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Save Smarter • Live Better • Rockford Region/Beloit 95¢ • March 26, 2014

Right in Our Region

Rockford Dance Co. Celebrates 40 Years By Janine Pumilia, executive editor

W

hether you’ve followed Rockford Dance Company (RDC) for decades or have never attended a performance, the upcoming 40th Anniversary Ruby Jubilee Gala Dance Performance is an ideal opportunity to experience the three kinds of dance this company has always been about – ballet, jazz and modern – at the beautiful Coronado Performing Arts Center, on April 5. “This performance really moves along, with most segments being five to 10 minutes,” says RDC Artistic Director Matthew Keefe. The exception is a 25-minute performance from the exquisite second act of Swan Lake, featuring professional guest artists Marcia Hetrick and Brian Grant, of the Dayton Ballet. Continued on p. 20

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Rethinking Your Bedroom • 10-Minute Spring Cleaning • Let’s Do Brunch Bonding with Baby • About Gas Prices • Auto Care: Prolong Your Brake Life

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In This Issue

Right in Our Region: .....................Cover & p. 20 Rockford Dance Co. Turns 40 Your Home ........................................................11 Rethinking Your Bedroom Inspiration & Worship .....................................12 Sweet Sleep Your Kitchen .................................................... 15 Heart-Healthy Pork Tenderloin Your Auto .........................................................17 Extend the Life of Your Brakes Your Health ...................................................... 25 Bonding with Baby Your Fun ........................................................... 27 Dining Locally ................................................. 29 Tips ................................................................... 31 10-Minute Spring Cleaning Your Money ...................................................... 33 Who Profits from Gasoline Hikes?

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 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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March 26


Thank God for Dancers

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o one will ever accuse me of being a good dancer. But I’m a heck of a good dance spectator, and maybe you are, too. Just think how much poorer our lives would be if Mikhail Baryshnikov and Gregory Hines hadn’t leaped and tapped their way through Russia in White Nights. Think of Michael Jackson’s Thriller or Jennifer Beals’ Flashdance; Patrick Swayze’s Dirty Dancing or the exhilerating performances in Saturday Night Fever, West Side Story, Chicago, Evita, Mary Poppins, Grease ... I remember the fun my daughter had performing in her dance recitals when she was little ... even if she couldn’t always remember the steps. Mostly she liked wearing the pretty costumes and getting her picture taken in a tutu. But I like to think she also gained appreciation for an important part of our arts culture and the people who make it look so easy ... when it’s not. To think that local residents have been supporting Rockford Dance Company for 40 years, now, makes me feel proud of our city. And as much as I love watching dance on film, there’s nothing like viewing a live performance. It’s why we pay a small fortune for concert tickets to hear music we already own. You just never know what’s going to happen in a live performance, and being with other fans only enhances the experience, for reasons I don’t entirely understand. It’s why I used to take my young children to see the Nutcracker Ballet performed live at Christmastime, even though I really couldn’t afford it, back then. If you, or your children, have never experienced live dance, the upcoming Ruby Jubilee performance is an especially good opportunity to sample jazz, ballet and modern styles in a fast-moving, entertaining format. Read more in our cover story.

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Just thinking about all those fantastic dance numbers makes me want to get up and move. And that’s never a bad thing! Janine Pumilia, Executive Editor

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By Chris Linden, managing editor We see this room every day, and it’s probably the last place we think of updating. After all, it’s not often that we replace our bedroom sets. John Reisenbigler, co-owner of Simply Amish, 2684 Sandhutton Ave., Rockford, and his wife recently parted with their first bedroom set after 46 years. When it’s time to freshen up the bedroom, be sure to ask the right questions about your new bed frame, nightstands and dressers. “What do I want it to do, and how much space do I have to play with? – Those are the two main things, and then from there, it’s what do I want it to look like?” says Reisenbigler. “What kind of style, what kind of wood goes with the style I’ve picked? Then, you narrow it down to color.” The size of your room has the most influence on your bed set. For example, those who own newer, larger homes are foregoing dressers in favor of spacious walk-in closets. Those in smaller, older homes are turning to the compact “mule chest” style dresser, which allows more floor space with similar storage. Many are also opting for drawer beds, where a few deep drawers are mounted below the mattress. “In the right setting, the drawer bed has become an easy way to pick up some extra storage without adding a chest or another dresser, or a piece of furniture,” says Reisenbigler. Simply Amish carries many choices – 28 lines in all – and each piece is customizable, down to the wood, stain and hardware. Just because it’s made by Midwestern Amish craftsmen doesn’t mean it has to be just one style. On the more traditional side, the Shaker and Mission designs maintain straight lines and simple decoration; they look best in lighter, quarter-sawn oaks. On the more contemporary side, Simply Amish’s Braden and Sophia styles are bubbled out, and look best in a dark-stained wood, perhaps maple. The new B&O Railroad style is more of a tradition-meets-vintage, with dark wood and an imposing appearance that fill out a bright, spacious bedroom. B&O comes in two distinct patterns. “It looks like an old trestle bridge, with the metal splice at the top of the arch,” says Reisenbigler. “It incorporates that arch, and it’s usually done in character cherry, which gives it that authentic look – it has knotholes, and that old look and feel.” To be sure, these pieces are built to last – no staples or particle board here. If you’re expecting a longlasting bedroom set, pay attention to its construction, and beware certain keywords that indicate a dubious origin, such as “Amish-quality” or “cherry finish on select hardwoods.” “What it means is that it’s veneered or particle board,” says Reisenbigler. “If it’s not real cherry, then it’s a cherry finish. We use real cherry, and it’s stained different colors to achieve different tones.” Simply Amish pieces are built using several durable technologies, including the varnish, which is extra water- and fade-resistant. Drawers come standard with soft-close glides popular in kitchen cabinets. They also come with dovetail joints, a separate drawer face and a smooth interior. Just because Amish furniture is built to last doesn’t mean you can’t replace it sometime down the road. “Eventually, you or your wife is going to get tired of looking at it, but you’re not going to wear it out,” Reisenbigler says. “So that piece someday gets moved to the guest room and now we can do something fresh in the master bedroom, with a new design and a new color to get things up-to-date.” from your mattress. “Consumer Reports says that the average lifespan of a mattress today is about seven to 10 years,” says

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Think Quality, Space & Style in the Bedroom By Chris Linden, managing editor

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hen it’s time to freshen up the bedroom, be sure to ask the right questions about bed frames, nightstands and dressers. “What do I want it to do, and how much space do I have to play with? – Those are the two main things, and then from there, it’s what do I want it to look like?” says John Reisenbigler, co-owner of Simply Amish, 2684 Sandhutton Ave., Rockford. “What kind of style, what kind of wood goes with the style I’ve picked? Then, you narrow it down to color.” The size of your room has the most influence on your bed set. For example, those who own newer, larger homes are foregoing dressers in favor of spacious walk-in closets. Those in smaller, older homes are turning to the compact “mule chest” style dresser, which allows more floor space with similar storage. Many are also opting for drawer beds, where a

few deep drawers are mounted below the mattress. “In the right setting, the drawer bed has become an easy way to pick up some extra storage without adding a chest or another dresser, or a piece of furniture,” says Reisenbigler. If you’re expecting a longlasting bedroom set, pay attention to its construction, and be wary of certain keywords that indicate a dubious origin, such as “Amish- The B & O Railroad style bedroom set combines tradifeatures with modern elements in a darkly stained quality” or “cherry finish on se- tional character wood. lect hardwoods.” American-made by Amish craftsmen, but “What it means is that it’s veneered that doesn’t mean you can’t replace them or particle board,” says Reisenbigler. “If sometime down the road, says Reisenbiit’s not real cherry, then it’s a cherry fingler. ish. We use real cherry, and it’s stained “Eventually, you may get tired of different colors to achieve different looking at it, but you’re not going to wear tones.” it out.” ❚ Simply Amish pieces are solidly

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I  W

Sweet Sleep

When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. – Proverbs 3:24

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early 9 million American adults use prescription sleeping pills to get their rest; millions more self-medicate. Insomnia is caused by many things, from medical conditions to plain old stress. When anxiety is the culprit, we Christians should remember that God wants us to sleep well, no matter what’s going on in our lives. Jesus even slept soundly in a storm-tossed boat, until his panicky friends woke him up. (Read Mark 4:35-41) Jesus never promised that following him would bring us easy lives; quite the opposite. But he did promise that choosing his ways over the world’s would bring us a kind of peace that only he could give.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace,” he said in John

16:33. Claiming that peace and resisting anxiety is up to us. Kittens and puppies illustrate this beautifully. When well cared for, they play and romp, living life to the fullest, then drop into deep, restful naps. They lose no energy to guilt or worry. They don’t waste time wondering if their bowls will be filled the next day. We people are far more complicated. But we’re also the well-cared-for objects of God’s absolute affection. He wants us to hand our cares over to Him. He doesn’t want us to flail around in a sea of worries, relying only upon our own strength and wits, alone, for survival. “...don’t worry about your life, what you’ll eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear,” said Jesus. Isn’t life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they don’t sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (Matthew 6:24-27) We can “reboot” our tired minds by truly accepting this invitation from Jesus: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28). ❚ -- Janine Pumilia

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Love Your Heart with Lean Pork Tenderloin A ccording to Chef Judson Allen, a “Next Food Network Star” finalist and chef who has maintained a 150-pound weight loss, Americans can take care of their hearts without sacrificing their favorite foods. Here, he shares the healthful makeover of a favorite meal he grew up with.

BBQ Roasted Pork Tenderloin Stuffed with Braised Collard Greens & Caramelized Onions Yield: 4-5 servings 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 C. onion, chopped 1/4 C. chopped red bell pepper 2 cloves garlic, minced 1/8 teaspoon sea salt to taste 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 1 C. low-sodium chicken stock 1/2 C. stout beer or 1 C. low-sodium chicken broth 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon honey 1 pound chopped collard 1 tablespoon no-fat cream cheese 1 teaspoon hot sauce 1 pound pork tenderloin 1 1/2 C. any jarred BBQ sauce

In heavy pot, add oil and onions and cook over medium heat until caramelized. Add red peppers, garlic, sea salt and black pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes. Add chicken stock, beer, vinegar and honey and bring liquid to a boil. Add greens to liquid. Cook for about 45 minutes or until tender. Remove pot from heat and drain remaining liquid. Add cream cheese and hot sauce and stir. While greens cook, prepare pork tenderloin. Butterfly your pork tenderloin by cutting a slit down middle. Cover pork with plastic wrap; pound with flat side of meat mallet until about 1/2-inch thick, starting from middle and working outward. Discard plastic wrap.

Spread collard green mixture over tenderloin and tightly roll. Secure seams with toothpicks. Place pork in baking dish and brush liberally with BBQ sauce. Bake in 350°F preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until internal temperature of pork has reached 145°F. Let pork rest for 5 minutes and then slice and serve. Nutritional information per serving: 290 calories; 6 g fat; 1 g saturated fat; 26 g protein; 330 mg sodium; 65 mg cholesterol; 34 g carbohydrates; 4 g fiber. ❚ (Source: Family Features)

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Y A C

System Flush Can Prolong Life of Your Brakes By Jim Killam

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rake repairs tend to focus on the most commonly replaced parts: pads and rotors. Jason Conley, a Service Technician at Meineke Car Care Center, 1502 S. Alpine Road, Rockford, says a good technician also will pay attention to the condition of the brake fluid. That’s the stuff that flows through hydraulic lines to the wheels and makes the brakes work. An extra-cold winter takes its toll, Conley says. “When it’s really frigid out, if there’s any water in the brake system – brake fluid is hydroscopic and absorbs any moisture – that stuff tends to thicken up. That makes the brake pedal hard to depress.” When a vehicle comes in at about 60,000 miles, and needs new brake pads, Conley usually suggests an additional service: a brake-system flush.

“That’s taking all the old, nasty brake fluid, getting it out of the system and putting new, clean stuff in there,” he says. “That’s going to help the inside of that steel brake line not rust, because there’s nice clean brake fluid and not as much moisture in there. It’ll help the calipers and brake hoses last longer. “I usually do that for $60. It’s $60 now but it’ll save you literally hundreds of dollars later. When you do it when you get your brakes done, it’s not that much work.” Here’s what that can prevent: As brake fluid ages, it absorbs moisture. When the brakes get hot, especially in summer, the water in those lines can boil off, leaving air pockets. That means the remaining fluid can’t travel as quickly. “If you have to slam on the brakes all of a sudden, it’s going to affect that pedal

and it’s not going to be as effective as it should,” Conley says. “So your stopping distance will increase.” ❚

Get SLW Auto Care articles every week. Visit NWQSmartLiving.com and start your e-Edition today.

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Dance Continued from Cover Other guest artists include four members of Chicago’s prestigious Joffrey Ballet: Yumelia Garcia, Miguel Blanco, Olğucan Borova and April Daly, the latter a Rockford native and RDC alumna. Alumna Karen Graham, who has performed with dance luminaries like Mikhail Baryshnikov, will perform a collaborative piece she’s been rehearsing with RDC members via email and YouTube technology. “It’s a very esoteric, collaborative kind of dance and she’s weaving in words projected on a screen above her,” says Keefe. “It’s wonderful for our company dancers to have the opportunity to see how she works, how each of these professional dancers work.” Keefe, who moved here from New York City in 2012, has choreographed a world premier ballet, titled “Interwoven,”

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for the April 5 event. It pays homage to the late Jayne Poor, an RDC co-founder who passed away last September. Poor served as founding co-artistic director alongside Chuck Hoenes, who will return to Rockford for the anniversary events. “We’re so thrilled he’ll be celebrating with us,” says Keefe, who’s been reviewing video tapes of dances performed during the company’s early years. “We want this show to really pay tribute to RDC’s 40year legacy in the community,” he says. “This will be a great homecoming for a lot of people who’ve been involved through the years, and we’re building a show that honors them.” Brittany Fridenstine-Keefe, RDC’s Junior Company director, will perform

March 26

“Chair Bones,” choreographed by Arturo Fernandez, Ballet Master at Lines Ballet, San Francisco. The Junior Company she directs at RDC will perform a jazz dance described by Keefe as “sassy and a lot of fun.” It will round out the jazz side of the company’s ballet-modern-jazz foundation. “This company wasn’t founded as ‘Rockford Ballet Company,’” notes Keefe. “It’s always been ‘Rockford


R  O R Dance Company,’ built around three kinds of dance.” And the Ruby Jubilee performance will provide a rich sampling of each. “From an artistic director’s standpoint, I’m thrilled at how this performance is coming together,” says Keefe. “All the people we’ve asked are coming to perform. This show will be very high energy with something for everyone and feature some world-class guest artists who have real connections to Rockford.” Newcomers will find this show to be an excellent introduction to RDC, and long-time followers and former dancers will revel in the high-energy homecoming. A Ruby Jubilee Gala VIP package will include tickets to the performance, dinner before the show, and intermission and post-show receptions. “It’s a great way to support the organization and have a great time doing it,” says Keefe. J.R. Kortman Center for Design, 107 N. Main St., is presenting a collection of

dance-inspired visual art by local artists, running now through April 5. Proceeds from the sale of this art benefit the dance company. “Rockford Dance Company is in a really good place, on many different levels,” says Keefe. Enrollment in the dance school has risen significantly in recent years, to nearly 300. Finances are in a stable condition that enables the nonprofit to fulfill its mission of outreach to the community. “We have a wonderful staff. We’re working with new partners like Rockford Public Schools, Rockford Housing Authority, Stepping Stones, Easter Seals,” says Keefe. “We’re doing all the things we’re meant to be doing, in serving the Rockford community.” A feeling of optimism about the company’s future, and all the potential it holds, is well justified, he says. To order tickets for the 40th Anniversary Ruby Jubilee performance, call (815) 968-0595. Learn more at RockfordDanceCompany.com. ❚

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Helping C-Section Moms and Babies to Bond A

new program at Rockford Health System is changing the birth experience for many patients who undergo a Caesarean section. The Family Centered Caesarean allows the mother and baby to begin bonding immediately. After a brief exam by the neonatologist in the operating room, the baby is placed skin-to-skin on the mother’s chest while surgery is finished. Traditionally, mothers who undergo a Caesarean wait several hours to first hold their babies. With this new program, mother and baby are never separated. The baby goes with the mother to the recovery area and they stay together as long as both mom and baby are doing well. The couplet then remains together for the rest of their stay after the recovery time is complete. “Implementing natural Cesarean delivery, when found appropriate, has sig-

nificantly improved fetal wellbeing,” says obstetrician/gynecologist Rana Khalek, M.D. “It has allowed early skin-to-skin between the mother and the baby, which enhances maternal-infant bonding and increases the initiation of breastfeeding.” The new program has been met with enthusiasm. “So far, we’ve received tremendous positive feedback from our patients while promoting our new approach to cesarean delivery,” says Khalek. The Family Centered Caesarean is for low-risk, healthy mothers and babies only. The final decision for doing this technique is ultimately made by the physician.

Rockford Health System is the only hospital in Rockford to consistently offer this program. Many families have enjoyed this experience since the pilot was first introduced in October 2012. ❚

Get SLW Health articles every week. Visit NWQSmartLiving.com and start your e-Edition today.

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Y F

Spring into Science March 24-28, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Amazing science demonstrations, a planetarium show, arts and crafts. Discovery Center, Rockford, discoverycentermusuem.org.

Spring Constellations March 28, 7-8 p.m. Learn about the spring constellations and other planets. Free. Weiskopf Observatory, 7993 N. River Road, Byron, Ill., (815) 234-8535, byronforestpreserve.com. Mushing for Meals March 29, 9 a.m. This 10K and 5K Run and 1 Mile Walk benefits Beloit Meals On Wheels. It begins at Horace White Park in Beloit, Wis. 5K participants can compete as individuals or as a “Mushing Team.” VisitBeloit.com. Nano Technology Day March 29, 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Real scientists, special hands-on projects. Discovery Center, Rockford, discoverycentermuseum.com. 1950s Historical Happy Hour March 29, 5-7 p.m. At the Oscar Taylor Home on the grounds of the Stephenson County Museum, Freeport. (815) 232-8419. 24th Annual Egg Artists’ Show & Sale March 29-30, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Amazing artistic eggshells; egg art vendors; classes; Featured Artist demos; food & snack vendors. Vote for People’s Choice. Midway Village, Rockford, midwayvillagemusuem.org. 64th Oregon Woman’s Club Antique Show March 29-30, Sat. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun. 10 a.m.4 p.m. More than 50 quality dealers from the Midwest. Glass repair. Appraisals Sunday only. Blackhawk Center, Oregon, (815) 652-2047. Maple Sugar Festival March 29, 9 a.m.-noon. Bring the family to Welty Environmental Center for guided rides on a horse-drawn wagon to tap Sugar Maple trees for their sweet sap. Ride back to the Girl Scout building for a French toast brunch w/ real maple syrup, $6. Weltycenter.org. Macktown Living History Workshop March 29, noon to 2 p.m. Learn about clothing,

(Janine Pumilia photo)

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra March 27, 7:30 p.m. Enjoy 15 of the best soloists, ensemble players and arrangers in jazz, widely regarded as one of the best big bands in the world today. Coronado Performing Arts Center, Rockford, coronadopac.org. Botanica: A Gardener’s Luncheon will be presented by Klehm Arboretum on April 16.

construction, foods, language and weaponry of settlers, American Indians and voyageurs. Macktown Living History Education Center, 2221 Freeport Road, Rockton, Ill., (815) 6244200, macktownlivinghistory.com. Seed Starting and Transplant March 31, 4-5:30 p.m. Learn the basics and start a flat of your own. Presented by U of I Extension Ogle County. $5. More info at (815) 544-3710, web.extension.illinois.edu/bdo. BIFF at UW-Rock: Lion Ark April 1, noon to 3 p.m. The Beloit International Film Festival presents this documentary about a Utah organization that rescues circus lions. VisitBeloit.com. Earth Day Luncheon April 3, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., RSVP by March 27. Hosted by Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful, at Giovanni’s Restaurant. More info at knib.org. Journey to Joy Womanspace 2014 Spring Luncheon features storytelling by Kelly Epperson, plus a tasty lunch and presentation of 18th Annual Womanspirit Award. Womanspace-rockford.org. Botanica: A Gardener’s Luncheon April 16. Design workshop by Poska and K. Hill Antiques; 12:40 presentation “Creating Perennial Plant Communities – The Know Maintenance Approach,” by Roy Diblik, renowned landscape designer. At Giovanni’s Restaurant. Presented by Klehm Arboretum, Klehm.org. Aaron Shust Morning Rises Concert & Expo April 30, 7 p.m.; Doors open at 6. Christian music artist Aaron Shust is featured with MIKESCHAIR, Jonny Diaz and Lauren Daigle for a night of music and ministry. Pontiac Expo Center, 2809 N. Pontiac Dr., Janesville, Wis. Go to byfaithevents.org for more info. ❚

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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  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  Upscale-Casual. Tapas menu. 515 E. State St., Rockford, (815) 968-9463. D M-Th 5-10pm, F-Sat to midnight. Bar open late. $-$$. Amici Italian Grill  Upscale-Casual/Italian. Fresh, authentic Italian cuisine. 5506 Clayton Circle, Roscoe, Ill., (815) 623-7171. LD Sun-Th 11am-9pm, F-Sat 11am10-pm. $-$$. Backyard Grill & Bar  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. $-$$.

JMK Nippon Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar  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  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  Casual. 110 W. 2nd St., Byron, Ill., (815) 234-2696. D T-Th 5-9pm, F-Sat to 11pm, Sun to 10pm. $. Lucha Cantina  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  Casual/American. Your friendly neighborhood café. 1710 Rural St., Rockford, (815) 2290322. BkL T-F 7am-1:30pm, Sat to 1pm, Sun 8am-1pm. $.

Bravo Pizza  Italian/American favorites, full bar. 376 Prairie Hill Road, South Beloit, Ill. (815) 624-7900. LD M-Th 11am-10pm, Fri. & Sat. 11am-11pm, Sun. 11am10pm. $.

Maciano’s Pizza & Pastaria  Casual. Gourmet pizza, Italian favorites, beer & wine. 6746 Broadcast Pkwy., Loves Park, Ill., (815) 963-7869. LD Sun-Th 11ammidnight, F-Sat to 11pm. $$.

Butterfly Club  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. $$.

Merrill & Houston’s Steak Joint  Fine Dining/ American. Ironworks Hotel (formerly Beloit Inn), 500 Pleasant St., Beloit, Wis. (608) 313-0700 D. Sun.-Th 4:309p.m, Fri-Sat. to 10pm. Bar open later. $$.

Cannova’s Pizzeria & Fine Italian Cuisine  Casual. Pizza, pasta, steak, seafood. 1101 W. Empire St., Freeport, (815) 233-0032. D T-Th, Sun 5-9pm; F-Sat 10pm. $-$$.

Mulligans  Casual/American Pub. 2212 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 963-7869. LD M-Sat 11am-2am, Sun to midnight, F-Sat to 2am. $

Ciao Bella Ristorante  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. $$.

Murphy’s Pub & Grill  Casual/Irish-American. 510 S. Perryville Rd., Rockford, (815) 986-0950. LD M-Sat 11am2am, Sun to midnight. $-$$.

Costa’s Italian Ristorante  Upscale-Casual. 133 Blackhawk Dr., Byron, Ill., (815) 234-4707. Open daily. D Sun-Th 4-10pm, F-Sat to midnight. $-$$. Dos Reales  Casual/Authentic Mexican. 5855 E. State St., Rockford. LD M-Th 11am-10pm, F-Sat to 10:30pm, Sun to 10pm $-$$. Fifth Alarm Firehouse Pub  Casual/American. 120 N. Union St., Bryon, Ill., (815) 234-7000. LD daily 11am. $-$$. Giordano’s  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. $.

Olympic Tavern  Casual/American. 2327 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 962-8758. LD M-Sat 11am-2am. $-$$. Slanted Shanty Vintage Pub  Upscale-Casual/American. Vintage/Burlesque-themed pub. 6731 Broadcast Pkwy., Loves Park, Ill., (815) 708-7879. D M-Th 3:30pm-11pm, F 11am-midnight, Sat 3:30pm-midnight. $$. Vito’s Ristorante  Casual/Italian. Authentic fare from family recipes. Sauces, soups, mama’s meatballs, desserts fresh daily. 1620 N. Bell School Rd., Rockford, (815) 312-5080. LD T-Th 11am-10pm, F-Sat to 11pm. $$. ❚

Visit NorthwestQuarterly.com/Dining to See Our Expanded Dining Guide Online

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T  I

Tips for 10-Minute Spring Cleaning By Jennifer Chung

K

eep cleaning supplies on each level. You may have to invest a little time and money stocking up initially, but it pays off. If you can, keep a vaccum on each level, too. Don’t procrastinate. Get in the habit of cleaning immediately. For instance, don’t let dishes sit in the sink; make the bed right when you get up. Do one “deep cleaning” project a day. Rotate your time consuming tasks so that you only do one a day. Deep cleaning projects include vacuuming, mopping, window cleaning, laundry, a good cleaning of the bathroom, and other tasks that are extra time consuming. Microwave Magic. Let a bowl of hot water steam the inside of a dirty microwave for 10 minutes while you’re wiping down the counters or doing the dishes. Baked on foods will soften and easily wipe away. Prioritize bathroom & kitchen. Do your best to keep clutter off the counters by putting things in cupboards and drawers, and wipe down countertops and sinks after each use. Don’t be afraid to purge. Once a month, go through one room or one closet and get rid of stuff that isn’t being used. If you’re nervous about having regrets, put it in a “to donate” box and see if, in another two weeks, you’ve even thought about it again. If not, time to say goodbye. Make cleaning enjoyable. Grab your headphones, press play, and dance around. Cleaning does NOT have to be a chore.The music will give you a burst of motivation and speed you through your cleaning task in no time. Happy scrubbing! ❚ Jennifer Chung is the CEO of Kinsights. Learn more at kinsights.com. Tell them you saw it in ... Smart Living Weekly

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Y M

Service Station Owners: Don’t Blame Us

By Jim Killam

J

ohn Griffin understands that people get angry about gasoline prices. His plea: Don’t blame your local stations. As president of Rockford-based Kelley Williamson Company, a distributor of Mobil fuel, Griffin says gasoline retailers wrestle with many costs beyond their control. “If you look at a gallon of gasoline today, and its cost, the first thing that you’re going to look at is $100 [a barrel] crude that needs to be manufactured into gasoline,” he says. “So that’s your basis for cost. Then you look at the tax side of it, which is roughly 45 or 50 cents a gallon and also evaluate the annualized retail margin on a gallon of gasoline, and it’s in the neighborhood of 15 to 20 cents a gallon. Sometimes that number is a little better than that, and sometimes that number

is zero. You blend it all together at the end of the year, and if you’re something north of 15 cents a gallon you’ve paid your bills as a retailer.” From that, retailers also pay for credit-card transactions – which account for at least half of all gasoline purchases at Kelley Williamson stations. “It probably costs us in the neighborhood of 5 to 10 cents a gallon for you to pay with plastic, depending on what the price is,” Griffin says. His Mobil stations (with two inherited exceptions – former Shell stations) do not charge separate prices for cash vs. credit, since customers prefer their price not be dictated by their payment method. But, the cost of credit comes out of the 15- to 20-cent retail margin. The bottom line, Griffin says, is that the retailer is the final and weakest link in the oil industry’s profitability chain. The

oil companies refine it, add their margin and sell it. Federal and state governments take their taxes, the credit card companies get their cut and finally the fuel retailer tries to eek out a margin on the sale of the gasoline so that they can remain somewhat profitable and continue to operate. ❚

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Smart Living Weekly - March 26, 2014