Page 1

2

iving n g Sm mart a r t L ivi ivin ng Weekly

pg e i’sDay D Se c i e’s tin Am len Va

r1 fo

Right in Our Region

Isn’t It Romantic?

B y K a r l a N a g y, a s s o c i a t e e d i t o r

A

h, romance. For centuries, poets, musicians and storytellers have sought to definitively interpret this ideal, yet ethereal, state. On Feb. 14, the rest of us try to express our deepest romantic feelings. Luckily, there’s romance aplenty to be had, right in our region. Here are some great local ideas for celebrating affairs of the heart this Valentine’s Day. Nothing says amore more than a surprise excursion, and what better place to spend a secluded weekend than at Starved Rock Lodge and Cabins, Utica, Ill., voted the No. 1 attraction in Illinois? It’s the place for rustic romance. “We’ve been a romantic destination for 75 years,” says Kathy Casstevens-Jasiek, marketing director for the lodge. “People come here on dates, to propose, to get married, to honeymoon, to celebrate anniversaries.” For Lauren Hansen and Andrew Armendariz (pictured left) romance at Starved Rock Lodge has become a family legacy, touching a third generation.

Continued on p. 20

• Get All the SAVINGS You Deserve from Local Businesses

Local Valentine’s Events • Chocolate Heart Petit Fours • How to Do Taxes for Free Is Your Snail Mail Secure? • Child Diabetes Warning Signs • Washing Machine Efficiency

52

Smart Living Weekly

Issue 1

r ne in

.5

Save Smarter • Live Better • Rockford Region/Beloit 95¢ • February 12, 2014


Smart Living Weekly

Jan. 29

7


Smart Living Weekly

Sept. 4

5


4

Smart Living Weekly

Feb. 5


Smart Living Weekly

Jan. 29

5


In This Issue Right in Our Region: Valentine’s Day ....................... Cover & p. 20 Your Home Top Load or Front Load Washer? ...............11 Inspiration & Worship ..............................12 Your Kitchen Chocolate Heart Petit Fours ......................15 . Your Outings Happenings at Burpee .............................17 Your Health About Child Diabetes .................................25 Your Fun ................................................... 27 . Dining Local ............................................. 29 Your Money Mailbox Security .........................................33 Tips Do Your Own Taxes ....................................31

Smart L iving Weekly Publisher/Editor-in-Chief Bill Hughes

Executive Editor Janine Pumilia Managing Editor/Web Editor Chris Linden Associate Editor/Special Projects Editor Karla Nagy Senior Staff Writer/Promotions Coordinator Paul Anthony Arco Graphics Director Blake Nunes Graphic Artist Samantha Ryan Contributing Writer Jim Killam General Sales Manager Brent Hughes Sales Manager Brad Hughes Account Executives Steve Blachford, Brian Hughes Administration & Circulation Manager Lisa Hughes Website www.NWQSmartLiving.com Published by Hughes Media Corp. 728 N. Prospect St., Rockford, IL, 61107 (815) 316-2300, Fax: (815) 316-2301 lhughes@northwestquarterly.com Smart Living Weekly. Copyright 2014 by Hughes Media Corp., 728 N. Prospect St., Rockford, IL, 61107. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or

MEDIA PARTNERS:

6

Smart Living Weekly

Feb. 12


Shades of Purple

T

his is the week we celebrate that funny thing called “love” – the illusive phenomenon responsible for both deep joy and deep misery. If you want a good laugh, look up “love” in the dictionary. It’s a bit like explaining Russian history in 50 words or less. For whatever reason, the English language lumps all sorts of concepts under the umbrella word “love.” We have dozens of words for nuances of the color purple, from lavender to puce. But when it comes to the most important concept in life, we’re utterly dependent upon modiflers to differentiate its many shades. Romantic, parental, brotherly, spiritual, community, patriotic love, love of jigsaw puzzles, baseball or the Home Shopping Network. And how casually we throw the verb form around, because we have few alternatives. “I love my newborn” and “I love my Chia Pet” shouldn’t really co-exist, but here we are. This isn’t the case in all languages. Scholars know that very different Greek words were translated into “love” in the English Bible, for example. “Philia” is brotherly love (think Philadelphia). “Eros” is physical passion. “Agape” is great spiritual love. “Storge” is affectionate love. “Philarguria” is a greedy love of money. However YOU deflne “love,” we hope you celebrate it with all your might this week. After all, smart living is flrst about prioritizing what matters the most to us, and we all yearn to love and be loved. We hope you’ll enjoy some of the suggestions compiled by Karla Nagy in our cover story. Patronizing locally owned restaurants, ‡orists, jewelers and shops is a great way to love up your community, since dollars spent at homegrown businesses are much more likely to stay in our region, rather than ‡y off to a corporate headquarters in another state. Here’s to Love! Janine Pumilia, Executive Editor

Smart Living Weekly

Feb. 12

7


6

Smart Living Weekly

Feb. 5


Smart Living Weekly

Jan. 29

7


18

Smart Living Weekly

Feb. 5


Y H  G

Top-Load Washers Narrow the ‘Green’ Gap By Jim Killam

T

hink “high efficiency washer,” and you’ll probably picture a front-loading machine. You wouldn’t be wrong, but green technology in top loaders has come a long way in recent years. It’s come so far, in fact, that the cost of owning and operating either type of machine is, um … a wash. “When they first started making front-load machines, they were 50 to 60 percent more efficient than top-load,” says Darwyn Guler, owner of Guler Appliance, 227 7th St., Rockford. “But the top load production and design have now caught up with the efficiency of front-load machines. An energy-efficient washer today costs about $22 a year, whether it’s top-load or front-load. That’s an average.” Lower-priced top loaders still aren’t as energy efficient as mid-range or better front-loaders. But the initial price difference evens things out over a few years,

he says, especially when dependability is factored. “An average top-load is probably $500, where the average for a front-load is probably $800,” Guler says. “So there is that break-even point between energy efficiency and cost of owning – like anything else, whether it’s a furnace or a refrigerator or an automobile.” Front loaders achieved their early efficiency advantage because they used less water. Instead of having to fill the entire upright wash tub, a front loader only needs enough water for the clothes to tumble into as the sideways tub rotates. Today, manufacturers have increased the better top loaders’ efficiency with better load sensors and higher water pressure for spray rinses. One downside of front-loaders: They tend to need more repairs. “On a basis of 1 to 10 – with the

higher number being more dependable – the front-load machines are probably a 6. A top-load machine is an 8,” Guler says. “Part of that is that they sell more top loads. But top-load machines, traditionally in the industry, have been more dependable.” ❚ Get SLW Home & Garden articles every week. Visit NWQSmartLiving.com and start your E-Edition today.

Smart Living Weekly

Feb. 12

11


I  W

Jesus the Equalizer

In this series, we look at various qualities of Jesus Christ. hen Jesus came to the world, he extended the invitation for God’s love and eternal life to all people who choose to believe, regardless of race, gender or station in life. While our society is much less class-conscious than the one Jesus was born into, and our nation is built upon individual rights, we still tend to value some kinds of people more than others. The society Jesus was born into overtly valued men over women, adults over children, the healthy over the sick, the wealthy over the poor. And, Jewish people had long been taught that the Messiah was coming only for them. It’s little wonder that Jesus’ message of “salvation to all who believe” greatly offended the long-held sensibilities of so many stakeholders -- and still does. Jesus never said he loved the poor more than the rich, or that wealth in itself is evil. He did, however, caution that the rich would find it more difficult to follow him because of their great affection for worldly things. Apostle Paul taught that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. (I Timothy 6:10) It comes down to where we devote our thoughts. When a devout rich man asks Jesus what good thing he can do to obtain eternal life, aside from keeping the commandments, Jesus shocks him by replying: “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. Jesus tells his disciples: “... it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19:21-24). Some scholars believe Jesus was referring to a small gate in Jerusalem’s wall called the Needle Gate, which allowed camels into the city only if they were stripped of the packs they carried. Anyone can enter God’s kingdom through faith; none can buy his way in. “ Many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.” (Matthew 19:30).

W

-- Janine Pumilia

12

Smart Living Weekly

Feb. 12


Smart Living Weekly

Feb. 12

13


d 43r al u Ann

Rockford, IL

F PA REE RK ING

$1.00 Off

Boat, Vacation & Fishing Show

Single Adult Admission Not Valid On 3 Day Pass

February 14-15-16, 2014

Fri. 3pm-8pm, Sat. 10am-7pm, Sun. 11am-5pm

Indoor Sports Center

Amazing Seminar Lineup Including:

(All 3 days only $10)

Bob Mehsikomer Steve Mortenson

8800 E. Riverside Blvd. Kids under 12 Free & Adults $7 Roland Martin and many more!

os

em Live D

ro’s

gP n i h s i by F

Huge Boat

SALE!

Pick up the Latest Tackle, Book a Fishing Trip, or a Relaxing Vacation! Bring the kids to fish in the trout pond!

Info: www.rockfordboatshow.com 815-997-1744

S L w


Y K

Enjoy Bite-Sized Valentine's Day Treats N

othing says “I love you” on Valentine’s Day more than heart-shaped, homemade treats. This year, try individual treats to make each gift recipient feel extra special. “Though small in size, mini-treats deliver a big message to all of the Valentines on your list,” said Nancy Siler, vice president of consumer affairs at Wilton. “Decorating these treats is quick and easy, thanks to Candy Melts Candy – a pantry staple for any decorating project.” With a little help from Wilton, the maker of many heart-shaped bakingpans, you can bake to your heart’s desire this Valentine’s Day. A Sweet Heart for Your Sweetheart – Create mini cakes, brownies or cookies with the Bite Sized Heart Dessert Shell pan. Once cooled, drizzle with red, pink and white colored Candy Melts candy for the perfect personalized heartshaped treat. Homemade Box of Chocolates – Make your own candies using shaped Candy Molds. Choose hearts, lips, flowers and more. Fill the mold with the Candy Melts candy, color and flavor of your choice, and watch as you melt the hearts of your Valentines. Give a Little Love – Valentine’s Day is a top gift-giving holiday. Give your made-from-the-heart homemade treats the gourmet treatment with festive packaging like heart-shaped boxes, colorful gift bags and brightly colored baking cups. For more Valentine’s Day recipes, baking tips and gift inspiration, visit wilton.com.

fudge ice cream topping or cherry pie filling 2 containers (14 oz. each) chocolate or vanilla Icing glaze (optional) Jumbo hearts sprinkles (optional) Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare 24 cavity bite-sized heart dessert shell pans with Cake Release pan coating. In large bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In large bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla extract; beat until well combined. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk in three additions, beating until just combined. Spoon one tablespoon batter into each pan cavity. Bake 9-11 minutes or until tops of cakes spring back when touched. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Cool completely on cooling grid. To decorate, place cakes on cool-

ing grid with cookie pan below. Pipe 1/2 teaspoon peanut butter, chocolate fudge or cherry pie filling into shell; fill only to top of cavity. If desired, warm glaze according to package instructions; carefully pour and tap pan to smooth. ❚ (Source: Family Features) Get SLW Kitchen articles every week. Visit NWQSmartLiving.com and start your E-Edition today.

Fine Oils, Vinegars, & Now Spices!

Chocolate Heart Petit Fours

Makes about 40 mini cakes 1 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 cup cocoa powder 3/4 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 6 Tb (3/4 stick) butter, softened 2/3 cup firmly-packed brown sugar 1 egg 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 2/3 cup buttermilk 1/2 cup peanut butter, chocolate

6340-6342 E. Riverside Blvd. Loves Park, IL 61111

Hours: Mon–Fri 11-7p Sat 11-6p Sun 12-4p

815-904-6120 theoliveoilexperience.com

5 OFF

$

$20 Purchase

Smart Living Weekly

May not be combined with other offers. Exp. 2/26/14

Feb. 12

15


8

Smart Living Weekly

Feb. 5


Y O

Trivia Nights Resume at Burpee T

rivia (on the Terrace) is back at Burpee Museum of Natural History. Hannah Welker of WREX TV will be guest moderator for the Trivia event this Saturday, Feb. 15 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the museum. Come out to the Museum to show off your smarts. Trivia question topics will range from superheroes, natural history, pop culture and current events, to movies, books, and more. Live music will be performed by local musician Michael Atteberry, and there will be food, prizes, and a cash bar. Pre-registration is required. Call (815) 965-3433 or email Mackenna.Atteberry@burpee.org to register. The cost is $15 for Burpee Members and $20 for non-members. Established in 1941, the Burpee Museum of Natural History is the home of Jane, a rare juvenile Tyrannosaurus rex, and Homer, a teen-aged Triceratops, and is one of the preeminent mid-sized nat-

Beloit Film Fest Opens Feb. 14; RVC Student’s Movie to be Included

R

Saturday, February 15 From 6-9. ural history museums in the nation. Its Welker froM WrEX HosTis- HannaH mission to inspire all people to engage in a lifetime of discovery and learning about our natural world, through preser- loCAl MusiCiAn, MicHael atteberry MUsIC vation and interpretation. General admission to the Museum CAsH BAr & fooD ProViDED PRIzes tHE toP 2 tEAMs is $8FooD for & adults, $7- PrizEs for for children ages 4 to 12 and admission is free for museum regiStration inFo: members and children age 3 and younger. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For additional information regarding Burpee Museum, call (815) 965-3433 or go to burpee.org. ❚ Teams of 4 | Pre-registration required Registration Fees are $15 member | $20 non-member

Contact Mackenna.Atteberry@burpee.org to register or for more information www.burpee.org | (815) 965-3433 x1004

ock Valley College Mass Communication student Tom Doherty’s film, The White Room, has been selected for the Beloit International Film Festival (BIFF). The White Room is a powerful, emotional, psychological drama that follows a young man who wakes up trapped and confused in a mysterious room with no recollection of how he came to be there. The events of the film play out in an unforeseeable direction that leaves a lasting impact. BIFF runs Feb. 14 to 23 and will show nearly 100 international, national and regional movies. For more information on the films and screening dates and locations, go to beloitfilmfest.org. ❚

Smart Living Weekly

Feb. 12

17


20

Smart Living Weekly

Feb. 5


Smart Living Weekly

Jan. 29

21


R  O R

Valentine’s Day Continued from cover

“Lauren’s parents and grandparents honeymooned here, and still come back for their anniversaries,” says CasstevensJasiek. “Andrew proposed to her in that same honeymoon cabin, and they came

20

Smart Living Weekly

Feb. 12

back here for their honeymoon.” That’s when the couple shared this tender kiss in one of the park’s 14 canyons with waterfalls. Couples massages are available onsite, and on Feb. 14-16, go on a Bald Eagle Trolley Tour, take a guided winter hike, or relax in the pool, sauna and hot tub. Choose from several dining options, including Sunday Brunch, and be sure to check out the special package deals. Also, Grand Geneva Resort & Spa, Lake Geneva Wis., is offering two Valentine Packages: Lift of Love, a ski weekend atop The Mountain Top at Grand Geneva; and Love is Grand, a romantic weekend with dinner and flowers and candies. Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa, Galena, Ill., has its Love is in the Air Package; and

White Pines Inn, Mt. Morris, Ill., inside White Pines State Park, has its Romantic Escape Package.

Dining Out

Always a good bet for romance is a quiet table for two, whether it’s a cozy bistro or a five-star restaurant. “Food brings people together,” says Gino Seferi, who owns Amici Italian Grill in Roscoe, Ill., with brothers Shpresim and Afrim. “Enjoying beautiful food in a beautiful atmosphere, with candles on the table and great music from Sinatra, Martin and the Rat Pack – you can’t get more romantic than that!” For Valentine’s Day, Amici’s is offering a special dinner for two, with choice of New York Strip or Shrimp de Jonghe, along with a bottle of house wine and Spumoni ice cream, for $45. The chef is also cooking up a filet mignon or filet mignon with lobster tail for the special night. At Goldmoor Inn, Galena, Ill., enjoy a gourmet, four-course meal, with a main course of crab cake and a 6-oz. filet, while taking in a spectacular


view from a dining room overlooking the Mississippi River Valley ($59 per person). Other local spots known for their romantic ambience: Cannova’s Italian Cuisine, Freeport; Butterfly Club, Beloit; abreo, Rockford; Vito’s Ristorante, Rockford.

Gift Ideas

For romantic gift-giving, the top three are items – of course! – are jewelry, flowers and candy. Flowers have long symbolized romance, love and marriage, and in the 17th and 18th centuries, sweet treats were a luxury, not to mention expensive, making them special gifts. For a lasting impression, however, nothing compares to glimmering gemstones and precious metals. “Jewelry helps to create the moment, and shows the person how you feel,” says Christy West of Mincemoyer Jewelry in Rockford. “It’s an emotional purchase. We love to tell stories of romance with our jewelry.” Enders Flowers, Rockford, has special Valentine’s Day bouquets and arrangements, or will customize a floral

Valentine for your special Valentine. For a twist on the heart-shaped box of chocolates, send your sweetie a chocolate-dipped bouquet of scrumptious strawberries from Edible Arrangements, Rockford, or choose from several chocolate-dipped Valentine’s Day specials.

Valentine’s Day Events

Outdoor Valentine’s Day offerings: Full Moon Walk, Feb. 14, 7-9 p.m., Severson Dells Forest Preserve, Winnebago, Ill.; Moonlight Ski/Snowshoe Hike, Feb. 14, 6-8 p.m., Hononegah Forest Preserve, Rockton. Also: • Dinner Buffet & Show featuring Hypnotist Chuck King, Feb. 14, 5:30 p.m., Janesville Armory. • Tango with Jacques Saint Cyr & Maria Castello, Feb. 14. 7 p.m. (workshop for all-ages/levels), Mendelssohn Hall, Rockford. • Sky Circus On Ice, Feb. 14-16, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Lake Lawn Resort, Delavan, Wis. ❚

Smart Living Weekly

Feb. 12

21


22

Smart Living Weekly

Feb. 5


Smart Living Weekly

Jan. 29

23


American Board of Plastic Surgery ABMS MOC速 Certification Matters

as a board certified Plastic surgeon, dr. Pryor is committed to providing the most comprehensive surgical and minimally invasive cosmetic treatments, individually customized to refresh the face, body, and mind. Please contact transformations Plastic surgery to schedule your complimentary aesthetic consultation.

8 5 5 - d r P r Y o r

( 3 7 7 - 7 9 6 7 )

i

W W W . d r P r Y o r . c o M

EdgEbrook ProfEssional building i 1639 north alPinE rd i suitE 400 i rockford, illinois 61107

16

Smart Living Weekly

Feb. 12


Y H

Know the Warning Signs of Child Diabetes D iabetes is one of the most common diseases in school-aged children. Nearly 19 percent of new cases are designated as type 2 diabetes, which can often be prevented, says Dr. Abraham Rodriguez, a pediatrician with Beloit Health System. Type 1 occurs when the immune system destroys the body’s ability to make insulin, a hormone that helps cells to absorb glucose from the foods we eat. The only treatment is to take insulin. “With type 2 diabetes, the body still produces insulin, but the cells don’t allow it to work properly,” Rodriguez explains. Many cases can be managed through diet and exercise. Kids are at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes if they: • Have a family history of the disease. About 45 to 80 percent of children with type 2 diabetes have at least one close relative with the disease.

• Weigh too much. Excess fat makes it harder for the body to respond to insulin properly. • Are inactive. Regular exercise helps to control weight, prompts the body to use glucose as energy, and may make cells more responsive to insulin. • Belong to one of these ethnic groups: American Indian, Alaska native, African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic/Latino or Pacific Islander. Symptoms include frequent urination, excessive thirst, fatigue, thick and dark skin on the neck or under the arms, increased hunger, weight loss, blurred vision and slow healing/frequent infections. While we can’t change genetic risk for type 2 diabetes, we can help children to make lifestyle changes that reduce their overall risk, such as: Eating healthy. Provide your child

with a variety of healthy food options, including lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Check food labels to ensure items are low in calories and fat. Help your child to control portion sizes, and avoid fried foods. Opt for water rather than soda or fruit drinks. Getting active. Encourage your child to try a variety of physical activities to find what he or she enjoys most. Aim for 60 minutes of activity each day. Being healthy together. A healthy diet and regular exercise are good for the entire family, so make it a group effort. ❚

Smart Living Weekly

Feb. 12

25


Everyday Everyday

SShhoopp

UUnniqiqUUee

GGrreeaa

tt p rpo ro d d u u c c t st s on oly nly ava ava il il ablaeblaet at

www.edgebrookshops.com www.edgebrookshops.com 1601 1601 N.N. Alpine Alpine RdRd • • Rockford, Rockford, IL IL • • 815.226-0212 815.226-0212 • • orputcompanies.com orputcompanies.com

Limited time Offer menu through Feb 26

2 $2 0

for

Dinner D

e al

The PerfecT Pair

815.977.4319

luchacantina.com/rockford /luchacantinarockford

10

Smart Living Weekly

Feb. 5


Y F

Alzheimer’s: Know the 10 Signs Feb. 13, 10-11:30 a.m. Presented by Susan Sklar, this program focuses on the 10 warning signs of serious memory loss. It includes a basic overview of Alzheimer’s disease and covers risk factors, diagnosis, and the benefits of early detection. NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center, 5605 E. Rockton Road, Roscoe, Ill., (815) 484-1300, alz.org. Beloit International Film Festival Feb. 14-23. Showing more than 150 films from 30-plus countries over 10 days, this 9th annual festival is larger than ever and specifics are too numerous to list here. Director and producer Mark Wood will serve as Honorary Chair this year. Buy tickets online, or at the Visit Beloit box office, 500 Public Ave., Beloitfilmfest.org. Rock Valley Children’s Choir Fundraiser Feb. 15, 6 p.m. “There’s Music in the Air,” at this choir fundrasing concert and dinner with performances by Friends of the Rock Valley Children’s Choir. 406 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 964-9713, mendelssohnpac.org. Harvey Through Feb. 16, Fri.-Sat. 7 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. Elwood P. Dowd makes friends with a spirit taking the form of a human-sized rabbit named Harvey; a comedy of errors ensues. Main Street Players, 111 W. 1st St., Belvidere, (800) 741-2963. Sabrina Fair Through Feb. 16, Fri.-Sat. 7:30 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m.; Dinner on Sat. Janesville Little Theatre presents a romantic comedy that follows the daughter of a chauffeur who returns from school in Paris transformed from a shy girl into a confident woman. Janesville Performing Arts Center, 408 S. Main St., Janesville, Wis., (608) 758-0297, janesvillepac.org. Band Perry Feb. 20, 7:30 p.m. Fronted by Kimberly Perry and rounded out by her younger brothers Reid and Neil, the band has notched a string of hit singles, including “If I Die Young,” “You Lie,” and “All Your Life.” BMO Harris Bank Center, Rockford, thebmoharrisbankcenter.com. Carrie Rodriguez Feb. 21, 7 p.m. This Texas fiddler, singer and songwriter has established an impressive roster of touring, recording and co-writing affiliations. Severson Dells Forest Preserve, 8502 Montague Road, Winnebago, Ill., (815) 3352915, seversondells.com.

Band Perry performs at BMO Harris Bank Center on Feb. 20.

Jabali African Acrobats Feb. 22, 2-3 p.m. Direct from Mombassa, Kenya, their performance includes acrobats, contortions, tumbling, human pyramids, chair balancing, dance and comedy. Nordlof Center, Rockfordpubliclibrary.org. Switchback Feb. 22, 7:30 p.m. Brian Fitzgerald and Martin McCormack perform their unique American Roots-Celtic Soul music blend on mandolin, guitar and bass, with amazing vocal harmonies. Janesville Performing Arts Center, Janesville, Wis., (608) 758-0297. Disney on Ice: 100 Years of Magic Feb. 27-March 2, see website for times. See 65 of Disney’s unforgettable characters from 18 shows come to life: Pinocchio, Finding Nemo, The Lion King, Mulan, Toy Story and more. BMO Harris Bank Center, Rockford, thebmoharrisbankcenter.com. Mary Poppins Feb. 27-April 20, see website for times. Direct from Broadway and the national tour, The Fireside’s production features all the wellknown songs, high-stepping dance, magic and mirth. Fireside, Fort Atkinson, firesidetheatre. com. Sock Monkey Madness Festival March 1 & 2, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. This one-of -a-kind annual event highlights Rockford’s once-thriving knitting industry, symbolized by the pop culture iconic stuffed sock monkey toy made from Rockford Red Heel Socks. Make and take sock monkeys and crafts, story reading, food for sale, fun and activities. Midway Village Museum, 6799 Guilford Road, Rockford. Midwayvillage.com. ❚ Smart Living Weekly

Feb. 12

27


28

Smart Living Weekly

Feb. 12


W D L

Smart Dining Weekly Our Top Picks for Terrific Local Restaurants

D Dinner, L Lunch, Br Brunch, Bk Breakfast. Cost: $ under $12.50; $$ $12.50 - $25; $$$ $25+ 2nd Cousin’s Bar & Grill E Casual/American. Burgers, tacos, salads, steak, seafood. Full bar. 6246 E. Riverside Blvd., Loves Park, Ill., (815) 637-2660. LD M-F 11am-2am, Sat-Sun 8am to late. $. abreo E Upscale-Casual. Tapas menu. 515 E. State St., Rockford, (815) 968-9463. D M-Th 5-10pm, F-Sat to midnight. Bar open late. $-$$. Amici Italian Grill E Upscale-Casual/Italian. Fresh, authentic Italian cuisine. 5506 Clayton Circle, Roscoe, Ill., (815) 623-7171. LD Sun-Th 11am-9pm, F-Sat 11am10-pm. $-$$. Backyard Grill & Bar E Casual/American. 5390 Elevator Rd., Roscoe, Ill., (815) 623-6677. 201 State St., Cherry Valley, Ill., (815) 332-4176. 6473 N. 2nd St., Loves Park, Ill., (815) 636-9430. LD M-Th 11am-midnight, F-Sat to 2am, Sun noon-10pm. $-$$. Butterfly Club E Upscale-Casual/Fine Dining. 5246 E. Co. Road X, Beloit, Wis. (608) 362-8577. LD T-Th 5-9:30pm, F 4:30-10pm, Sat 5-10pm, Sun noon-8pm. Live bands. $$. Cannova’s Pizzeria E Casual. 247 N. Main St., Galena, Ill., (815) 777-3735. LD daily. $. Ciao Bella Ristorante E Upscale-Casual/ItalianAmerican. Extensive wine list; daily specials. 6500 E. Riverside Blvd., Loves Park, Ill., (815) 654-9900. LD M-F 11am-9pm, Sat 5-9pm. $$. Costa’s Italian Ristorante E Upscale-Casual. Pizza, entrées. 133 Blackhawk Dr., Byron, Ill., (815) 234-4707. Open daily. D Sun-Th 4-10pm, F-Sat to midnight. $-$$. Dos Reales E Casual/Authentic Mexican. 5855 E. State St., Rockford. LD M-Th 11am-10pm, F-Sat to 10:30pm, Sun to 10pm $-$$. Fifth Alarm Firehouse Pub E Casual/American. 120 N. Union St., Bryon, Ill., (815) 234-7000. LD daily 11am. $-$$. Giordano’s E Casual/Italian. Authentic stuffed pizza, salads, sandwiches, entrees, desserts. Pick-up/delivery available. 333 Executive Pkwy., Rockford, (815) 398-5700. LD Sun-Th 9am-11p.m, F-Sat to midnight. $. Giovanni’s/Big Al’s Bar/Alchemy E UpscaleCasual/American. Three dining rooms. 610 N. Bell

School Rd., Rockford. (815) 398-6411. L M-F 11am-2pm; D M-Sat 5pm-10pm. Live entertainment in Big Al’s Bar, open late. $-$$. JMK Nippon Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar E Upscale-Casual/Japanese. Food cooked at your table. 2551 N. Perryville Rd., Rockford, (815) 877-0505. L T-F 11:30am-2pm, Sat to 2:30pm; D M-Th 5-9:30pm, F-Sat to 10:30pm, Sun 4:30-9:30pm. $$. Joey C’s Cucina & Cocktails E Upscale-Casual. Italian specialties. 2583 N. Mulford Rd., Rockford, (815) 6391200. LD M-T 4-10pm, W-Th 11am-9pm, F to 10pm, SatSun 4-10pm $. Leombruni’s Italian Village Pizza & Restaurant E Casual. 110 W. 2nd St., Byron, Ill., (815) 234-2696. D T-Th 5-9pm, F-Sat to 11pm, Sun to 10pm. $. Lucha Cantina E Casual/Mexican. Fresh ingredients, no MSG, steaks, mac ‘n cheese, burgers. 1641 N. Alpine, Rockford, (815) 977-4319. LD M-Th 11am-midnight, F-Sat 2am. $. Lydia’s Café E Casual/American. Your friendly neighborhood café. 1710 Rural St., Rockford, (815) 2290322. BkL T-F 7am-1:30pm, Sat to 1pm, Sun 8am-1pm. $. Maciano’s Pizza & Pastaria E Casual. Gourmet pizza, Italian favorites, beer & wine. 6746 Broadcast Pkwy., Loves Park, Ill., (815) 633-7500. 5801 Columbia Pkwy., Rockford, (815) 227-5577. LD Sun-Th 11am-10pm, F-Sat to 11pm. $$. Murphy’s Pub & Grill E Casual/Irish-American. 510 S. Perryville Rd., Rockford, Ill. (815) 986-0950. LD M-Sat 11am-2am, Sun to midnight. $-$$. Olympic Tavern E Casual/American. 2327 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 962-8758. LD M-Sat 11am-2am. $-$$. Slanted Shanty Vintage Pub (formerly Jezebel’s) Upscale-Casual/American. Vintage/Burlesque-themed pub and eatery. 6731 Broadcast Pkwy., Loves Park, Ill., (815) 7087879. D M-Th 3:30pm-11pm, F 11am-midnight, Sat 3:30pmmidnight. $$.

Visit NorthwestQuarterly.com/Dining to See Our Expanded

Dining Guide Online Smart Living Weekly e-subscribers: Click this Box to Go There Now!

Smart Living Weekly

Feb. 12

29


14

Smart Living Weekly

Feb. 5


T  I

How To Do Your Taxes for Free

T

here’s a simple way to do your federal taxes, and it’s free. The program, called “Free File,” does the hard work for you, either through brand-name software or online flllable forms. It’s available at IRS.gov. Free File is offered through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by 14 of the nation’s leading tax software manufacturers. Nearly 40 million people have used this helpful program, and using the most conservative estimate, they’ve saved people $1.2 billion in fees. It’s available 24/7, giving you the freedom to decide when and how to do your federal taxes. Plus, the software is user-friendly, offering a familiar Q&A format and the freedom to complete your return at your own pace. Here’s how you start: Go to irs.gov/freeflle. If your income was $58,000 or less, select the “Start Free File Now” button. Each of the 14 participating companies has a special offer. Review the offers or use the “help me flnd Free File software” tool. Select tax software that matches your situation. Leave IRS.gov and go to the company’s site to begin your taxes. If your income was more than $58,000, you can use Free File Fillable Forms, the electronic version of IRS paper forms. Just select the “Free File Fillable Forms” button at irs.gov/freeflle. This version is best if you are comfortable preparing your own tax return with limited help. Use e-flle to flle your returns electronically. You’ll get your refund faster when you combine e-flle and direct deposit. Free File is just one of many selfhelp options available at IRS.gov. Select “Where’s My Refund” to track the status of your refund and get a personalized refund date. Have a tax law question? Visit the Interactive Tax Assistant, IRS Tax Map or Tax Trails. You also can flnd payment options and request an installment payment agreement online. You can even order a summary of a previous tax return. When you have questions, make IRS.gov your flrst stop. ❚ Smart Living Weekly

Feb. 12

31


32

Smart Living Weekly

Feb. 12


Y M

Your Mailbox May be a Threat to Your Identity By Jim Killam

R

emember the good old days, when you could go to work in the morning, leave your house doors unlocked and post a sign in the yard telling people you weren’t home and asking them not to steal anything? Neither do we. Why, then, would you do exactly the same thing with your mailbox? Mailing checks and other sensitive information from home is one of the biggest non-technological risks of identity theft, says Lori Perkins, Director of Marketing at Rock Valley Credit Union, 1201 Clifford Ave., Loves Park. “When you are mailing payments to your utility companies or your credit card company, when you put that little red flag up on your mailbox, you’re pretty much saying, ‘OK, come see what’s in my mailbox,’” she says. If thieves get hold of one of your checks, they can chemically wash out

the payee and the amount you wrote, then make the check out to themselves with a new amount. Plus, they now have your name, your address, your bank, your account number and routing number, Perkins says. Better to drop outgoing mail at the post office. Even better, pay bills online, or set up automatic payments with utilities. “That’s safe and secure when you do it directly with the company,” Perkins says. Incoming mail can present risks, too. Credit card bills, bank statements, even utility bills have information thieves can use, like your name, address and account numbers. The more of those things you can shift online, the safer you are. Particularly older generations are hesitant to do that, ironically fearing that their information could be compromised online. The low-tech methods are far riskier, Perkins says.

“I’m not saying that people are going around in neighborhoods doing this, but that is a potential,” she says. Why take the risk when you don’t have to? ❚

Get SLW Money articles every week. Visit NWQSmartLiving.com and start your E-Edition today.

Be a Safe Boater! Enroll in the The United States Power Squadrons America's Boating Course

Course covers topics all boaters should know and includes: • Safe operation of a boat • Legal US Coast Guard and IL State requirements (including 17 and under operation.) • Boat handling, charting, trailering, water sports and more.

• Satifies certification requirements for Illinois and other states , with greater detail than basic public education and online courses. • Six month initial membership with USPS is awarded upon completion

• Membership provides substantial insurance discounts; advance boating courses, operator certification, and other discounts/benefits • Taught by highly qualified boating instructors 10 sessions beginning February 17th at 7:00pm-9:00pm at the Rock Valley College Physical Education Center Room 0202 Register at RockValleyCollege.edu/CEOnline Class ID: PED 811 RV Robert Canfield $40 RVC Fee, plus a $45 book and supply fee due/payable to instructor at first class Smart Living Weekly

Feb. 12

33


e-Subscribe to Smart Living Weekly Now! You Will Be Automatically Entered into This Week’s Giveaway! Save Smarter • Live Better • Every Week

Get Started at NorthwestQuarterly.com/Contest

Enter This Week’s Giveaway, and Receive Smart Living Every Week For FREE! E-Subscribers: Click Here Now to Enter This Week’s Giveaway.

This Week’s Giveaway Winner To Be Announced Feb. 19 on the 13 WREX Morning Show

$50 Gift Card Slanted Shanty Vintage Pub Enter Now At: www.northwestquarterly.com/contest For contest rules go to NWQSmartLiving.com

34

Smart Living Weekly

Feb. 12


Smart Living Weekly

Issue 1

55


Smart Living Weekly - February 5, 2014  

Featured this week: Local Valentine's Day Fun. You and your family will live smarter and better lives, every week of the year, with this mag...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you