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iving n g Smart L ivi ivin ng Weekly Save Smarter • Live Better • Rockford Region/Beloit 95¢ • May 21, 2014

Right in Our Region

Flying High Again

By Paul Anthony Arco, Senior Writer

R

ockford AirFest is back. After a one-year hiatus, one of Rockford’s most popular special events has returned. AirFest 2014: Let the Thunder Roll is set for June 7 & 8 at Chicago Rockford International Airport (RFD). This year’s event is considered one of the best in the country, thanks, in part, to special appearances by the USAF Thunderbirds, U.S. Army Golden Knights and Canadian Snowbirds, who are making only five 2014 U.S. appearances. In addition, the Rockford lineup includes the Aerostars, AeroDynamix, Goulian, and Lucas Oil and Nalls Aviation. “This is huge,” says Airfest volunteer Jodi Carey. “This is one of the best lineups I’ve ever seen.” Continued on p. 20

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What is Knee Arthroscopy? • When to Buy a New Box Spring • Get Outdoors & Win Prizes! Power-Packed Breakfast Ideas • Get to Know Your Cat • Ideas for Family Fun

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In This Issue

Right in Our Region: .....................Cover & p. 20 Rockford Airfest is Back! Your Home ........................................................11 A Word About Box Springs Inspiration & Worship .....................................12 Pulling Weeds Your Kitchen .................................................... 15 Energizing Breakfast Ideas Your Outings ....................................................17 Go Outside! Your Health ...................................................... 25 Varicose Vein Treatments Your Fun ........................................................... 27 Dining Locally ................................................. 29 Tips ................................................................... 31 Getting to Know Your Cat Your Money ...................................................... 33 Take Our FICO Score Quiz

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 Writers Jim Killam and Peggy Werner General Sales Manager Brent Hughes Sales Manager Brad Hughes General Manager/Northwest Business Magazine Dave Marino 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.

6

Smart Living Weekly

May 21


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hen I was 9 years old, it wasn’t easy to understand why my brother Brad wanted to fly airplanes so much. He’s a United Airlines captain who got his start at Rockford Airport. He soloed on his 16th birthday, and our Mom was a nervous knot of pride and anxiety, as he took to the skies on that August day in 1970. I found her mixed emotions far more enthralling than the science of flying. Rockford’s airport didn’t have a beautiful terminal, back then, or a fancy name with ‘Chicago’ in it, or a renowned Airfest. It did, however, have a legacy of very fine pilots. Years later, WW II poet-pilot John Gillespie Magee helped me to better understand their passion. He was long dead, but his words were immortal. An American, Magee tragically died in England, in 1941, during a WW II training mission, at age 19. Four months earlier, however, he’d penned his sonnet “High Flight” and mailed it to his parents. Today, new generations discover both the joy of flight, and the joy of words, and I’m glad. ❚

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May 21

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Y H  G

When Is it Time to Buy a New Box Spring? By Jim Killam

D

eciding when to replace an aging mattress isn’t all that complicated. The way it feels and the way it looks offer reliable indicators. But what about the box spring? Stores usually sell them as part of a set with a new mattress, but do you really need one? Step one is to know the age of your current box spring, says Ryan Poppie of Beloit Mattress Company, 1946 Liberty Ave., Beloit. If it was made before July 2007, consider replacing it when you replace the mattress. “That’s when the federal government’s fire safety standard kicked in,” Poppie says. “So if you put one of these new mattresses on the older style box spring, and there is some type of spark or ignition, because the box spring doesn’t have the (flame retardant) stuff to work with the mattress, you’re still going to have fire issues.”

Fire safety aside, box springs have much simpler construction and usually last longer than mattresses. Usually. If you have a two-year-old mattress and it’s wearing out already, chances are good that the matching box spring wasn’t built too well, either. “Years ago, a box spring was like a shock absorber for the mattress,” Poppie says. That’s because wire technology was less-advanced, and thicker, stiffer springs had to be used in mattresses. The box spring helped soften those and make the bed more comfortable. Today, durable mattress springs can be much thinner and softer – eliminating the need for traditional box springs at all. That’s why they’re commonly called “foundations” now: They exist simply to give the mattress a flat, even platform, and a firmer edge. “For the past 10 to15 years, pretty much all box springs have been rigid,”

Poppie says. “So if your box spring is as rigid as the floor, and as flat and level as the floor, you probably don’t need to replace it as long as it’s newer than 2007.” ❚

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

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May 21

11


I  W

Seeds & Weeds I

n a world that works so hard to control our minds, whether by commercialism, propaganda or peer pressure, it’s a stunning truth that God – who designed our remarkable brains in the first place – grants each of us full freedom of thought. We can believe upon Christ Jesus or reject him. What’s more, if we choose to be “Christian,” we can use the power of our minds to internalize Christ and become his “imitators,” or we may wear the sacred label, in name only, like a pair of brandname blue jeans. “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.” – Ephesians 5:1-2 To walk with Christ, even when nobody’s looking – especially when nobody’s looking – is to get out the garden tools and yank the weeds from our lives, one by one. Some of us are pulling a lot of weeds, literally, this week, as dandelions burst open with May vigor. Such labor brings to mind this anonymous poem once published on seed packets. When I Put on My Worn-Out Tweeds When I put on my worn-out tweeds And with my hands pull garden weeds, The likeness always come to mind, ‘Tween weeds and sins of human kind.

For weeds will grow up anywhere In ground that’s either foul or fair, And when you pull them you’re not through; They’ll grow right up again for you. Some weeds have roots so great in length That pulling them is test of strength, And they should be removed with care Or they’ll kill good plants anywhere. It makes no difference where you go There’s no place that the weeds can’t grow; Some folks keep weeding, others won’t, Some folks have gardens, others don’t. So weeds and sin are quite the same In growth and action, not in name; But different is their origin: God makes the weeds, we make the sin. ❚ 12

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Y K

Energize Your Morning with a Good Breakfast W hether eating together as a family, or enjoying breakfast on-the-go, it’s easy to boost the nutritional value of morning meals by incorporating foods with whole grain, protein and fiber. This recipe for Morning Energy Mocha Balls is an easy no-bake option you can whip up to last you through the week. In the morning, just throw a few Mocha Balls in a baggy. Little Ways to Start Your Day Beyond a balanced breakfast, there are other ways to start your morning off right. Try these tips to put some pep in your step and begin your day energized and prepared for whatever comes: Hydrate: Replenish your body with a generous glass of water. Move around: If you don’t have time to start your day at the gym, work in a 10-minute walk.

Morning Energy Mocha Balls Prep Time: 15 minutes Makes: 20 balls 1 1/4 cups Honey Bunches of Oats Morning Energy Chocolatey Almond Crunch cereal 1/2 cup walnut halves 1 teaspoon chia seeds 1 teaspoon flax seeds 1 teaspoon sesame seeds 4 tablespoons almond butter 2 tablespoons honey 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup 2 tablespoons dried cranberries 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 teaspoons espresso powder 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt 1/4 cup toasted unsweetened coconut for rolling (optional) Place cereal in a food processor. Process until finely ground. Add walnut halves, chia seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds, almond butter, honey, maple syrup, cranberries, vanilla, espresso powder and sea salt to bowl. Process until well blended and mixture forms stiff dough. Remove dough and form into compact ball with hands. Form dough into

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May 21


Y O

Discover Nature, Prizes This Summer R

ight here in Winnebago County, we have access to more than 10,000 acres of green spaces, 42 forest preserves, four rivers and 100 miles of hiking trails. Residents can take advantage of these facilities and resources on their own, or through the many activities run by the Winnebago County Forest Preserve District (WCFPD). This summer, to encourage more people to get out and discover our natural wonders, WCFPD has devised a season-long competition that will culminate in participants qualifying to win prizes. Called “Get Outside! Winnebago” – short form, GO – it was conceived by Jamie Johannsen, director of marketing and community relations for the WCFPD, with inspiration from “The Amazing Race” reality TV show. “We wanted to help people discover the many different ways of enjoying our forest preserves – nature centers, golf

courses, historic sites, fishing, hiking, paddling,” she says. So, Johannsen has created a sampler platter, of sorts. From June 8 to July 30, teams will participate in various scheduled events to earn points towards those prize packages. To encourage family participation, teams must consist of one person over the age of 18, and one person under the age of 18, and they can take part in as many or as few events as they wish, with a full or partial team. Teams can register at wcfpd.org and pick up GO passports at a number of WCFPD facilities. Teams that participate in a scheduled guided event and have their passports stamped earn four points, and with proof of completion of an individual activity (i.e. a photo), two points. GO passports must be turned in before Aug. 1; the drawing will be Aug. 5. GO will kick off on June 7 from noon-3 p.m.at Hononegah Forest Preserve, the county’s oldest, with refreshments, games, activities and

Jamie Johannsen photo)

By Karla Nagy, Associate Editor

exhibits. Participants can pick up their passports and get tips for taking part in some of the activities. Free family camping and a frog night hike at 7 p.m. will earn points for registered participants. “The most important aspects of GO are to connect with nature, and to share it with others. We don’t have enough of that anymore.” Registration and a schedule of events are available at wcfpd.org. ❚

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May 21

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Airfest

Continued from Cover

In addition to active and static aircraft on display, new this year is a center stage that will be packed with entertainment including musical performances, inflatable rides, magicians and more. “Rockford AirFest is an event that brings people together,” says Amy Ott, deputy director for RFD. “The community really missed AirFest last year. I

20

Smart Living Weekly

think the year off, however, allowed us to tweak things and make it even better and more affordable.” More than 100,000 people are expected to attend the two-day event. Visitors come from Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Canada and as far away as Germany. Gates open at 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Rockford Airfest requires the hard work of more than 600 volunteers to get the event off the ground. “We couldn’t do it without them,” says Ott. “When people found out Airfest was coming back, it took us less than a month to fill all the volunteer positions.” This is the 24th year that Carey has volunteered to work air shows from Rockford to Canada. She started at the Rockford air show in 1989, and has handled a variety of volunteer roles over the years. These days, the Rockton, Ill., resident serves as hospitality chairperson; she oversees food and beverage and assists in recruiting the

May 21

static airplane displays. “Rockford AirFest is such a great event for this area,” says Carey, a government sales manager for Twin Disc, Inc. “It’s family-friendly and reasonably priced. There’s something exciting about things in the air that push the limits. It’s cool for people to be able to kick the tires on aircrafts that they’d never get to see anywhere else. I love to watch the kids when they get excited. It makes my heart race.” Returning this year is the “Honoring Heroes” program, in partnership with Anderson Automotive Group, which will recognize the dedication and sacrifices made by Vietnam War veterans who have served our country. If you would like to nominate a hero, nomination forms are available at rockfordairfest.com or at Anderson Automotive Group locations. Forms must be submitted by 5 p.m. on May 23. “It’s important to commemorate a significant event in our history,” Ott says.


R  O R “This is just one more way to recognize the many heroes during that era that maybe weren’t celebrated when they returned from Vietnam.” This year, RFD is introducing a new and simple carload admission fee designed to reduce gate entrance wait times. Advance tickets are $20 and $30 onsite, per carload. “We wanted to reduce gate entrance wait times, and provide a more streamlined and hassle-free experience for visitors,” says Ott. “We’ve found many people wait until the last minute to decide to come out on a beautiful day in June. We think this new price plan will bring even more people out.” Also new this year is fly-in parking. RFD has space for 100 airplanes per day Cover photo: The U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron "Thunderbirds", perform the Line Abreast Loop during the Gulf Coast Salute and Open House Air show at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. Mar. 26, 2011. (U.S. Air Force Photo/ Staff Sgt. Larry E. Reid Jr.) Inside photos: Karla Nagy

that will land at the airport and park adjacent to the air show. The cost is $30 per aircraft. RV parking is also available, at the south end of the airport. Shuttles will transport guests to and from the air show. As in past years, VIP ticket options are available, which gives guests admission to either the popular 21-and-over Captain’s Club, or the family-friendly Aviator’s Club, both of which feature front row seating and concessions. Captain’s Club is $80-$90 and includes food, beverages and alcohol. The Aviators Club is $50 per person and includes lunch and beverages. Many corporate partners have also stepped up this year, including Pepsi, Culvers and UTC Aerospace, along with a number of media partners. “We’ve had strong ticket sales and many first-time sponsors who are excited to be a part of this year’s show,” Ott says. It promises to be a great weekend for novices and diehard fans alike. “It’s a great event for the entire region,” says

Ott. “It’s a way to bring new people to the community and it’s a way for us to give back to the community. We’re ready to have one of the best shows ever, that spectators are sure to enjoy.” Bob Crocker can’t wait. “AirFest is a great family event,” says the Belvidere resident. “My son Tommy and I go every year, and we’re looking forward to its return this year. Watching the power of the military jets, along with the skill of the pilots, makes you glad they’re on our side protecting our country.” For more information, visit rockfordairfest.com. ❚

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

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Understanding Varicose Veins By Beloit Health System

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aricose veins can be unsightly and may cause discomfort or pain. In some cases, they lead to serious health problems. Here, Dr. Pierre Charles Jr., vascular and thoracic surgeon for Beloit Health System, answers commonly asked questions. Q: What are varicose veins? A: They’re enlarged veins that may be blue, red or flesh-colored, most often in the legs. They may appear twisted and bulging and may be raised above the surface of the skin. Q: What causes them? A: Weak, damaged, deformed or missing valves in the veins. Your leg muscles push blood back to the heart against gravity. Normally, valves in your veins keep your blood flowing forward to return it to your heart. If they aren’t working properly, blood can leak back into the veins and

pool there. When backed-up blood makes veins bigger, they can become varicose. Q: How common are they? A: Varicose veins affect half of people 50 years and older. They are more common among overweight people; those who sit or stand for long periods; and women. Q: What treatments are available? A: Compression stockings may help blood to move more efficiently through your legs, but a proper fit is vital. • Sclerotherapy is a treatment in which a doctor injects a solution into the veins that scars and closes them. • Laser treatment sends very strong bursts of light through the skin to smaller veins, causing them to slowly fade away. • Catheter-assisted procedures, in which a doctor threads a tiny tube into a vein, then uses either radiofrequency or laser energy (heat) at the tip of the catheter to seal the vein as the catheter is removed. • Vein stripping is surgical removal of a

large vein through small incisions; general anesthesia is often required. New Treatment Offered Soon Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) is a newer treatment for varicose veins that will be offered soon at Beloit Health System. This minimally invasive treatment uses radiofrequency energy (instead of laser energy) to heat up and damage a vein wall, thus closing the vein. “This is an office procedure that’s very effective, less invasive and results in less recovery pain and time for patients,” explains Dr. Neel Karne. “The treatment requires only a tiny opening with no cuts and is covered by most insurance.To learn more, call (608) 364-2400. ❚

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Kantorei

The Singing Boys of Rockford, IL

Join us in celebrating our 50th Anniversary!

Gala Banquet Thursday, June 12 5:30pm Radisson Conference Center Rockford, IL Adults: $25 Children: $15

50th Anniversary Concert Friday, June 13 7:30pm Coronado Theatre, Rockford, IL Tickets: $20 Adults, $15 Students At the door: $25/$15 Visit kantorei.com for tickets / reservations.

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Friends at Beloit Library Book Sale May 23-24, 9:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. All books 25¢; Fri. $2 a bag; Sat. $1 a bag. Proceeds benefit library. Beloit Public Library, 605 Eclipse Blvd., Beloit, beloitlibrary.info. (flickr oldonliner photo)

42nd Annual Young at Heart Festival May 23-26, Fri. 6 p.m.; Sat-Sun noon. Parade Sat. 9 a.m. Live music, beer garden, carnival, kids’ activities, food concessions. Headliner Phil Vassar. $9/$7 in advance. Loves Park City Hall grounds, 100 Heart Blvd., Loves Park, On May 26, watch Beloit’s Memorial Day Parade, traveling (815) 633-3999, parkschamber.com. from Ill. Rt 2 to downtown Beloit.

Fireside Readings May 24, 10 a.m.-noon. Greg Keilback with readings about people who stood up for their beliefs; group discussion. Please register: (815) 335-2915. Severson Dells Forest Preserve, 8502 Montague Road, Winnebago, Ill. Vendor’s Market May 24-Aug. 30, Sat. noon-6 p.m. Outside vendors selling produce, antiques, jewelry, furniture, art, tools, collectibles, more. 3503 E. County Road S, Beloit, AuctionCenterUSA.com. Rockford Half Marathon & 10K May 25, 7-11 a.m. A 13.1-mile half marathon and a 10K run along the scenic Rock River. Benefits Northern Illinois Food Bank. State & Main, Rockford, rockfordmarathon.com. WXRX Wing Ding Concert May 25, 11 a.m. Alice in Chains, Black Stone Cherry, Fuel, Wayland, and more. Rockford Speedway, 9572 Forest Hills Road, Loves Park, wxrxwingding.com. Antique Steam Train Rides May 25-26, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Take a 4-mile ride pulled by a 1912 Heisler steam locomotive through farmland and across a bridge 30 feet above Yellow Creek. Depot and museum open. Silver Creek Museum & Depot, 2954 S. Walnut, Freeport, (815) 235-2198. 2014 Memorial Day Parade & Ceremony May 26, 9 a.m. Parade route: north on 7th to Charles, State Street west to Main to Veterans Memorial Hall, for bleacher review, speakers, release of doves. Ends with annual riverside Sinking of the Ship Ceremony by Navy Club Ship No. 1 behind Rockford Public Library. Veterans Memorial Hall, 211 N. Main St., Rockford.

Memorial Day Parade May 26, 9 a.m. Line-up 8 a.m. in South Beloit. Parade follows Illinois Hwy 2, Blackhawk Blvd. into downtown Beloit. Veteran’s Memorial Service, 11 a.m., South Beloit City Park. Info: (815) 389-2716, visitbeloit.org. Tuesday Evening in the Gardens Concert Series May 27, 6:30 p.m. Doors open 5:15 p.m. Local pop/rock group Starlite Radio performs. Food concessions, beer, wine, soft drinks. $5/$3 teens/free age 12-under. Runs through Aug. 26. Anderson Japanese Gardens, 318 Spring Creek Road, Rockford, andersongardens.com. Read with Lilly, the Library Dog May 29, 5-6 p.m. Kids read with Lilly, a trained Reading Education Assistance Dog. Requires registration/parental permission. Beloit Public Library, 605 Eclipse Blvd., Beloit, Wis., (608) 364-2905, beloitlibrary.info. Rockford City Market May 30-Oct. 17, Fri. 3-8 p.m. Local growers vendors with natural products, retail items; live music, kids’ activities. 100 Market St., Rockford, (815) 977-5124, rockfordcitymarket.com. Fishing at the Lagoon May 31, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Ages 6-12. Basics of fishing. Free; pre-registration required: City of Beloit Leisure Services, (608) 364-2890, beloitwi.gov. Event: Harry C. Moore Pavilion, Riverside Park, 1160 Riverside Dr., Beloit, Wis. RAMP’s Wine & Beer Tasting May 29, 5-8 p.m. Dinner available. Music, silent auction, prizes. Proceeds benefit RAMP. Prairie Street Brewhouse, 200 Prairie St., (815) 9687467, stayclassy.org/rampwine. ❚

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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. $. 9 East Coffee  Specialty coffees, pastries, breakfast & lunch items. 9 E. Stephenson St., Freeport, Ill. (815) 233-7300. $ 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. $-$$. Amici Italian Grill  Upscale-Casual/Italian. Fresh, authentic Italian cuisine. 5506 Clayton Circle, Roscoe, Ill., (815) 623-7171. LD Sun-Th 11am-9pm, F-Sat 11am10-pm. $-$$. 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. $. 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. $$. Cafe Fromage  Artisan sandwiches, soups, cheese plates, baked goods from The Cheese People. 431 E. Grand Ave., Beloit, Wis. (608) 207-3094. $ Cannova’s Pizzeria & Fine Italian Cuisine  Casual. Pizza, pasta, steak, seafood. 1101 W. Empire St., Freeport, (815) 233-0032. D T-Th, Sun 5-9pm; F-Sat 10pm. $-$$. 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. $$. Costa’s Italian Ristorante  Upscale-Casual. 133 Blackhawk Dr., Byron, Ill., (815) 234-4707. Open daily. D Sun-Th 4-10pm, F-Sat to midnight. $-$$. Dos Reales  Casual/Authentic Mexican. 5855 E. State St., Rockford. LD M-Th 11am-10pm, F-Sat to 10:30pm, Sun to 10pm $-. 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. $.

JMK Nippon Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar  Upscale-Casual/Japanese. 2551 N. Perryville, 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. $$. Joey C’ Cucina & Cocktails  Upscale-Casual/Italian. 2583 N. Mulford, Rockford, (815) 639-1200. LD M-T 4-10pm, W-Th 11am-9pm, F to 10pm, Sat-Sun 4-10pm $. Leombruni’s Italian Village Pizza & Restaurant  Casual. 110 W. 2nd St., Byron, Ill., (815) 234-2696. D T-Th 5-9pm, F-Sat to 11pm, Sun to 10pm. $. Lucha Cantina  Casual/Mexican. Fresh ingredients, no MSG, steaks, mac ‘n cheese, burgers. 1641 N. Alpine, Rockford, (815) 977-4319. LD M-Th 11am-midnight, F-Sat 2am. $. Main Street Bistro  Fine dining, full bar, live music Thurs. and Sat. nights. 109 S. Galena Ave., Freeport, Ill. (815) 232-2322. Mon.-Sat. 2p.m. to close. $$ Maciano’s Pizza & Pastaria  Casual. Italian favorites, beer & wine. 6746 Broadcast Pkwy., Loves Park, Ill., (815) 963-7869. LD Sun-Th 11am-midnight, F-Sat to 11pm. $$. Merrill & Houston’s Steak Joint  Fine Dining. Ironworks Hotel, 500 Pleasant St., Beloit, Wis. (608) 3130700 Sun.-Th 4:30-9p.m, Fri-Sat. to 10pm. $$. Mulligans  Casual/American Pub. 2212 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 963-7869. LD M-Sat 11am-2am, Sun to midnight, F-Sat to 2am. $ Murphy’s Pub & Grill  Casual/Irish-American. 510 S. Perryville Rd., Rockford, (815) 986-0950. LD M-Sat 11am2am, Sun 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. $$. This Is It Eatery  Ribs, burgers, pasta, salads. Tues.-Thurs. 11 a.m.-8 p.m. (815) 616-5449. 16 N. Chicago Ave., Freeport, Ill. $ Vito’s Ristorante  Casual/Italian. Authentic fare from family recipes. Sauces, soups, mama’s meatballs, desserts fresh daily. 1620 N. Bell School Rd., Rockford, (815) 312-5080. LD T-Th 11am-10pm, F-Sat to 11pm. $$. ❚

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

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Pet Tips

Know Your Cat

By Peggy Werner

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ats aren’t as aloof as you think. They’re observant, intelligent, resilient and strong and tough – and they want to keep you guessing, by not letting you get to know them too well, especially at first. “The best part of cats is that they have their own ideas, but mesh well with human ideas and personalities,” says veterinarian Sharon Schamberger, owner of Mostly Cats, 4901 N. Perryville Road, in Loves Park, Ill. “Cats communicate and will let you know what they want. Some are very talkative, while others rarely utter a sound, but all have their way of telling you what they want,” she says. For example, if you’re sick at home, your cat will stick close by your side, letting you know he or she is there for you and wants to comfort you and be comforted by you. Cats like routine, learn the habits you keep and will adjust to your schedule, says Schamberger. They don’t like to be told what to do, but they will follow your lead. “Cats aren’t necessarily hungry at 2 a.m., but if that’s when you choose to feed them, they will expect it. So, use that fact to your advantage, if you want to retrain your cat. Mix something enjoyable with something you want to change,” Schamberger says. The No. 1 health problem for cats is obesity. Most overweight cats are indoor pets and don’t get enough exercise. Some cats can nibble all day long and never gain weight, while others need to have their food monitored and measured or they’ll never stop eating. Being overweight is an unhealthy condition for cats just as it is for people, and can lead to diabetes, arthritis, urinary problems, and a shorter life. ❚

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How Well Do You Understand Your FICO Score? W e know better, but most of us own credit cards and don’t pay off their balances in full each month. Although the money we put into regular bank savings accounts is earning only about 1 percent interest right now, the average family pays about 12.8 percent interest on credit card debt. One of the main factors lenders use to determine that rate is our FICO score. All of us have one, and keeping it in good shape can make an enormous difference to our financial wellbeing. To obtain your free annual credit report, go to ftc. gov and click on Consumer Protection. Meanwhile, test your FICO knowledge in our quiz. 1. What’s a FICO score anyway? a. A unit of measurement in the First International Credit Operation. b. A term airlines use that stands for Fly in Comfort Often. c. A 3-digit number immediately available to lenders that describes how creditworthy you are, based on credit reports

compiled by Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. d. The tally at the end of mini-golf. 2. FICO scores range from 300 (very bad) to 850 (very good). What’s the median FICO score in the U.S.? a. 423 b. 523 c. 623 d. 723

3. Which is not a benefit of maintaining a high FICO score? a. You enjoy significantly lower interest rates on mortgages and other loans. b. You’re far more likely to obtain a mortgage or other loan. c. Prospective employers may use your FICO score to form judgments about you. d. You’ll rack up frequent flier miles. 4. Your credit score is based on five factors. Which is the largest, accounting for 35 percent of your score? a. How long you’ve had a credit history b. The kinds of credit you have (mortgage, car loan, credit card etc.)

c. Your payment history d. Your reputation as a nice person

5. Which statement is not true? a. Closing all of my credit cards will raise my credit score. b. I can get a free copy of my credit report every year. c. I must pay to get a free copy of my credit score. d. I will pay more interest overall if I maintain a poor credit score. Answers: 1. c. FICO actually stands for Fair Issac Corp. 2. d. 723 is the median. This means that half the population is behind you, and half is ahead of you. 3. d. 4. c. Your payment history 5. a. It may seem odd, but keeping credit lines open but paid up is the best action, since closing a card will negatively affect your debt-to-credit ratio by making the credit number smaller. ❚

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Smart Living Weekly - May 21, 2014