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Right in Our Region

Mike Webb and His ‘Impossible Season’ at RVC’s Studio Theatre By Peggy Werner

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ike Webb describes himself as a homegrown, regular guy who likes to problem-solve and meet challenges, while providing a good theater experience to his hometown. That’s just what he’s done, for 30 years, as the director of Starlight Theatre and Studio Theatre at Rock Valley College. No season has been more challenging, however, than the current one at Studio Theatre. In fact, it’s been dubbed “the impossible year” because of the large-scale musicals he’s already produced on a postage stamp-sized stage: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Wizard of Oz and Fiddler on the Roof. But the greatest challenge of all will be the fourth and final production, Agatha Christie’s Akhnaton, which runs March 19-29.

Continued on p. 20

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In This Issue

Right in Our Region: .....................Cover & p. 20 Mike Webb and Studio Theatre Your Home ........................................................11 Why Today’s Appliances Don’t Last Inspiration & Worship .....................................12 Your Kitchen .................................................... 15 Oscar-Worthy Dessert Recipes Your Auto ..........................................................17 Why Cars Need a Spring Check-Up Your Health ...................................................... 25 Benefits of Outpatient Surgery Centers Your Fun ........................................................... 27 Dining Locally ................................................. 29 Tips ................................................................... 31 Mistakes We Make in the Shower Your Money ...................................................... 33 Why We Need to Check Our Credit Scores

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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 Designer 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 part of any text, photograph or illustration without written permission from the publisher is strictly prohibited.

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That’s Entertainment!

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t’s a coincidence that our cover story about Studio Theatre happens to fall on the week of the 86th Annual Academy Awards, when thoughts are turned to actors, writers, directors and their ilk. One feature of the Oscar show is the presentation of honorary lifetime achievement awards. These are given to people who have a collective body of work – not just one show – worth celebrating. I wish we had an award like that in Rockford to present to our cover subject, Mike Webb, director of Studio and Starlight theaters at Rock Valley College, who’s coaxed more talent out of more local folks than anyone can count. Of course, Mike is far too young to talk about “lifetime achievement,” but it’s worth noting that this is his 30th year at RVC. Some folks might be resting on their laurels and slacking off a bit, by now, having, for example, produced all 22 of Shakespeare’s original plays. Instead, Mike took on his biggest challenge to date, at Studio Theatre, this season. How’s that for a Midwest work ethic, Hollywood? Read more in our cover story. As for Oscar, I look forward to watching the spectacle once again, from that first red carpet entrance with obligatory mention of gown and jewelry brand, to the last boring speech, as I’ve done all my life. How could I miss Jennifer Lawrence stumbling over her gown, or other antics of my favorite entertainers? Of course, “quality” entertainment is in the eye of the beholder, as I noted only last night, when I found my otherwise intelligent husband glued to the 1990 horror film Tremors. I scoffed, just as he scoffs when I watch re-runs of “The Big Valley.” In truth, both of us will find that our time is much better spent taking in a live, local show, the final Studio Theatre production of the season, Akhnaton. See you there! Janine Pumilia, Executive Editor

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Y H  G

No, They Don’t Build ’Em Like They Used To By Jim Killam

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ow come that 30-year-old refrigerator in Grandma’s basement still runs like a top, but the one you bought seven years ago has already bitten the dust? It’s easy to say dismissively, “They don’t make ’em like they used to.” And that’s true, but in two ways. Take a good look at Grandma’s electric bill. Brad Born, Vice President of Al Grace Appliance, 811 W. Riverside Blvd., Rockford, agrees that the lifespan of appliances has shrunk dramatically. Most will last 10 years or less. But, he says, here’s what people forget: If today’s appliances were still built like they were 30 years ago, they would cost far more to buy and to operate. For example, refrigerator manufacturers now use small, high-rpm compressors rather than their huge, piston-driven predecessors.

“So you’ve created great efficiencies and lower operational costs – a lot lower,” Born says. “When you look at the life of a refrigerator, you’ve saved enough electricity in the 10 years you’ve run it that you can literally buy the next 10year refrigerator for what you’ve saved in electricity.” Today’s appliances have more sensors and electronic circuitry than ever. That’s another reason for the shorter lifespan. Circuitry yields greater energy efficiency, but it also can fail for no apparent reason. “You can buy a $400 range,” Born says, “but it will have as a replacement part a $250 printed circuit board. And usually there are two: the touch pad, plus the brain behind it. So quite obviously, your ration of cost of repair and replacement gets out of whack.”

Manufacturer ’s warranties tend to cover just one year. For that reason, Al Grace emphasizes extended warranties, even offering to refund the money if customers never use them. “The cost to repair is so high, and an electronic board can go bad for no apparent reason in 14 months,” Born says. “If you’re out of warranty, that’s quite an expense.” ❚

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I  W

It’s Complicated

This series examines the qualities of Jesus Christ when he was on Earth. here’s a sort of tug-of-war going on, in Christian circles, regarding the personality of Jesus. Was he a gentle shepherd or, as some say, a tough-guy Jesus who had more in common with Chuck Norris? In truth, Jesus was both and more. He wasn’t a one-dimensional character from a story, but a human being. Human beings are complex people who feel a range of emotions and react differently to various situations. Most of all, Jesus was a person attuned to the voice of God, wholly committed to doing God’s will. He didn’t stop to heal every sick person he saw, but he stopped to heal some – the ones God told him to heal. He didn’t preach to every city, but went where God led him. He took his direction from God. “For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.” (John 6:38, NIV) How did he know what God’s will was? First, Jesus knew scripture. And, Jesus knew God’s will through prayer. He regularly spent quiet time with God and paid attention to God’s voice. Finally, Jesus told his followers to be confident in the power of holy spirit that would fill them on the Day of Pentacost – the same power that fills all people who choose to follow Jesus today. “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12) “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever – the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:15-18) Like us, Jesus lived a unique human life and experienced a full range of emotion. And we all know that being human is, well … complicated. ❚

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--Janine Pumilia

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Y K

Oscar-Worthy & Unusual Delectable Desserts E ven if you’re not a Hollywood star, you can indulge in sublime flavors during your own Academy Awards party this Sunday, by indulging in something unexpected. What makes food unexpected? The pairing of unusual flavors. We all know that chocolate and caramel are yummy, but what happens when either is paired with different flavors, like salty, sour or savory? Spurred by curiosity, the food scientists in the Wilton Test Kitchen have explored this question and come up with some deliciously different desserts, like the one below. Find more of their recipes at treatology.wilton.com, such as Strawberry Chardonnay Cake; Ginger Cake with Tangerine Curd and Green Tea Icing; Pear & Brie Honey Tartlets; Mini Parsnip Cake with Salted Brown Butter Glaze; and Rosewater & Violet Truffles with Candied Rose Petals. While the terms “taste” and “flavor” are often used interchangeably, there’s a difference between the two. The taste of a food is what the taste buds perceive, while the flavor is the combination of these tastes, plus aroma and the other sensations. Wilson defines “treatology” as the science of blending different flavors and tastes to create dishes that are an experience all on their own.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line muffin pan with baking cups. In a small bowl, combine water and instant coffee; stir to dissolve. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, coffee, eggs and oil. Beat with electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl frequently. Then, beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Fill baking cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 16 to 18 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in pan 5 minutes. Remove from pan and place on cooling grid to cool completely. For ganache, combine cream and instant coffee in small saucepan; stir to dissolve. Warm over medium heat until cream begins to steam; do not boil. Remove from heat and add chocolate chips; stir until smooth. Cool slightly. Place 1/2 cup ganache in disposable decorating bag. Using the handle of a wooden spoon, create a small hole in the

center of each cupcake; pipe in ganache. Dip tops of cupcakes in remaining ganache; lightly shake off excess. Immediately dip cupcake in toffee bits. ❚ (Source:Family Features)

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Y A C

Why Your Car Needs a Spring Check-Up By Jim Killam

T

hink of how tough this winter was. Now think of how tough it was on your car. Salt ravaged it. Potholes bashed it. And all those subzero mornings pushed batteries and engines to their limits. After a winter of neglect, early spring is an opportune time for a check-up. “My dad always told me, ‘probably the second-biggest investment you’ll ever make is a car,’” says Scott Lawver, Service Manager at Bryden Motors, 548 Broad St., Beloit. “Take care of it. People go out and pay 25 or 30 grand for a car and they don’t take care of it.” Problems with front ends and tires tend to show up as the weather warms, Lawver says. “In the wintertime, half the roads are snowy and you don’t feel it so much,” he says. “Tires kind of glide along. Then when you get to summer and the hot

pavement, that’s when the tires get chewed up.” And, people begin driving more places than just to work and back. “Summertime comes and vacations start. That’s why you should get your car checked,” he says. “The last thing you want to be is 200 or 300 miles away from home and something falls apart on the front end. That could cost you a couple grand. It kind of blows your vacation.” One commonly overlooked item is the air filter. It’s an easy and inexpensive fix, and one key to keeping the engine clean and gas mileage optimal. Yet, even when shown that they need a replacement, many customers tend to let it go, eventually forgetting about it. That’s a common scenario. “My favorite,” Lawver says, “is

when a guy comes in and I’ll tell him what the car needs and he’ll say, ‘Oh, it’s my wife’s car. I’ll let her take care of it.’ We hear that the most. And I’ll just straight-up ask them, ‘Well, don’t you care about your wife?’” ❚

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RVC’S Studio Theatre Continued from Cover Average theatergoers can’t begin to appreciate the time and talent required to pare down a lengthy script like Ahknaton; can’t begin to understand the pressures and difficulty of staging it and simplifying its complex storyline, says Webb – so he decided to do it anyway, just to show audiences what can be done. “I love the small space because the audience is right there with the actors,”

Fiddler on the Roof

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says Webb. “It makes the audience part of the production. The performance is so personal, the space is so personal, and each audience has its own character.” Ahknaton is the first and largest production by Christie. With a cast of dozens, and 300 spoken parts, Ahknaton was written at a time when most productions were performed in long multiple acts. The play features 38 actors, the largest cast ever to perform in Studio Theatre. As with the other “larger than life” productions this year, the script will be shortened to capture story highlights without losing meaning. Written in 1937, at about the same time Christie wrote Death on the Nile, Ahknaton takes place in ancient Egypt and follows the lives of Egyptian Pharaoh Ahknaton, his wife Nefertiti and his successor Tutankhaton. Christie was inspired to write the play after returning home from an excavation trip with her archeologist

Feb. 26

husband. Webb calls the play “sweeping and epic,” a story that provides insight into various types of rulers, the corruption that power brings, and its impact on a nation’s ordinary people. Webb began featuring a yearly Christie production in 1990, after reading her autobiography, researching and admiring her work, and realizing no one else had taken on the challenge. He had designated April as Murder Mystery Month, so the opening was there for Christie to take center stage. While Webb enjoys meeting obstacles head-on, he’s never totally free of worries and fears. He says he always marvels at the way “people just come out of the woodwork” to get the job done. Sometimes there’s enough rehearsal time and sometimes there isn’t. For example, the cast of Fiddler on the Roof lost several rehearsals because of the severe weather this winter. Still, the show goes on, with minor adjustments along the


R  O R way. In some ways, this season is a new experience for the audience and helps everyone to see, in a different light, just what can be accomplished. “It works really well,” says Webb. “Once I free myself up from all the expectations, it makes me (as a director) change how I think about things.” The 170-seat Studio Theatre opened in the early 1980s, in a former college dining room once used as a rehearsal hall for Starlight Theatre productions, known then only as the “indoor theater.” So small were the accommodations, student actors had to go outside and around the building to get to the other side of the stage. It’s a little space that Webb has transformed from the ground up, using both his mind and his hands. Along with students and others, Webb has removed walls and added a new ceiling and lighting grid, moveable walls and comfortable seating on risers. He still holds out hope that money will be allocated to build a new theater building that would house

two stages and provide more storage space, as has been discussed by college leaders. The facility committee meets again in March. There will always be a small theater, but a bigger lobby to handle the crowds would be a welcome addition, says Webb. Until then, he’ll continue to open the doors at the start of every performance Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in Studio Theatre, as he has done for 30 years. duction of Les Miserables. “It’s just one of those things I like “Why not?” Webb responded. to do,” Webb explains. “I like the idea of That pretty well sums up this powerinviting people into my world and showhouse of energy, ideas and vision. ing them the space I’ve created. Studio “I’m always challenging myself, Theatre means so much to me because, wondering how I can make things better when I started, there was nothing here. A and more special,” he says. lot of people have been through here and This season is certainly no excephave been touched by this theater. I feel tion. blessed.” Buy tickets for Ahknator at the onA theatergoer recently told Webb he line box office, or call (815) 921-2160 becould never top last year’s Starlight protween 9 a.m. & 5 p.m. weekdays. ❚

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THE WORLD AFTER DINOSAURS MARCH 8 & 9, 2014 M New ADVeNTUReS w wITH DR. SCOTT! Featuring the Special Exhibit

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Y H

The Benefits of an Outpatient Surgery Center I

t’s difficult to predict the future of U.S. health care, given the rapidly changing marketplace. However, a high-quality, low-cost provider is in the best position to thrive. Superior, affordable health services translate into satisfied patients – the goal of Rockford Ambulatory Surgery Center (RASC). Since 1994, the outpatient surgery center’s founders sought to give area residents an alternative choice to expensive in-hospital, one-day surgical care. “Smart consumers want out-ofpocket expenses at the bare minimum,” observes CEO/Administrator Dr. Steve Gunderson. “We offer advances that reduce recovery time and provide services at the lowest cost Dr. Steve Gunderson

to patients in most instances. That’s a powerful combination.” From its location at 1016 Featherstone Road on Rockford’s east side, RASC has performed more than 90,000 procedures in the past 20 years. The center’s multiple specialties include ear, nose and throat, general surgery, orthopedic, gynecologic, ophthalmology, pain management and podiatric surgery. “We have a great, mature group of surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses and technicians who’ve served the community for years,” Gunderson notes. The facility features five operating rooms, a large recovery area and two waiting rooms. Unlike hospitals, which have high capital, operating and maintenance costs, RASC enjoys a low overhead that saves patients money. Visitors experience many comforts, such as a cozy fireplace, Wi-Fi, television and complimentary beverages. To younger and older patients alike, the atmosphere

is warm and friendly. Convenience is one reason why RASC consistently earns a near-perfect patient satisfaction rating. “Most people want to spend as little time as possible in a health care setting,” Gunderson says. “We encourage family members to stay with patients until they are taken to the operating room and to be present when patients awaken. This creates a more relaxing environment.” Excellent care remains the distinguishing characteristic after two decades. The center meets standards set by the Center for Medicare Services and the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, and strictly adheres to established protocols. “Satisfied patients’ word of mouth is our best marketing tool,” says Gunderson. “Our staff members deliver the best outpatient care available and a level of safety that’s as high as in any hospital and an infection rate that’s much lower.” ❚ (Source: Rockford Ambulatory Surgery Center)

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American Aquarium Feb. 26, 7 p.m. This band from Raleigh, NC, plays good old Southern country rock & roll. Severson Dells, 8786 Montague Road, Winnebago, (815) 335-2915. Heartbreak House Feb. 27-March 2, Thurs.-Sat. 7:30 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. Author George Bernard Shaw’s favorite play, set in the English countryside. Maddox Theatre, Rockford University, 5050 E. State St., Rockford, (815) 226-4032. “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 well-known songs, high-stepping dance, magic and mirth. Fireside, Fort Atkinson, Wis., 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; stories; food for sale; activities. Midway Village Museum, 6799 Guilford Road, Rockford. Midwayvillage.com. Lindo Theatre: Run Silent Run Deep March 5, 1 & 7 p.m. Part of an ongoing classic World War 2 series, about the captain of a submarine sunk by the Japanese, whose single-minded determination for revenge against the destroyer that sunk his previous vessel puts his new crew in unnecessary danger. Optional guided discussion to follow. Maple Fest March 1-22, check website for times. Maple syrup-making demonstrations. Elegant Farmer, Mukwonago, Wis., elegantfarmer.com. PaleoFest 2014 March 8-9, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. “The World After Dinosaurs” focuses on the Cenozoic era, immediately following the donosaurs’ extinction. Dr. Scott Sampson, host of PBS’ Dinosaur Train, gives a breakfast presentation, workshops and lectures. Burpee Museum of Natural History,

Enjoy “Disney on Ice: 100 Years of Magic” Feb. 27 to March 2 at BMO Harris Bank Center.

737 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 965-3433, burpee.org. ❚ SOFIA with Sarah Scoles March 11, 6:30-8 p.m. Grades 3-8 with adult. Hear what it’s like to fly on SOFIA, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, from a passenger, Astronomy Magazine editor Sarah Scoles. See photos, demos using infrared camera. $5/$15 per family. Yerkes Observatory, Williams Bay, astro.uchicago.edu. Amsoil Snocross Series Championship March 14-16, Sat. 9:30 a.m., Sun. noon. Top pro snowmobiliers race in the season-ending championships. Monster Slednecks Invasion Tour freestyle showcase Friday night. Grand Geneva Resort, Lake Geneva, grandgeneva. com, isocracing.com. Bubble Festival March 15, shows 9 & 10:30 a.m., noon, 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. Bubble-Palooza Playground; bubble and art activities; shows by bubble celebrity Geoffrey Akins (reserve tickets early). $4/$3 members; $5/$4 door. Museum admission extra. Discovery Center, Rockford, Discoverycentermuseum.org. Buttons, Beads & Bangles March 22, 1-4 p.m. Welty Whimsies Rustic Art Series. Create retro-style jewelry using feathers, repurposed jewelry pieces, zippers, beads and buttons. $35 includes materials. Big Hill Park Cabin, Beloit, weltycenter.org. Spring Awakening Gathering March 22, 1-8 p.m. Outdoor activites; barn dance; community supper; live music. The Pec Barn, Pecatonica River Forest Preserve, 7260 Judd Road, Pecatonica, Ill., (815) 335-2915, wcfpd.org. ❚

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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. 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. $-$$. Bravo Pizza E Italian/American favorites, full bar. 376 Prairie Hill Road, South Beloit, Wis. (815) 624-7900. LD M-Th 11 am-10 pm, Fri. & Sat. 11 am-11 pm, Sun. 11 am-10pm. $. Butterfly Club E Upscale-Casual/Fine Dining. 5246 E. Co. Road X, Beloit, Wis. (608) 362-8577. LD T-Th 5-9:30pm, F 4:30-10pm, Sat 5-10pm, Sun noon-8pm. Live bands. $$. 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. $$. Costa’s Italian Ristorante E Upscale-Casual.133 Blackhawk Dr., Byron, Ill., (815) 234-4707. Open daily. D Sun-Th 4-10pm, F-Sat to midnight. $-$$. 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. $.

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. $$. Joey C’ Cucina & Cocktails E Upscale-Casual/Italian specialties. 2583 N. Mulford, Rockford, (815) 639-1200. LD M-T 4-10pm, W-Th 11am-9pm, F to 10pm, Sat-Sun 4-10pm $. Leombruni’s Italian Village Pizza & Restaurant E Casual. 110 W. 2nd St., Byron, Ill., (815) 234-2696. D T-Th 5-9pm, F-Sat to 11pm, Sun to 10pm. $. Lucha Cantina E Casual/Mexican. Fresh ingredients, no MSG, steaks, mac ‘n cheese, burgers. 1641 N. Alpine, Rockford, (815) 977-4319. LD M-Th 11am-midnight, F-Sat 2am. $. Lydia’s Café E Casual/American. Your friendly neighborhood café. 1710 Rural St., Rockford, (815) 2290322. BkL T-F 7am-1:30pm, Sat to 1pm, Sun 8am-1pm. $. Maciano’s Pizza & Pastaria E Casual. Gourmet pizza, Italian favorites, beer & wine. 6746 Broadcast Pkwy., Loves Park, Ill., (815) 963-7869. LD Sun-Th 11ammidnight, F-Sat to 11pm. $$. Merrill & Houston’s Steak Joint E Fine Dining/ American. Ironworks Hotel (formerly Beloit Inn), 500 Pleasant St., Beloit, Wis. (608) 313-0700 D. Sun.-Th 4:309 p.m, Fri-Sat. to 10 p.m. Bar open later. $$. Mulligans E Casual/American Pub. 2212 N. Main St., Rockford, Ill. (815) 963-7869. LD M-Sat 11am-2am, Sun to midnight, F-Sat to 2 a.m. $ Murphy’s Pub & Grill E Casual/Irish-American. 510 S. Perryville Rd., Rockford, Ill. (815) 986-0950. LD M-Sat 11am-2am, Sun to midnight. $-$$. Olympic Tavern E Casual/American. 2327 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 962-8758. LD M-Sat 11am-2am. $-$$. Slanted Shanty Vintage Pub (formerly Jezebel’s) Upscale-Casual/American. Vintage/Burlesque-themed pub and eatery. 6731 Broadcast Pkwy., Loves Park, Ill., (815) 708-7879. D M-Th 3:30pm-11pm, F 11am-midnight, Sat 3:30pm-midnight. $$. ❚

Visit NorthwestQuarterly.com/Dining to See Our Expanded Dining Guide Online Smart Living Weekly e-subscribers: Click this Box to Go There Now!

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T  I

5 Mistakes to Avoid While in the Shower

O

ur daily shower seems pretty straight forward, right? But odds are, at least one step in your well-meaning routine unintentionally leaves your skin or hair worse for wear. These five common shower mistakes are likely stripping your skin and hair of oils and throwing the skin’s pH balance out of whack. Mistake #1: Not Moisturizing Immediately After Your Shower. After a hot shower, you have three minutes before your body loses essential moisture. To prevent dry, crackly, irritated skin, store a body lotion in your shower and apply all over while skin is still damp. Mistake #2: Washing with Soap and Hot Water. Traditional soap bars can have a pH of up to 9, leaving skin dry, tight and vulnerable to damage. Switch to a soap-free cleansing bar or soap-free milky cleanser for both the face and body. Mistake #3: A Sudsy Shave. Shaving with foam and water alone may protect from cuts, but foam isn’t protective enough to defend against razor burn and redness, especially if you’re using hot water. If skin is dry, try using your hair conditioner as an alternative shaving aid. It hydrates and sinks deep within skin to prevent nicks, cuts and razor burn, but it’s smooth consistency won’t clog your razor, as long as you rinse. Mistake #4: Using Your Regular Body Wash on Intimate Areas. The intimate area’s ideal pH is actually different than the rest of our skin (3.8 as opposed to 5.5) Stock your shower with a product like Sebamed Feminine Intimate Wash that’s specifically formulated at pH 3.8. Mistake #5: Overdosing on Shampoo. Most people shampoo almost daily, but so much washing strips hair’s natural oils, drying and weakening the strands and irritating the scalp. Dermatologists recommend lathering up just 3 to 4 times per week. If you can’t resist washing daily, choose a pH balanced formula such as. Sebamed Scalp Activating Shampoo. ❚

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How Ignoring Your Credit Score Can Hurt You By Jim Killam

K

nowing your credit score, and what impacts it, can make the difference between getting a loan or not. Lori Perkins, Director of Marketing at Rock Valley Credit Union, 1201 Clifford Ave., Loves Park, advises customers to take advantage of annual free credit reports from each of the major credit bureaus. “What we always recommend to members is, every four months, pull one of them,” Perkins says. “Don’t pull all three at one time.” Though the practice doesn’t count against your credit score, she concedes that most people don’t do this, ever. “I think people forget. And if you’re not in the market for a loan, that’s the last thing you’re even concerned about.” Not only can a credit report alert you to fraud – someone opening a new line of

Visit www.AnnualCreditReport.com Or call 1-877-322-8228 or write Annual Credit Report Request Service PO Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281 Here’s how to contact the three major credit bureaus to obtain your credit report: • Equifax: (800) 685-1111 (general) or (800) 525-6285 (fraud); P.O. Box 740241,

credit in your name, for example – it also can cause you to identify your own practices that count against your score. Say you have a $10,000 limit on one credit card. If you utilize more than half of that limit, your credit score will dip a little, Perkins says – even if you pay your balance every month. Or, say you’re shopping for a car. Perkins advises customers to come in and get preapproved.

Atlanta, GA 30374; www.equifax.com • Experian: 888-397-3742 (general and fraud); PO Box 2002, Allen, TX 75013; www.experian.com. • TransUnion: 800-888-4213 (general) or 800-680-7289 (fraud); P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19022; www.transunion.com Source: www.FDIC.gov

“You will know what dollar amount you qualify for, and we lock in a rate for you,” she says. “Second, when you go out to 10 different car dealers, you’re not going to have them pulling up your credit 10 times.” Each of those credit checks counts against your overall score, because in effect you are applying for a line of credit with each dealer. ❚

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Smart Living Weekly - February 26, 2014  

Featured this week: Mike Webb & RVC's Studio Theatre. You and your family will live smarter and better lives, every week of the year, with t...

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