class at the Cancer Wellness Center

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WOMEN’S EXCHANGE ANNUAL “TASTE OF AUTUMN” Winnetka Community House October 27, 2011 Attendees: 200 $30,000 raised

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The Women’s Exchange provides programs for women to share ideas and information, learn, grow, build relationships and have fun.  Shown in photos: (1) WEX President Jane Perisho of Wilmette; (2) Event Chair Nancy Creely of Des Plaines, WEX Director Deb Guy of Glencoe and Rob Garrison, owner of Depot Nuevo and The Noodle Cafe in Wilmette; (3) Val Haller of Winnetka, head of Valslist. com, was a recent speaker for the Women’s Exchange; (4) Julia Green of Winnetka with her mom, WEX board members Marcia Cleveland, Paula McLeod of Winnetka and Eileen Paul of Wilmette

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Benefit photos courtesy of the Women’s Exchange; Impact photo courtesy of Valslist.com

Cancer Wellness Center’s Annual Gala “Clubbin’ For A Cause” Four Seasons, Chicago October 15, 2011 Attendees: 230 $200,000+ raised


local treasure

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everett elementary school embeds service in academics

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verett Elementary School students don’t just learn about math, science and language, they use what they’ve learned to make the world a better place. After studying bears in the classroom, Everett kindergartners took their learning one step further by painting the bears in art class, but it didn’t stop there. Each painting was copied onto cards and sold in bun110

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dles to parents. The children then took the proceeds and built bears at Build-a-Bear Workshop. The stuffed animals will be given to patients in Children’s Memorial Hospital’s Oncology Unit. This is just one example of the difference this Lake Forest school is making within the community. Two years ago, an Everett School staff survey indicated a need for service learning. Now,

PHOTOS COURTESY OF EVERETT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

By Olivia Murawski


local treasure

1 Example of “Bear” notecards, created and sold by kindergarten students so they could go to Build-A-Bear and make bears for patients at Children’s Memorial Hospital. Kindergarten students wrote personal notes and put them inside the bear boxes. They painted the pictures as part of their research on different types of bears. 2 Sample of personalized backpack tags that were made by students for students. Proceeds went to help Haiti Relief Fund.

100 percent of the roughly 350 students from kindergarten through fourth grade are involved in at least one service project a year. The Service Learning Program integrates service into academics. For example, fourth grade classes complete required research goals by investigating causes in the area. Once they have picked a worthy cause, each student writes a persuasive essay and reads it to classmates. Then they vote on which project they wish to sponsor as a class. While the final product is rewarding to all involved, the teaching process is most important. The program stresses the importance of learning

through service. It involves developing a plan through discussion, brainstorming, research, planning, implementation, monitoring, analyzing, reflection, communication and celebration. Embedding developmental steps within academics prepares Everett students to make rational, real-world decisions in the future. Dr. Ingrid Wiemer, principal of Everett, believes this unique learning process cultivates moral character as it “enhances empathy, fosters an awareness of the power we all have to affect change, and helps students look outside of their own wants and needs.” The most integral step of the program is reflection by the students on their accomplishments. They feel empowered because their contribution has added value to a worthy project. As a result, Dr. Wiemer has seen a decrease in disciplinary referrals and a strong sense of classroom community. Parents contribute by integrating service learning into family life, whether it’s through their church, neighborhood or family lifestyle. And, in the end, students evolve into leaders. makeitbetter.net

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closing thoughts

happy place n Compiled and edited by Liz Loga

We asked our readers on Facebook: “Who or what on the North Shore makes you happy?” And here’s what they said.

Dinners at Langdon Beach on Sundays with friends! —Megan Haveron

My mom ... she’s my favorite part of the North Shore! And shopping at Royal Appointn ments to see Debbie and Tary e m ets gre s ay y My dog—she alw Brody makes me pretty happ dy rea , th ou m with a toy in her too! —Leslie Schreiber e th in lk wa I t en to play the mom door. —Sarah Bledsoe The Wilmette Public Library and running on weekends on s, en rd Ga ic tan The Chicago Bo the lake by Northwestern. ing hik at gre Lake Michigan, —Sheila Lehr trails like Open Lands in Lake rForest, Elawa Farm in Lake Fo Lighthouse Beach! est, great schools, and cultural —Lisa Degliantoni s options! But my family make me the happiest. The Botanic Garden, Tower sh Na n dso un —Jennifer Elise Am Road Beach, The Book Stall, farmers’ markets, the people. e th on s ing Sitting on the sw —Pana Thatsme beach in Lake Forest. —Jessica Gardner

hy, hew Staab photograp hy, family Photo by Matt photograp Libman Susan by Photos of kids of chicago botanic garden , tree photo courtesy dog Photo by Sarah Bledsoe

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January 2012 Digital Edition