KC Magazine April 2020

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APRIL 2020






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We Are Here For You! Hams, Bacon, Lunch-Meats, and Sausages Made Fresh and In-House! Plus A Full Service Fresh Meat Counter!

Homemade Easter Meats:

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From April 1st -15th State Street Jewelers will pay your tax on ANY regular priced item that is in stock!

230 W. State Street | Geneva, Illinois | 630.232.2085 www.statestreetjewelers.com

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NOTE Spring Style is as much about feeling great – as looking great When you consider the changing realities of a world with coronavirus, it can be difficult to find the silver lining or the glass half full. These are difficult times for all of us, but my hope is that this issue of KC finds you in good health and excited about the prospect of getting back to some semblance of normal. With Spring Style front and center in this month’s issue, there’s plenty of ways to distract yourself from the outside world – even if it is for just a few moments. Spring ushers in the opportunity for new beginnings, which can mean a lot of things, from changing up hair and makeup routines to embarking on new lifestyle choices. The whole point of spring style is to ensure we feel empowered to seize the opportunity for change; it’s as much about feeling great as it is about looking great. And change is clearly upon us. The Tri-Cities are rich with destinations capable of making your spring style choices easy – and distinct. It could be boutiques embedded in the retail districts or consignment shops where

hidden treasures make shopping as fun as actually finding something amazing to wear. For the masculine set, we take our readers to Geneva’s Third Street, where Motto offers contemporary men’s clothing. If you cannot get out to shop, shopping online is easy and a great way to help businesses navigate these unsure waters. Sure, shades of white are a standard for spring fashion, but think about the arrival of trendy pastels, blues and pinks that will dominate this year. And, yes, word on the street is neon will return with a vengeance, any locked-up memories of the 1980s be forewarned. Thanks for reading!

Laura Shaw, Publisher

on the


PUBLISHER Daily Chronicle & Suburban Weekly Group Laura Shaw 630-709-4497 lshaw@shawmedia.com DESIGNER Allison LaPorta 630-427-6260 alaporta@shawmedia.com LOCAL SALES MANAGER Kane County Chronicle & Niche Publishing Jaclyn Cornell 630-845-5234 jcornell@shawmedia.com CORRESPONDENTS Jonathon Bilyk, Pat Szpekowski, Kevin Druley, Erin Sauder, Diane Krieger Spivak, Alan Sculley, Allison Bills, Chrissy Somers, Chris Walker, Tom Witom, and Peter Stadalsky

This magazine is available by subscription for $24 a year. If you would like each month’s edition mailed to your home, send your request with payment information to Shaw Media, 7717 S. Route 31, Crystal Lake, IL 60014 or via email at subscriptions@shawmedia.com.

Photo by RON MCKINNEY Salon Services by MARIO TRICOCI SALONS AND DAY SPAS Photographed on location at SOCIETY 57


Published by Shaw Media 333 N. Randall Road, Suite 2 St. Charles, IL 60174 Phone: 630-845-5288



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Real Banking at

sterling bank Thomas Russe


Diane DeWitte

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Jennifer Guerri

Vice President

Jack McNally

Private Client Associate

Carrie Johnson

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Isabella Patton

Customer Service Representative

real People, real Service, real Community Bank, real Close to Home.

St. Charles 10 Illinois Street | (630) 549-7065 | www.sterbank.com

Your Future Is with Us! SM-CL1759994

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FASHION & BEAUTY 10 SPRING STYLES With bold prints and fabulous colors, our local boutiques are bursting! 13 ELEGANCE WITH AN EDGE Women’s fashion boutique, in the heart of Geneva’s historic district. 14 MOTTO Offering contemporary men’s fashion. 18 UNIQUE STYLE Clothing or accessory that won’t be found everywhere.

FAMILY IN FOCUS 34 FEELING CONFIDENT THROUGH THE QUARANTINE Family columnist Chrissy Somers has suggestions on what to do during this time.

19 SPRING FASHION SCENE What’s trending for hair and makeup.

36 SIMPLE THINGS Suburban Superdad Jonathan Bilyk gets nostalgic in appreciating the simple things in life.

20 CONSIGNMENT SHOPPING INSIGHTS High-end, hidden treasures delight area customers.


22 THROW BACK Summer style inspired by the 80's.

38 TOM’S COOKBOOK LIBRARY Cookbook reviewer Tom Witom on weight-loss magic with a ketogenic diet.


40 ARE PLANT-BASED DIETS RIGHT FOR YOU? Plant-based diets: what you need to know.

24 GARAGE DOOR Add valuable impact to your home.

42 SIGNATURE DRINK Signature cocktails at your favorite Fox Valley restaurants.

26 GARDENING IS CHEAPER THAN THERAPY Landscape expert Megan Provencher shares tips to reduce your anxiety and stress by heading to the garden.

HEALTH & WELLNESS 28 EAT HEALTHY, EVEN WHEN YOU’RE OUT Digestive expert Dr. Tarun Mullick talks about basic health issues and some great choices for eating healthy at McNally’s Pub in St. Charles.


30 8 WAYS TO BANISH SPRING ALLERGIES Get over those itchy eyes and skin irritations and head outdoors with ease!


44 PREPARE FOR THE BEAR! Tom McCartney on navigaing market volatility.

TRAVEL 46 WHEN IN ROME Travel enthusiast Pete Stadalsky talks about biking across the European countryside.



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MF LuH! Mx HS NKxMuFM xSHã 199»



Butcher ~ Deli ~ Catering

• Prime Rib Beef • Whole Beef Tenderloins • Crown Roast of Pork with Stuffing • Rack of Lamb • Boar’s Head Honey Baked Ham (Sliced, Tied & Glazed) • USDA Leg of Lamb Whole or Boned & Tied • Chateaubriand • Boneless Rib Eye Roast • Smoked Easter Polish Kielbasa • Fresh Homemade Polish • Boneless Rolled Pork Loin Roast • Bone-In Whole Hams 10-14 lb avg. • Colossal Cooked Shrimp • Italian Beef in Gravy

Geneva, IL Voted Best of th West Deli & e Sandwich 2015, 2016, 20S1hop 7,2020!

Meat & Cheese Lasagna Veggie Lasagna • Mostaccioli


Homemade Calzones • Easter Pies

Featuring a full line of Boars Head Luncheon Meats Engstrom Plaza 716 West State St., Geneva (Entrance on 7th Street) 630-262-1878


Custom Catering For Graduation Parties

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Tues - Fri: 9 AM to 6 PM Sat: 9 AM to 5PM Sun: 10 AM to 2 PM (Closed Easter Sun.)

We are closed Mondays

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Spri S 8


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ring Style Photos by Ron McKinney Photography

Society 57 opened its doors to Kane County Magazine in late February to showcase spring fashions by three local boutiques. From floral prints and denim to fabulous colors and chic styles, Flair on 3rd, Evernia and Flourish captured this season’s trends.


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Semi Annual Sale All Wines on Sale All Weekend

10 - 40% Off ! Saturday & Sunday, April 18th & 19th SavWay Geneva 515 W. State Street Saturday & Sunday, April 25th & 26th SavWay St. Charles 2580 E. Main Street


Tasting Presentations from 2-5pm each day; St. Charles location is limited to one Saturday 2-5pm tasting. FASHION & BEAUTY APRIL 2020

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at Evernia Boutique in Geneva B y Pa t S z p e k ow s k i


he expression “when one door closes another one opens” is not just an overly optimistic phrase. It vividly came to life for Mark and Nancy Thompson when they opened Evernia, a women’s fashion boutique, in the heart of Geneva’s historic district on State Street in 2015.

In May, the store will celebrate its fifth anniversary with specials, treats, and personal peeks into what’s new in today’s new and exciting spring fashion trends. The love of unique and stylish fashions coupled with warm client and staff relationships at a previous store, which closed its doors, propelled the new venture for the team to stay together with the opening of Evernia. “We had so many loyal customers who followed us to Evernia,” said Brenda Johns, Evernia buyer and store manager, “and that made it special for all of us.” Evernia specializes in uniquely stylish and elegant clothing and accessories which are sourced from around the world. “We are very particular in our choices,” Johns said, “from the yarns in our sweaters, like alpaca from Peru, to wools from Germany, Croatia, and Italy.

Our fashions also arrive from Israel, Australia, and of course, those made in the U.S.A. We also focus on being environmentally conscious, too, such as being aware of the techniques used for the dyeing of fabrics in the clothes.” The apparel and accessory collection name brands at Evernia evoke couture and stylish trends. The fashion focus is to empower every woman, every day. There are many selections for those who love variety and the basics. The store is filled with a plethora of choices to layer or mix and match many stylish comfortable tops, jackets, and sweaters with pants, leggings, dresses and skirts. Kick up the look with easy to throw on knock-out scarves, soft shawls, and stand-out necklaces with effortless ease for ready-to-go dressing to a party, lunch in town, or at work. Right now Johns and the staff are excited about all of the new spring looks flowing into the store. “Blue is the color this year,” she said, “ and we have french terry and linens from Germany.” She also notes that blue is the perfect color for every skin tone and can be used as a good basic.

The Evernia staff prides itself on top-notch, personal customer service. “We really get to know our amazing customers,” Johns said. “Our staff is very knowledgeable about all of our lines and how they fit. It is an added benefit when helping them find a customized look or when we offer a few new suggestions to lift up their wardrobe. At Evernia, customer service rules.” A visit to the store provides a warm, friendly and inviting atmosphere. In fact, the store’s name has its own legacy. “It comes from one of Geneva’s streets, Evernia Court,” notes Johns. “But also, do you know that “evernia” is the name of the moss that grows on an oak tree? And that the Oak is the official tree of City of Geneva?” Stop in Evernia and get to know the staff and their distinctive fashions. Discover high quality clothing and craftsmanship that embodies “Elegance with an Edge.”  EVERNIA 219 W. State Street | Geneva, IL 60134 630-457-5445 | www.evernia219.com


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teve Quinn admires the Third Street district in downtown Geneva immensely, but even with admiration he had spotted a deficiency in the area for several years. With all of the stores, restaurants and boutiques, there was no shop specializing in men’s clothing.

So, when a space beneath the women’s wear shop owned by his wife, Kathryn, became available last September, Steve opened Motto, 217 S. Third St., Suite 90, Geneva. With respect to his wife’s business, Quinn hopes Motto can Flourish, along with it. Motto offers contemporary fashion, or “clothing that guys actually wear,” in Quinn’s words.


“It’s things that are going to be fashionable for a long time and just as interesting, quality pieces that you’re not probably going to find at other shops,” he says. “The idea of being unique, but still something that a regular guy would wear, is part of the mission. So, guys can look good and feel good about themselves and present themselves well in a business environment – or just on the weekend.” Kane County Magazine recently spoke with Quinn about the store. Here are three things to know: The merchandise reflects a

1 trend in men’s fashion

Motto focuses on casual, business casual and weekend


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The idea of being unique, but still something that a regular guy would wear, is part of the mission. — Steve Quinn, Owner Motto

wear clothing, and also sells accessories such as watches. Why this approach over another? “I think it’s a reality in the world and the business world, in the work environment, that guys don’t have to wear suits anymore. They don’t really wear ties that much anymore,” Quinn says. “The work environment is much more casual, and that’s been happening for many years. So, I think that’s just the reality of the situation. And guys like to look nice but they want to be presentable and have good quality that’s going to last. So, that’s kind of why we’re there.”


‘When in Rome’ is a motto that suits Motto thus far

While Quinn is confident wordof-mouth and referrals from customers at his wife’s store can help build Motto’s base,

the shop’s location also has paid dividends in the first six months of its existence.

monikers she had prepared, Quinn felt strongly about Motto right away.

“The Third Street shopping district is like a tourist attraction, so it’s a big draw for people all over, even in Chicago,” Quinn says. “There’s people that visit from different states and they just hang out in Geneva because it’s a cool place to hang out. So, a lot of it is foot traffic from tourists and people visiting, and that helps the business. People are in a really good mood, they’re out just to have fun, and then they visit the shop and see some cool things and they buy it, which is cool.”

“I think guys tend to have a vision for their lives, and a motto is a representation of that vision of your life, and that connects to men, I think, in a lot of ways,” says Quinn, who explains Motto’s merchandise features various popular mottos on the tags, while mottos also appear on the back of business cards.

Motto may be a men’s 3 shop, but women

certainly have an influence

For starters, Quinn’s wife brainstormed the store name. Glancing at a list of prospective

You’re likely to see women carrying bags out the shop, as well. “A lot of women buy for their guy, and they’re all very happy there’s finally a local men’s shop that has good, quality clothing and they can buy it all from Motto,” Quinn says. Visit: www.mottoformen.com.


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Peak Boutique We are busy moms who know what it is like to goo from bus drop off, to work outs to meetings! We created Peak Boutique, so women could feel good and look amazing from their yoga mats too lunch with friends to after school activities. We always pair our outďŹ ts with our favorite accessory, Gemelli Italia Jewelry. Gemelli Italia Jewelry is designed by two local sisters who creaate beautiful, unique, boho inspired pieces using natural gemstones and rare beads. Peak Boutique is located in the historic district of Genevva. 207 S. Third Street | 630-253-1434 | peakboutiquegeneva.com

Flair on 3rd Women & Children's boutique featuring a contemporary mix of clothing, jewelry & accessories with up-to-date trends, classic staples and splurge items. Our accessories are sourced from artisans locally and from across the country bringing one of a kind hand crafted pieces made from metals, leather, natural stones and more. A unique one-stop shop. Searching for the perfect gift or something for yourself FLAIR ON 3RD has you covered. **Open Everyday** Follow us on Facebook and Instagram @airon3rd 312 S. Third St. | Geneva, IL 60134 | 630-845-4030



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Always in Style We are a consignment boutique for fashionable womenís clothing and accessories located in downtown Geneva. Our goal is to help women dress stylishly while sticking to a budget. We sort through our consigners clothing and accessories to choose the best items to sell in our store. We also carry new items that are perfect for birthday gifts. We carry in-style purses, shoes, outerwear, jewelry and other accessories in excellent condition. Our inventory changes daily, so stop by often to see what new treasures you can find. Follow us on Facebook @ AlwaysInStyleConsignment. 516 W. State St. |Geneva, IL | 630-492-0846

The Sundance Gallery Make a statement with one-of-a-kind authentic Native American jewelry. Turquoise is the perfect color for spring and summer and the selection at the gallery is unparalleled. Whether your preference is contemporary or vintage, The Sundance Gallery offers it, and has since 1984! In addition to turquoise, you will find jewelry with stone colors of the rainbow including coral, blue, purple, green and more; for both men and women. Also find genuine arts for your home as well as clothing & accessories for your unique look. Our mission is to preserve and promote Native jewelry and arts. Your purchase makes a difference. 227 S. Third St., Suite 103 in the Berry House | 630-269-8080 www.thesundancegallery.com


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unique style AT





By Diane Krieger Spivak | Photos Provided


rom a young age, Martha Murillo dreamed of owning her own women’s fashion boutique. For the fashion design school grad, that time came Dec. 7 when she and her husband Ricardo opened Apricot Lane Boutique in Geneva, Illinois. “I wanted to do something that I truly enjoyed and this is it — fashion,” says Martha. “If I was going to provide a service or product to a customer I wanted to be sincere.”

The Murillos chose Geneva to locate their boutique for obvious reasons. “Geneva has a lot to offer, and it offers great logistical advantages since it sits in the heart of the tri-city area,” says Martha. “We chose the Geneva Commons Mall specifically as it is an upscale lifestyle center located in the busiest area of the Randall Road commercial section. We selected this city and this specific retail space as we believed it would allow us to project our business philosophy.”

boutique is locally owned, it carries a selection of clothing, accessories, and gifts unique to any other location. “Our clothing is on-trend, affordable, and ever-changing to ensure you walk away with something one-of-a-kind,” says Martha. “We carry a curated collection of well-known brands mixed with new, up-and-coming brands; all of which are high-quality, stylish and affordable. We provide forward trends with a classic style.” New, limited-quantity items arrive weekly.

The Murillos’ business philosophy is to offer a small inventory of each item, allowing customers to wear a unique article of clothing or accessory that won’t be found everywhere. Each item is hand-picked by the owner, making sure the store carries the latest trends.

A contributing part of the Murillos’ success has been the ability to create a unique in-store experience. “My team knows that the experience of each of our guests is the #1 priority,” says Martha. “Even though we’ve only been open since December we already see customers who visit us frequently and we know them by name; we chat about life and laugh together. They tell us their wants when it comes to clothing and we turn that into a great fashion experience. Our stylists are getting

Apricot Lane Geneva is part of a national fashion franchise. “We decided to join this great franchise because it offered the flexibility of making it your own from the standpoint of the merchandise selections,” says Martha. Because the


to know our customers and they help them create great outfits. We love to see their smiles when we suggest an outfit that they probably would not normally consider and, after they try the outfit they come out of the fitting room loving it! I think that these experiences turn a regular shopping experience into something special.” Martha says she enjoys the satisfaction of knowing she just made someone feel beautiful. “You never know, but each time you do this you may be helping someone change their day to the better. What could bring me more joy than that?”  APRICOT LANE BOUTIQUE (630) 457-5025 1514 Commons Dr. • Geneva, IL 60134 Monday-Saturday 10 am to 8 pm Sunday 11 am to 6 pm Facebook: Apricot Lane Geneva Instagram: apricotlanegenevail


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just that.

pring is the season of new beginnings and what better way to ring it in than with a fresh new look? Switching up your hair and makeup routine can easily do

What’s currently dominating the hair scene? You might be surprised. “One really popular cut is a bob, but it’s different than the bubble bob cut we used to see,” said Ami Christianson, owner of One Salon and Bridal, 930 W. Main St., St. Charles. “Where before it was more of an angle, now it’s straighter, sleeker and really pretty. It’s very hot for spring.” Christianson says if you like the idea of a bob, but don’t want to chop off your locks, go with a long bob, or lob, cut. “There are so many variables to the bob,” she says. “We can modify it for your face shape and hair texture and lifestyle.”

with long layers— that is super-hot for spring,” Christianson says of the style that is often paired with bangs, which are also making a comeback. “With the shag, some people are going with longer curtain bangs where they’re open in the middle,” Christianson says. “With a bob, the heavy, straight across bangs make the style really edgy.” According to Christianson, another hairstyle circling back is the pixie cut. “And it’s shorter than ever,” she says.


When it comes to color, white ash blonde hair is still going strong. “It’s beautiful, but it can be hard on the hair and it can be high maintenance,” Christianson says. “The fashion colors like blue and purple are also really hot right now, but it’s a more limited demographic. It’s not for everybody.”


Having spent more than three decades in the industry, Christianson is no stranger to seeing hairstyles come and go, and come back again. Joining the bob’s return is the shag, especially among those with longer tresses.

Looking to add some volume to your tresses? Consider the old-made-new hair extension weft technique, which Christianson says these days are “made much more comfortable and long-wearing.”

“The modern shag cut has that Farrah Fawcett look

“This method makes the seam of the weft more

streamline, less bulky, and less visible,” she says. “The installation is done with a beading technique so that the weft has mobility. You can even wear your hair up with this new technique.” Another bonus: The extensions can last up to a year and can be reset every six to eight weeks. Christianson says this is very popular for those who want added volume to their hair.

Make it Personal

It’s important to figure out what works for you, says Christianson. “What works for you and your hair and texture is what’s always going to look best.” Swapping out your makeup colors is also a great way to ring in the new season. And metallics are what’s on point for spring 2020. “You see a lot of metallic lips and eyes,” Christianson says. “Smoky metallics for the eyes especially.” Another growing trend is sunset eye makeup. “I think this is especially pretty with blue eyes,” Christianson says. “The orange tones in the sunset color palette compliment blue eyes and really make them pop.”


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INSIGHTS High-end, hidden treasures delight area customers By Alan Sculley | Photos Provided


hen it comes to shopping second-hand stores in the TriCities, customers can count on finding unique pieces and store staff who love to step in and offer advice and attention that is expected in any high-end boutique.

Prom and gala season are a great time to check out consignment shopping, to find a gown or accessories. Store owner Jan Mangioni and her staff at Anew in Geneva love helping customers find unique pieces at their

With three decades of retail experience, Jane Pabon says she wanted to provide her customers with an elevated shopping experience when she opened Jane Pabon Boutique, a luxury consignment shop in downtown Geneva. For more than 10 years, customers have come to her looking for oneof-a-kind treasures, such as Burberry scarves, Chanel accessories and other luxury brands.

“I love it because it’s a little like searching and finding hidden treasures,” Mueller says.

Pabon and her staff offer services including byappointment styling and shopping assistance. Clients can also book after-hours parties at the boutique to shop with friends.


Like Pabon and Mangioni, Paula Mueller says she followed a leap of faith and her passion for fashion when she opened her luxury consignment shop, Paula’s Couture Consignment in November 2018 in downtown Batavia. Mueller remembers the days of driving into Chicago to browse at second-hand stores. Today, she relishes her role helping customers and takes pride in her tiny shop that features quirky, one-of-a-kind pieces. And, when she meets her consigners, she takes in a lot more than simple inventory, as she gets to hear clients weave stories behind the unique items.

“If you have something beautiful or luxurious, then wear it,” Pabon says. “Embrace it and wear it.”

“My real passion is styling,” Pabon says. “I like taking people out of their comfort zone and putting them in things they never thought they could wear. It gives women confidence.”

be able to afford a Louis Vuitton designer handbag, make that purchase, it’s great,” Mangioni says.

luxury consignment shop, where it’s possible to buy high-end clothes and handbags without spending a fortune. “To see people who never thought they’d

With just 900 square-feet of store, Mueller says she aims to turn inventory often and has fun with promotions and end-of-season fillthe-bag sales. On the final Friday of the month, her loyal shoppers fill the store for the monthly fashion show, complete with snacks and mocktails. And when it comes to advertising, the once-shy Mueller steps into the limelight


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as model, wearing pieces around town and snapping pictures for her social media postings. “If I wear it, it usually sells,” Mueller says.


In addition to putting dollars back into the hands of consigners, Pabon, Mangioni and Mueller say unsold pieces marked for donations are a great help to local agencies in the community. “I bring unsold items to Batavia Interfaith Clothes Closet to support the community,” Mueller says. “People absolutely love what I bring in.” And, consignment shopping in the Tri-Cities isn’t just limited to women’s clothing. Mangioni says she’s recently added a few racks for men’s items and it’s taking off. Shoppers mingle alongside professional interior designers searching for home furnishings, furniture and more at SGToo in St. Charles, where Store Manager Margaret Olsem says the inventory changes daily. She and her staff have fun decorating the store, which is in an old home, with wares that range from antiques to vintage to mid-century modern. “With older furniture, there is quality, and that’s why we love vintage pieces. And yes, every piece has a story,” Olsem says.


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80s By Allison Bills


his spring and summer, prepare for an onslaught of bold patterns, bright colors, and dramatic necklines and sleeves in clothing shops around Kane County. While some trends, like rompers and animal print, may be similar to previous years, this year, it’s getting even more bold.

dots and stripes,” says Brenda Johns, buyer and manager at Evernia in Geneva. “They always have kind of been a staple for us.”

“I’m seeing a lot of bolder colors and prints, but the outfit is the major prop this season,” says Kasey Hoag, co-owner of Six + Cypress in Batavia. “Everything reminds me so much of the eighties, which is crazy.”

“We’re not seeing it as much in our clothing,” says Emily Hitchcock, manager of Edie in Geneva. “We are seeing it in other ways, including handbags, shoes and accessories.”

One of the biggest things this season is going to be prints – whether it be animal, checkered, chevron or stripes. “We always see polka


While stripes and polka dots are traditional prints that have stood the test of time, animal print has been popular in recent years and is not going anywhere anytime soon.

In addition to animal print being more prevalent in accessories, Hoag says that layering various prints will be extremely popular this summer. “It’s going to sound funny, but for the spring, pattern mixing is going to be in,” she adds. “I’m talking about putting animal prints with stripes, checkers with stripes or chevron. It’s


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heavy in the spring,” Hoag says. “It’s a double-edge sword. You have the coastal blues and pastel colors, and then you have neon. I’ll jump on some of the neon bandwagon at my shop and carry a lot of yellows and hot pinks. It’ll work, you’ll see!” The colors and prints may be bold, but the style and cut of clothing is trending to be much more conservative. “Things are definitely more tailored,” Hitchcock says. “I’m seeing some more basic stuff with feminine flair, like ruffles. I’m also

s all about taking patterns and putting them together.” Hoag has even seen the layering extend to shoes – she’s currently carrying shoes that have both stripes and animal print. Colors are also going to have a huge impact on styles this spring and summer. “Every spring, you’re going to see your florals and fun pastel colors,” Hitchcock says. “They’re great transitional pieces once we get into the warmer months.” Varying shades of pink and blue are the standout colors heading into the spring and summer. Pinks range from pastels to mauve and even bright pink, while blue shades vary from pastels and coastal blues to bright blue.

definitely seeing a lot of higher necklines.” Rompers are still popular, but Hoag says they might have a slightly different cut than previous years. “I’m definitely seeing throwback rompers with big sleeves and jumpers with puffy sleeves. Wait until you see the billboards.” With neon colors, puffy sleeves and arraying prints, spring and summer 2020 will be loud, bold and sassy. Bring on the warm weather.

“We’re going to carry a lot of blue tones,” Johns says. “Blue colors with white are such a great pop. We sell a lot of royal blue in our market, but bright blue is a really great color for spring.” White is an easy color to add into an outfit, especially when layering, she says. “White jeans and white jean jackets are huge. White is such a fresh pop after a cold, gloomy winter. It’s a nice color to see. Everything goes with white – you can either add a fun pop of color or you can tone it down with neutral tones.” While pastels, blues and pinks may be dominating this year, Hoag believes neon is going to be extremely trendy, too. “It may sound really funny, but I think neon is going to be really


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can add valuable impact to home By Jonathan Bilyk | Photo Provided


very spring, homeowners renew the annual vernal tradition of boosting the curb appeal of their homes. If it’s visible from the street – it’s in play.

Everything from pruning trees and bushes and planting flowers and new shrubs to spreading new grass seed and painting fascia, trim, and sheds becomes a priority as the seasons change.

Standing Out

on investment, the highest return of any remodeling or renovating project. It even outpaces the return on a kitchen remodel, siding replacement and a brightly colored new front entry door, HomeAdvisor reports. Michael Matuszek, owner of Consolidated Garage Doors Ltd. in Batavia, said the imbalance between the importance of the garage door compared to the amount of attention it receives is nothing new.

In recent years, endless virtual barrels of electronic ink have been splashed over screens, offering the latest advice on hot colors to paint the front door, a design feature considered key to the home’s visual impact.

For nearly five decades, Matuszek has installed, improved and serviced garage doors in the Tri-Cities of St. Charles, Geneva and Batavia, the Aurora area and throughout Chicago’s suburbs.

As recently as three years ago, 41 percent of homeowners surveyed by home remodeling and design ideas website Houzz told pollsters they wanted their home’s exterior to stand out from their neighbors’ dwellings.

In that time, Matuszek said garage doors have changed just as dramatically as so many other features and amenities on homes in the region. For starters, he says, current garage door designs boast improved functionality and durability.

But most years in most homes, most homeowners overlook or outright ignore one of the biggest elements of their home’s exterior design, if not their home’s actual primary entrance – the garage doors.

High Impact

According to HomeAdvisor, replacing a garage door tops the list of value-enhancing home improvements. HomeAdvisor reports garage doors can net a 97.5 percent return


Improved Materials

He noted modern garage doors offer “much higher insulating options,” helping to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. At the same time, Matuszek says today’s garage doors are lighter than they’ve ever been, placing less strain on garage door openers and suspension systems. With more durable materials, today’s garage doors also come with improved warranties,

while simultaneously being easier to maintain than their ancestors from years gone by. Modern high-tech garage door systems, like MyQ technology from LiftMaster, allow homeowners to interface with their garage doors and openers through their smart phones. “The homeowner will be able to incorporate not just operating their garage door, but have packages delivered, interface with home alarms, unlock doors and the list continues to grow through smart home apps,” he Matuszek says. And one of the best parts of all the modern options? “Increased curb appeal,” he says. According to Matuszek, modern materials have burst open the palette of design and “unlimited color options.” Composite materials, for instance, can mimic the look and feel of wood and other natural materials, but atop layers of strong, lightweight steel. “There are multiple options available today,” he says, quickly rattling off a list that includes the traditional elegance of colonial design; the trusted suburban ranch look; the classic feel of the carriage garage door; and the eye-catching chic of modern design garage doors, allowing garage doors to complement any home. It’s why he recommended homeowners

looking to add serious bang for their home improvement bucks take a long, hard look at the cost benefits of replacing their garage doors. “They can consider changing the entire look of their home with a new door,” he says.

Careful Maintenance

But even if a new door isn’t in the budget this year, Matuszek said homeowners should still not look past those doors. For starters, homeowners should give their garage door a good scrub a couple times each year with a mild soap. He advised leaving the power washer packed away inside the garage for that particular task. “The high pressure can damage the finish and damage glass top sections,” Matuszek says. “A garden hose is the perfect solution.” In order to keep garage doors both functional and appealing, homeowners should not overlook regular inspections and routine maintenance. He advised homeowners to watch for proper lubrication, loose hardware, fraying lift cables, and torn or damaged weather stripping, and listen for “any new noises.” Matuszek advises homeowners have their doors inspected and serviced every 18 to 24 months. “They’re the largest moving item in your home and receive the least amount of service,” Matuszek says. “Just put in on your calendar.”


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here’s been a lot going on in the world lately. Stress has built up. Anxiety and fear are weighing on us. Everyone has had a tough time and how do we even think about coping? Gardening can help. Getting outside – away from the stressors – is the easiest (and sometimes cheapest!) way to lose yourself in something positive. Rarely do folks get angry or stressed at plants. (Well, I do get angry at purslane…but mostly because it’s the hardest weed to pull…). The beauty of plants and a garden can instantly make you happy. Here’s some ways to reduce your anxiety and stress by heading to the garden:  RIP OUT THE LANDSCAPE AND START OVER. Ok…fine. That might be a bit stress inducing for some folks but rip off that Band-Aid and give your house an outdoor makeover! If your landscape is more than 10-15 years old, it’s time for a change. Dive into a landscape do-over and you’ll occupy your time and your thoughts for quite some time dreaming of all the fun things you can plant to replace those 40-year-old stringy lilacs. Plus, ripping dead plants out of the ground can be therapeutic and great exercise!

 PLANT A VEGETABLE GARDEN. It takes all summer to grow food crops which will keep your mind and body occupied. You can nurture the tiny little seedlings in the early spring. Coax them along in the summer. Harvest some early crops and have great, healthy salads. Then be rewarded with enough tomatoes and peppers to make your own salsa to enjoy in the winter! Vegetable gardening is about as rewarding as it gets.  OFFER TO HELP AN ELDERLY OR DIFFERENTLY ABLED NEIGHBOR OR FRIEND IN THEIR YARD. Folks that have compromised immune systems may not have been able to leave the house in a while and the garden waits for no one. Even within a few weeks, the weeds can take over and become a large project for someone that may not have the ability to maintain it. Use your strength and resolve to help a friend out and you get the added bonus of spending time working in a garden and enjoying the sunshine.

Let us grow them into the garden of your dreams.

 DROP BOUQUETS OF FRESH PICKED FLOWERS OR HARVESTED PRODUCE FROM YOUR GARDENS ON RANDOM DOORSTEPS. No human contact necessary. Attach a friendly note to let them know you are thinking about them and the recipient gets a day-brightening surprise!  STROLL THROUGH THE GARDEN CENTER. We’re open-aired and huge…plenty of room to roam and lots to see. Breath in the scent of flowering crabapples. Smell the fresh soil spilling out of the greenhouse as the staff plants up containers. Watch the pollinators thaw out and get busy with their jobs on all the spring flowering plants. Take a hike in the Nursery – wandering 140 wide-open acres will get your heart pumping and your steps in for the week! Our “house” is your “house” so you are always welcome to roam and take in the spring scenes. Bottom line is plants can always help reduce your anxiety and stress. Gardening can be a solo project or a family project if you are all home together. You can be outside in the fresh air and soaking up some sun and breathing in the sweet scents of spring which will help reduce your anxiety. And we are always here to chat – whether via text, phone, email, or face to face – about your gardening exploits. Talking to you also helps reduce OUR spring stress!

Meagan Provencher is the Sr. Landscape Designer at Wasco Nursery & Garden Center. She can be reached at 630-584-4424 or design@wasconursery.com Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!


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Well, for now, it seems like the restaurants are closed for social gathering purposes for coronavirus. So, how to enjoy something out? Fortunately, we have delivery options or curbside options that still exist. Just think, if we can stamp this virus out within a month or so, then we can get back to eating out more normally.


In the spirit of the of the recent St. Patrick's Day celebration, there are a number of places around town that are serving corned beef and some cabbage that you can get if you are unable to make it at home. With all the overstocking going on, it may be impossible to get the food items you need to make it. However, you can still get take out from McNally’s Pub. Their corned beef and cabbage is arguably one of the best I have ever had. The corned beef is slowly brined with a blend of spices that I believe includes hints of ground pepper, allspice, bay leaves, salt, sugar, cloves, ginger, some onion, cinnamon, mustard seeds, and of course, juniper berries. And all that flavor comes out with that kiss of spices that they give to the beautiful brisket. A few slices with the cabbage and oh my, I was hearing the sounds of music and just had to get on up to do my favorite irish step dance or jig. And to top it off, I did also try their corned beef and cabbage egg rolls with the quintessential thousand island dressing to dip. In between dance steps, I found a way to enjoy the time that we have away from a

restaurant, but still getting the wonderful food. I also blended the protein and fat with a lower amount of carbs that kept this favorable to a pseudo keto balance (as the keto diet is too tough for most to do long term). Hey, let’s all do our best to support the local economies in this time frame and order out a little to keep the normalization as you would have prior. If we all think this through, enjoy more cooked foods and less uncooked. Be careful and be safe. And most of all, before you eat, please wash your hands! Enjoy the upcoming the upcoming time as best as possible, and lets do a little Irish step and get jiggy with it to keep the St. Patrick’s Day energy alive!  Dr. Tarun Mullick is a specialist trained at Johns Hopkins and Cleveland Clinic in Gastroenterology and Endoscopy based in Geneva. Connect with him at www.mullickmd. com or by phone at 630-232-2025.


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Ask the doctor

Our practice focus is to care for patients to help them and tailor their care individually with current therapies. We receive a lot of questions from patients, friends, and even just those we know casually on many healthcare topics of the day. Here are some common questions we have recently been asked:

Q: Colonoscopy is not the best test out there. Cologuard is better? Is that true?

A: Colonoscopy is the best still. Cologuard is for later stage

testing of growths. It misses earlier polyps. Colon cancer screening is for both men and women. It is preventable, beatable and treatable. Screening starts at 45 unless you have symptoms prior at whatever age or family history of polyps or cancer. Get screened.

Q: Coronavirus, who should watch out? Is it that bad? Or is the media hype too much?

A: Coronovirus 19 is one of several types of coronavirus that

exist. Currently, this is the type that is spreading worldwide. However, 98 percent of people who get this particular strand will overcome it. So that is the bright side. What is bad is that the virus is more difficult to fight in the subgroups: Elderly, Diabetics, Heart Failure, COPD, HTN. In those patients, the morbidity and mortality is much higher. Still, however, the vast majority within those subgroups will combat the illness per data currently there. While the media hype in many scenarios is too much these days, we should still take this virus seriously and take the precautions in the next question.

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IF YOU DO BREAST CANCER SCREENING, GET COLON CANCER SCREENING. It affects men and women BOTH and is the second leading cause of cancer deaths. It is VERY important to get this screening done - colon cancer is beatable and treatable if caught early enough through colon screening. HEARTBURN PATIENTS PLEASE COME TO GET EVALUATED FOR PRECANCEROUS BARRETT’S; ESOPHAGEAL CANCER HAS INCREASED IN THE PAST 4 DECADES. FREE BOTTLE OF A USANA VITAMIN WITH COMPLETED COLONOSCOPY FOR NEW CLIENTS* *Some restrictions may apply. Available while supply lasts.

Dear Dr. Mullick, My family never had polyps or cancer. Do I really need a colonoscopy? Jane

Q: What is the best strategy to combat the spread so we

Dear Jane: Great question. Colon cancer can affect anyone, regardless of family history. Everyone over age 45 should get a colonoscopy. If you have family history you should start at age 40 or 10 to 15 years before the youngest relative with a problem. Screening helps reduce risk.

A: We should take the social distancing concept seriously. School

Dr. Mullick, I’ve got bloating and gas. Sometimes I have diarrhea or nausea after I eat. Could I have food allergies? My doctor said it’s IBS (irritable bowel). Kristen

can stamp this out? And what can we do to prevent a doomsday scenario like in other countries?

closures, minimizing groups of meeting or parties in terms of size are key. Sports events with larger groups or more contact chance predispose to that idea. The overwhelming number of people in one area gives more chance for spread. If we do this social distancing for about 1 to 3 months, it is likely we can stamp out the virus for the most part since the last person to get it will likely be over it by then. This is important since there is no treatment yet. Its’ better to lose a battle, and win the war. So a bit of sacrifice by humanity, will stamp it out. Together we can do it. Also, please wash hands often or use hand sanitizer. GEL IN and GEL OUT. Cough into your elbow. Stay home if you are sick. Usually at 5 days (range 2 to 14 days) most overcome this virus and many others as well.

Q: I have other health care issues. Do I continue to take care of those?

A: Yes, going to doctor offices and clinics is still fine. They are

smaller sized areas and like in ours, we are very excessive about cleanliness and sanitizing. A larger hospital is perhaps the area with more people, for which you would want to avoid unless urgent or emergent for now. In our community, there are many doctor offices, urgent clinics and centers that are smaller or midsize and away from the the hospital for which you can get great care. Please don’t neglect your other health care needs, otherwise those problems can become troublesome to you, while you wait for a virus that most people will combat.

Dear Kristen: Yes, food intolerances to lactose, sucrose and fructose are common, so you may need to avoid those. We have tests in the office for that. The symptoms of IBS and food allergies are often similar, so testing for food allergies is reasonable. We can test for that, too. We have helped many patients diagnosed with food allergies, so it’s not all IBS.


Get colon cancer screening. Beatable, Treatable, Preventable in most situations. S. from Geneva. “I am glad I had my colonoscopy done at the American Colonoscopy and Endoscopy center. I had some polyps removed and that will likely prevent a cancer. The facility was wonderful and it saved me money.”


PERIPHERAL NERVE TEST Certified center & trained team. Call now for your clinic appointment and test date. 630-232-2025. PPO, Medicare, and Cash payment accepted

*Results may not be typical. HEALTH & WELLNESS APRIL 2020

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(BPT) - Spring. The time of year when, as poet Alfred Lord Tennyson famously said, a young man’s (and woman’s) fancy “lightly turns to thoughts of love.” That is, of course, if you’re not sneezing, coughing or dealing with itchy eyes. Spring allergies seem to get worse every year. Is there anything you can do to avoid them? Yes, says allergist Todd Mahr, MD, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI). “You might feel like suffering from allergies is going to happen every spring no matter what, but there are ways to help alleviate your symptoms.”

These 8 ACAAI tips will help you enjoy the season instead of sitting it out indoors.

immunotherapy. That means your allergist will gradually give you increasingly larger doses of whatever you’re allergic to. There are also tablets that melt under your tongue to treat allergies to ragweed, grass pollen and dust mites. Both forms create a tolerance within your immune system.

a fresh look after the long winter. A deep clean will reduce allergens like mold, which build up in basements and other areas where you might not go every day. It’s also a great way to get rid of the pet hair and dander that have built up in places like your sofa. Wash throw rugs regularly, too, in hot water.







SEE AN ALLERGIST. Before the season kicks in, make an appointment with an allergist to find out exactly what is causing those itchy, watery eyes. Discovering the allergen that you’re reacting to is the first step in treating it. The ACAAI’s Allergist Locator can help you find a board-certified allergist in your area.

FIND OUT IF IT’S ALLERGIES OR ASTHMA. Or both. The symptoms from asthma can be similar to those of allergies. To make matters worse, allergies plus asthma can be a one-two punch for some allergy sufferers. Almost 75 percent of asthma sufferers also have allergies. Your allergist can diagnose what’s causing your symptoms and offer suggestions for treatment so you can start living the life you want to live.


CONSIDER ALLERGY SHOTS... They may be the best way to treat tree, grass, mold, dust mite, cat and dog allergies. Allergy shots are

...OR GET A PRESCRIPTION. Research has shown that most allergy sufferers find prescription medications more effective than those they can get over the counter. But most people don’t go in search of a prescription. An allergist can discover exactly what you’re allergic to and prescribe the right medication to ease your symptoms.

START MEDICATION BEFORE THE SEASON HITS. Don’t wait. Much like successful pain management involves getting in front of pain before it kicks into high gear, by taking your allergy medications before the worst symptoms develop, you’ll be doing a lot to alleviate those symptoms. If you usually start feeling it in March or April, start taking your medications in February.


COMMIT TO A THOROUGH SPRING CLEANING. It’s not just to give the house

WASH THE DAY AWAY BEFORE GOING TO BED. Take a shower and wash your hair before hitting the hay to rinse away pollen and other allergens you’ve picked up during the day. Similarly, wash your sheets and bedding once a week in hot water.

USE THE AC. It’s tempting to throw open the windows and let that fresh spring air waft into the house. The only problem is, pollen and other allergens will waft in with it. Instead, use your air conditioner and make sure the filter is clean. Change your filter every three months and use one with a MERV rating of 11 or 12. With a few commonsense tactics, you can get ahead of your allergies and keep them in the rearview mirror all season long.

ABOUT ACAAI The ACAAI is a professional medical organization of more than 6,000 allergists-immunologists and allied health professionals, headquartered in Arlington Heights, Ill. The College fosters a culture of collaboration and congeniality in which its members work together and with others toward the common goals of patient care, education, advocacy and research. ACAAI allergists are board-certified physicians trained to diagnose allergies and asthma, administer immunotherapy and provide patients with the best treatment outcomes. For more information and to find relief, visit AllergyandAsthmaRelief.org. Join us on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.



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iders traveling over the miles of trails that wind along the banks of the Fox River have come to see Pottawatomie Park as an oasis, a serene and scenic place they can stop for clean restrooms, tasty refreshments, and shelters from sudden storms. And at the park’s Bike Plaza, they also have a place where they can fix a flat, adjust their brakes, or straighten a slanted seat. Two bike repair stations are available along the Fox River Trail thanks to a cooperative program in 2016 with the St. Charles Park District and the Making Kane County Fit for Kids Funding Consortium. One is located on the north side of the stone restroom facilities adjacent to River View Miniature Golf; the second station is across from Langum Park on the east bank of the Fox River along to Route 25. Vibrant signage directs bikers to each plaza, which are also outfitted with water bottle fill stations, benches, and weather-proof bike path information holders.

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“One of the scariest things for bikers is to be out on a trail and not have a way to take care of any mechanical emergencies,” said Laura Rudow, superintendent of Parks and Planning. “Our bike repair stations can give riders great peace of mind.”


Each station come equipped with numerous commercial-grade, rubber-coated, flexible cable-tied tools, including various-sized screwdrivers and wrenches that enable bikers to do everything from raising or lower a seat to adjusting tire alignment. Elevated hanger arms allow the bike to be mounted at eye level to make repairs easier to manage and an air pump helps take care of any flat tires. The Bike Plaza in Pottawatomie Park also includes weather-proof brochure holders with maps of the Fox River Trail.

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“The biking community is a very active, socially connected network,” said Rudow. “Our Bike Plaza is helping make the park district even more of a destination for avid bikers as it provides respite to the distance biker.”

With miles and miles of trails throughout St. Charles connecting to adjacent communities, there is ample opportunity to explore the Fox Valley area. Trails include: • Great Western Bike Trail • Fox River Bike Trail (includes East Side Bike Trail & Norris Woods Bike Trail) • River Bend Bike Trail

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There’s something for everyone! Alert minds, healthy bodies, energized spirits — that’s what the Adult Activity Center is all about!


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Photos Submitte d

Feeling Confident

THROUGH THE QUARANTINE With Chrissy Somers, www.FamiliesOnTheFox.com

A few weeks ago, I had coffee with my friend, Gina Petty, owner of Lola Salon in Geneva and cohost on the podcast Intentionally Lola.


She shared how she went through her closet with one thought in mind: “If it doesn’t make me feel confident, I don’t need it.” Wow… I mean, think about it… how true is that? There are certain clothes in my closet and dresser that once I put them on, MAN! I feel SO. UNBELIEVABLY. CONFIDENT. Like I could go through the toughest battle and come out victorious on the other side… with a giant, confident grin

plastered on my face. And then I have clothes that I definitely don’t want to be seen in by another human being for fear that they may consider me feral. Trust me when I say that I don’t believe in vanity. But I have personally experienced the adage, “When you look good, you feel good.” This can be interpreted in so many ways, so let’s take a trip down Memory Lane to a common experience we’ve all had.


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You’re at the register, paying for the services you just received at the salon or barber. You check yourself out in the mirror one more time and smile. “Is that really me?!” you think to yourself. You leave a generous tip and walk to the outside world. You soak in the sunlight with a little more happiness. You roll your windows down a bit to breath in that fresh air. You smile at strangers because, well, why not? Does this ring a bell? It’s THAT feeling that I’m talking about when I say, “When you look good, you feel good.” Gina’s words rang in my ears during the first few days of this unprecedented quarantine. “If it doesn’t make me feel confident, I don’t need it.” With all this uncertainty circling around COVID-19, I like to find control in some places when the rest of my world is seemingly being uprooted, flipped, and spun around. I’ve learned that I can control how I feel about myself. The kids were napping, the laundry was done, so all my clothes were put away. But I had to put away SO MANY clothes! In this moment, I decided I would go through my clothes with intention. If I were to keep a piece of clothing, I had to ask myself: • Does this piece make me feel confident? • Is this necessary to my wardrobe (particularly to those that have a uniform or a color scheme they must follow for work)? • How does this piece make me feel? Why keep something if it doesn’t make me feel great about myself? Why waste preciousspace in my closet or dresser for something that hasn’t been worn in months? Why hang on to something in hopes of fitting in it again? I need to be confident in where I’m at TODAY while also working towards those personal health goals. I figured I wasn’t alone in this, so Families on the Fox has put together this list of things to consider while going through your clothes. Once you get your closet done, there’s no limit to what else you can go through in your home to pare down intentionally!

STARTING IN THE DRESSER  INTIMATES + PJS It’s weird to say “intimates”, but it’s better than saying “undies” (…gross). Go through all the items in this drawer. If they are starting to look like a slice of Swiss Cheese, get rid of it. There’s no way you’re feeling confident with an undershirt that is that tattered, honey! Socks that haven’t found their match in weeks? I’m sorry to tell you, but that sock’s partner is long gone. Toss it! A PJ shirt you’ve had since you were 18? Is it an heirloom or something? Are you going to pass it down to your kids? Do yourself a favor and donate that!


 T-SHIRTS + WORKOUT CLOTHES Now, I know there is always a time and place for a comfy tee. In fact, sometimes I feel the most confident in a loosely fitted tee and jeans with a cute pair of shoes! That being said, I had to ask myself those three questions from earlier to really determine which tees I feel the most comfortable and confident in. Do I really feel confident in that shirt from the 5K I completed four years ago? I’m sure there are pictures to prove I was at this race; I don’t need the t-shirt anymore as a memento. We all need athletic shorts for working out, but only keep the ones that are comfortable and in good condition.

 CLOTHES Just standing in the doorway of your closet, I’m sure you can eyeball several pieces that you are happy to say goodbye to. Step forward and take those bad boys off the hangers and donate them! For everything else that you are already creating excuses and reasons you will wear it again (though you haven’t worn it in MONTHS), just try it on. It seems like a daunting task, but seriously. Put it on and look in the mirror. Do you feel confident? Is it necessary? How does it make you feel? If it feeds your soul and inner happiness, keep it!

The ones that hurt after five minutes of wearing them? Yeah, go ahead and donate those.

 SHOES Do the shoes in your closet match your current personal style? Are they comfortable? Are they versatile? Is there a specific spot for it? If you answered ‘No’ to any of these questions, perhaps you should have a think about it before putting them in the ‘DONATE’ pile.

 SWIMSUITS + TRUNKS For every ONE person that feels comfortable in a swimsuit, there are another 50 - 100 that don’t, so this is a little tricky. I get that, but again, this is all about how YOU feel about YOURSELF. Forget what you think others will think about you. Keep the swimsuits and trunks that you LOVE, the ones that make you feel good about yourself. I had to get rid of swimsuits I had since before having my second child. My body was different then and seeing that swimsuit from my former “glory days” only made me feel more sad and upset that I no longer have that same figure. My swimsuits need to make me, a mom of three beautiful girls, confident in my super exposed skin, dang it!

If you are shrugging, wiggling, pulling, or tugging at the piece, then maybe it’s time to say tata!

 ACCESSORIES So many accessories and so little time to wear them all! For real… how long would it take you to wear every accessory you own? If the item doesn’t serve a purpose other than, “It goes really well with this ONE outfit,” then perhaps you should save that precious closet space for something else more versatile. I hope this article helps those of you who want to pare down your clothes but don’t know where to start (ahem… people like me). My own husband naturally pares his closet down and doesn’t need any advice on this particular topic. This article clearly isn’t for him. But the idea of keeping clothes that feed our soul, that make us feel positively about ourselves; this was new to me. I never thought of it this way, so I wanted to share that idea with others who perhaps hadn’t thought of it that way either. Once you’ve tackled your closet, go ahead and listen to the Intentionally Lola podcast for more insight and a different perspective on things we tend to overlook and underconsider. And go ahead and pour yourself something pretty. You earned it after all that hard work!

Chrissy Somers is the owner of Families on the Fox, a website that serves as a free resource to the Tri-City community. A daily events calendar, indoor fun resource guide, seasonal events, pre-planned date nights, adult fun outings, and more can an be found when you visit www. FamiliesOnTheFox.com Photo by Katie Kaltz Photography


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Appreciating the simple things in life


s a younger journalist, stationed on the suburban fringe in lighter times, large chunks of my weekends were often spent reporting on community events. With city halls and schools empty on Saturdays and Sundays, it was our opportunity to get out and about, and talk with people in our communities about the fun things they did.

One of my favorites? The All Canada Show. It would come through town towards the end of winter every year, giving locals the chance to visit with vendors, hoteliers, resort operators and outfitters from the Great White North, and dream about their adventures within what I presumed to be Canada’s endless wilderness. Admittedly, my experience in Canada has been brief, limited to just across our northern border. But a country that covers 3.85 million square miles, a little larger than all of the U.S., with fewer people than the state of California, must have Endless Wilderness, right? That presumption was only reinforced by the photo boards on display, loaded with images of, well, endless wilderness, and particularly, deeply forested lakeshores and islands, accessible only by seaplanes, where visitors were told they could drop in a line, savor a shore lunch and jet home a few days later with satiated souls and endless fish stories.


one everyone should experience at least once (presuming you eat fish, that is.) And, while my fish stories might bore you – largely consisting of miscast lines caught in trees and “giant catfish” stripping my line of bait and tackle – I do have them. Rather, it’s the idea of simply sitting, along the banks of a river or the shores of a lake, for hours on end, waiting for that tug on the line and the life-and-death tug o’ war that follows. And the idea of doing it, only to simply throw the fish back, has always seemed to be a rather poor return on investment. My idea of wasting away a perfectly good Saturday or Sunday, with nothing to show for it by evening, has typically involved some kind of team sport, but baseball, in particular. In contrast to fishing, baseball has held my attention from my earliest memories. It remains one of the greatest disappointments in life to discover I couldn’t hit a lick, or throw a pitch greater than 65 mph.

It captured the imagination, stirring a desire to explore. Which was particularly strange for me. Ever since childhood, the allure of fishing has puzzled me.

The idea of spending a sunny afternoon in a packed baseball stadium with a cold drink and a hot dog is even better for my soul than the earlier referenced shore lunch. Plus, as the father of two little dancing divas, who still squeal with fright at the sight of worms, and certainly won’t touch a wriggling fish fighting for its life – a trip to a baseball stadium, with cotton candy, popcorn, soda and peanuts, makes for a much more relaxing outing.

It has nothing to do with the fish themselves. A shore lunch, featuring a freshly cleaned and filleted catch, is truly one of life’s delights, and

So, it is with great sadness that I sit in my home, as I write this, aware that, amid this spring filled with coronavirus, quarantines, shutdowns

and lockdowns, there is a very real possibility that the entire spring will not offer even the opportunity of a sunny afternoon at the old ballyard. Certainly, the reasons behind the shutdowns are scientifically sound. Disease must be stopped. Human lives must be prioritized over recreation. We have everything we need. It’s been a wonder to see how easily the young ones have adapted to the idea that the elements of their lives they formerly took for granted – libraries, dance performances, movies, restaurants, playgrounds, birthday parties, trips to theme park, zoos and grandparents’ houses – have been closed to them. Sometimes, it seems they’ve handled the disruptions and loss of favorite distractions better than grown-ups, like their old man. But as I wait to hear those two magic words again – “Play ball!” – I am really regretting not learning to enjoy fishing, even if a trip to the magical Endless Wilderness of Canada can’t be in the cards.  Jonathan Bilyk writes about the triumphs and travails of being a modernday dad who legitimately enjoys time with his family, while tolerating a dog that seems to adore him. He also doesn’t really like the moniker “Superdad” because it makes it sound like he wants to wear his undergarments on the outside of his pants. (Also, the cape remains on back order.)


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You can help! This is a very difficult time for local businesses.

Shop local or purchase gift certificates at your favorite stores; remember many have ecommerce options. If you need cleaning or household supplies buy them locally. Pay with cash. Businesses pay a processing fee each time you use a card. There's no fee for cash & every little bit helps. Support local restaurants by ordering take out, ordering delivery, or purchasing a gift card for future use. Share this information with friends and family! Encourage them to support their local community as well.

est. 1851

A picture postcard .


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Weight-loss magic with a ketogenic diet


he idea of homemade Greek Meatballs with tzatziki sauce prepared with grated zucchini, feta and various dried seasonings may not strike readers as a compatible foundation for a diet meal. But Ella Sanders isn’t kidding.

“You can lose weight while indulging in luscious Fried Cheesecake Bites; boost your metabolism while dining on home-style Southern Fried Drumsticks, and Marinated Steak Tips with Mushrooms,” Sanders says in the introduction to her 2020 cookbook: Keto Kitchen Air Fryer Cookbook: More Than 100 Healthy Fried Recipes for the Ketogenic Diet [Released in January by Castle Point Books].

The “secret” to enjoying your favorite fried foods while losing weight, Sanders points out, is to achieve ketosis. That occurs when people consume just the right amount of carbohydrates and healthy fats to keep their metabolism revving and appetites satisfied. Working with an air fryer gets the job done quickly and simultaneously preserves the crisp flavor of ingredients. The book contains a diverse collection of 100 recipes ranging from Sausage and Lemon-Blueberry Muffins, to Guilt-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies and Home-Style Rotisserie Chicken to the afore-mentioned Greek Meatballs.

Time for Spring Clean-Up

As a safety precaution, Sanders recommends consulting with one’s family physician before embarking on any weight loss program. For more recipes and background, check out another book by Sanders: The Best Air Fryer Recipes on the Planet.

 Journalist Tom Witom, who lives in Elgin, has written extensively for years about food and the food industry. Contact him at editorial@kcchronicle.com.

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GREEK MEATBALLS With Tzatziki Sauce (Serves 6 to 10) • • • • • • • • •

1 pound 85% lean ground beef 1 cup grated zucchini ½ cup crumbled feta cheese 2 tablespoons finely minced red onion 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1 teaspoon salt ½ freshly ground black pepper 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

TZATZIKI SAUCE • ½ cup sour cream • 1/4 cup cucumber • 1 teaspoonful fresh lemon juice • ½ teaspoon garlic powder • ½ teaspoon dried dill • ½ teaspoon salt • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees F.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the beef, zucchini, feta, red onion, garlic powder, oregano, salt, black pepper and lemon juice. Mix gently until thoroughly combined. Shape the mixture into 1 1/4-inch meatballs.  Working in batches if necessary, arrange the meatballs in a single layer in the air frier basket; coat lightly with olive oil spray. Pausing halfway through the cooking time to shake the basket, air fry for 10 to 15 minutes, until the meatballs are browned and a thermometer inserted into te center of a meatball registers 160 degrees F.  To make the tzatziki sauce: In a bowl, combine the sour cream, cucumber, lemon juice, garlic powder, dill salt and black pepper. Stir until thoroughly combined. Serve with the meatballs. Per serving: 330 calories, 26 grams protein, 4 grams carbs, 23 grams fat 11.1 grams saturated fat, 1 gram fiber

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plant-base DIETS W

hile many regional restaurants have served vegetarian plates for decades, these days it’s easy to find plantbased menu items at just about every fast-food destination. Look and you will find Beyond Burger, the Impossible Taco, the Impossible Slider. So, the question beckons, what is a plant-based diet and is it something you should look into?

RIGHT FOR YOU? By Diane Krieger Spivak


 DEFINING PLANT-BASED “Plant-based eating is not vegetarian or vegan eating,” says Mary Zupke, MS RD LDN FAND, a clinical outpatient dietitian at Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital, in Geneva, Ill. “It is eating foods that are mostly plant-based, such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, and whole grains, as well as herbs and spices, which also have some good nutritional value, add flavor and allow you to reduce or eliminate sodium.” The key to a plant-based diet is that it’s rich in phytonutrients—natural compounds produced by plants that are anti-inflammatory, such as beta carotene in carrots, which helps with eye health. “Typically, I would say it’s a diet low in saturated fats and high in antioxidants, which helps decrease the risk of many diseases, such as heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, obesity and some forms of cancer,” says Zupke. Zupke and other dietitians encourage more plant-based foods, but also include low-fat dairy,


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sed and small amounts of chicken and fish. Low-fat dairy can include skim milk, low-fat cheeses such as low-fat mozzarella and swiss, and low-fat yogurt. For those who must avoid dairy, alternatives such as almond and soy milk are available. “You just have to check the label to be sure (almond and say milk) are providing adequate calcium and protein,” Zupke says. “Some of the milk substitutes are not providing that, but you can get fortified milk substitutes.” Zupke points to the Mediteranan diet, considered one of the healthiest, which emphasizes plant-based eating, but also includes some animal products that provide calcium, protein and iron. “You can get it through whole grains, fortified cereals and beans, but the Mediterranean diet does allow for some chicken, fish and dairy.” If you prefer to steer clear of meat, make sure to add lentils, beans and quinoa for adequate protein, adds Zupke.  COOKING METHODS MATTER She cautions, however, that simply consuming plant-based foods, without



• 8 (8-inch) whole grain flour tortillas • 1 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained • 1/2 cup julienned sun dried tomatoes in olive oil, drained • 1/2 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese

• • • • •

• 1 tablespoon fresh dill

thought to which kinds or their preparation, isn’t necessarily healthy. “Some people may think plant-based may mean more high-fat foods like French fries or chips. Make sure you’re cooking it properly,” she says. “You don’t want it breaded or fried. You want to bake or broil it, so you’re not adding fats in the cooking. Make sure you’re including non-starchy vegetable choices, and monitor portions of starchy vegetables, such as corn and peas.” When adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet, include a variety of colors, notes Zupke. Try red, such as tomatoes and strawberries; orange, such as carrots and sweet potatoes; and yellow, light and dark green, blue and purple. “A variety of colors will ensure that you’re getting a variety of phytonutrients,” says Zupke. “Different ones are found in different plants, so eating a variety will ensure you’re meeting your nutritional needs. We call it eating from the rainbow.”

• • • •

1 cup plain Greek yogurt 1 English cucumber, finely diced 2 cloves garlic, pressed 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 teaspoon lemon zest 1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint, optional Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 2 tablespoons olive oil

INSTRUCTIONS: • To make the tzatziki sauce, combine Greek yogurt, cucumber, garlic, dill, lemon juice, lemon zest and mint in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper, to taste. • Drizzle with olive oil. Refrigerate for at least 10 miutes, allowing the flavors to meld; set aside. • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Top tortilla with spinach, sun dried tomatoes, olives and cheeses, and then top with another tortilla. Repeat with remaining tortillas to make 4 quesadillas. • Place quesadillas onto the prepared baking sheet. Place into oven and bake until the cheese has melted, about 8-10 minutes. Serve immediately with tzatziki sauce, garnished with dill, if desired. Nutrition info per serving (1/2 quesadilla): 230 calories, 15 g fat, 4.5 g sat. fat, 16 g carbohydrates, 10 g protein, 550 mg sodium, 2 g fiber

BLACK BEAN SLIDERS INGREDIENTS: • 2 cans of low sodium beans, drained and rinsed • 2 carrots, peeled, grated and finely chopped • 1/2 cup sweet onion

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1/2 cup bread crumbs 1 egg, beaten 2 teaspoons chili powder 1/4 teaspoon pepper 8 whole wheat dinner rolls

INSTRUCTIONS: • Place 1 1/2 cups of black beans into a large bowl and mash well using a fork or potato masher. • Add in the remaining black beans and the rest of the ingredients. Mix well to egg is combined. • Scoop out 1/4 cup and form a patty; repeat for remaining patties. • Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. • Spray skillet with a teaspoon of olive oil. Place patties a few at a time into the skillet and cook until browned on each side, about 2-3 minutes per side. • Remove from skillet and enjoy or add a mini whole grain bun. Nutrition info per serving (1 burger): 220 calories, 2.5 g fat, 0 g sat. fat, 40 g carbohydrates, 11 g protein, 440 mg sodium, 8 g fiber DINING & ENTERTAINING APRIL 2020

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‘Signature Drink’ ADVENTURE By Pat Szpekowski


here’s nothing like getting together with family and friends for a delicious meal and lively conversation at a favorite restaurant. Whether it’s a special occasion or just a night out to get away from the dishes, relaxing with a favorite cocktail lightens the mood.

Let’s take it up another notch when a cocktail is not just a mere standard drink. Cities, states, and even countries have each laid claim to a special signature drink. Think of a


“mai tai” and Hawaii comes to mind. Choosing a signature cocktail at your favorite Fox Valley restaurant is a whole different story and an exciting adventure. These gems are more than the result of mixing, shaking, and pouring ingredients. Signature drinks are stars of the bar reflecting each restaurant’s particular menu and their chef’s expertise. Here are three area establishments that create unusual and exotic signature drink choices.

Craft Urban, 211 James St. in Geneva, offers 10 seasonal rotating cocktails and nine classic cocktails, plus the standard customer-called drinks. But, their Craft Urban Old Fashioned is the most popular of libations. Chef owner Bernard Laskowski (along with bar manager Bernard Laskowski III, his son) notes their signature drink is made with sarsaparilla bitters. You can even have it “smoked” when it’s placed in a special glass container. Laskowski says what makes all of their


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A Barrel Aged Manhattan is the most asked for signature drink at Niche Restaurant, 14 S. Third St. in Geneva. “It is aged in a whiskey barrel, which in turn smooths out the cocktail and adds a bit more oak character,” says Vince Balistreri, who owns Niche along with Andrea Redmond. “Niche has ventured into purchasing single whiskey and tequila barrels,” adds Balistreri. “This means we work with acclaimed distilleries, such as Buffalo Trace and Elijah Craig, and choose a whole barrel, 52 gallons, for only us. It is a unique way our restaurant acquires special liquor to offer our guests.”

rs Burge

They offer an extensive collection of beer, wine and spirits. “It can be overwhelming, but it is our job and pure enjoyment to help someone figure out a flavor they are craving before they even realize,” Balistreri says. If you may be looking for fun, as well as exotic signature drinks, look no further than Ron Onesti’s Club Arcada Speakeasy & Restaurant, 101 E. Main St. in St. Charles, which provides 20 hand-crafted drinks based on the Prohibition Era. The Flapper Girl Foozy, filled with light rum, dark rum, pineapple juice, and passion fruit juice, is the most-asked-for cocktail. The famed signature drinks at the Speakeasy stir up exotic flavors with the additions of apricot liqueur, Earl Gray syrup, thyme-infused or lavender honey, passion fruit rum, St. George absinthe, and more. How about a Berry Prosecco, Tiramisu Cocktail, or an Alexander Flip? Seek no more. There’s no reason to head for the beach. Enjoy a signature cocktail close to home.

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B Root

Photto by Ron Onestti’s Clubb Arcadda Speakkeasy & Resttaurantt

signature drinks so special is that they look at the cocktail menu in the same way a chef looks at the seasons and changes the food. “We have a hot toddy that comes out in the fall and winter. It goes into hiding during the spring and summer. We try and create items that we would want to drink during the seasonal changes and have developed a great following,” he says.

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Prepare for the

BEAR! By Tom McCartney

Although recent extreme market volatility can be challenging for the faint of heart to watch, the good news is that our markets are functioning.


An example is the triggering of the trading circuit breaker on Monday, March 9th, when trading was halted after the market declined 7% at the Open. As per design, the fifteenminute temporary halt forced investors to take time to regroup and once trading continued the market stabilized. An age-old adage is that the markets hate uncertainty, however, and with both the politicization of the handling of coronavirus as well as the price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia over oil there is a considerable amount of uncertainty out there. What is an investor to do?

Let’s take a look at a history of market declines and the typical length of that down market. Although it may be cold comfort, the drop that we have been experiencing is not unusual and some may view as actually being healthy. As I’m already past my editor’s deadline for this article in an attempt to have information as recent as possible, at this point some sectors (like technology) have already dropped over 20% which is the technical definition of a Bear Market. We will not be surprised to see end of this record Bull Market across most sectors.


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To borrow from a favorite hymn from Church, “Be Not Afraid.” Let’s look at the historic distribution of US Market Returns1:

We can see that historically the US Markets have had positive years 74% of the time. If you take a step back and reflect, over time the odds certainly are in your favor. Unless your personal situation has changed, we believe it wise to stay the course. Your financial advisor should be sharing the same advice and reaching out to you. If not, or if you’d like more of our thoughts, follow us at www.linkedin.com/company/ my-advisor-planner, visit our website at www.mapyourfuture.net, or give us a call. 1 In US dollars. CRSP data provided by the Center for Research in Security Prices, University of Chicago. The CRSP 1-10 Index measures the performance of the total US stock market, which it defines as the aggregate capitalization of all securities listed on the NYSE, AMEX, and NASDAQ exchanges. Indices are not available for direct investment; therefore, their performance does not reflect the expenses associated with the management of an actual portfolio. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.

This material is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal or tax advice and is not intended to replace the advice of a qualified attorney, tax advisor, or plan provider. FILE# 2990900.1

 Tom McCartney is the Founding Principal of My Advisor & Planner and a registered representative and investment advisory representative with M Securities. Investments in securities involve risks, including the possible loss of principal. My Advisor & Planner is independently owned and operated. McCartney and his team can be reached at info@mapyourfuture.net or 630-457-4068.

Photo by Indre Cantero

Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through M Holdings Securities, Inc. (Member FINRA/SIPC). My Advisor & Planner is independently owned and operated. File #0709-2018


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The Glass-Half-Full Guy:




was on the back of Mauro’s scooter cruising through the epicenter of Rome - streetlights sparkling, people walking everywhere, and cars swerving and turning in all directions with the predictability of a pinball. The cars ahead all pressed their brakes, making that bright red halo that makes your heart jump. Mauro didn’t let off the gas, but rather twisted the throttle further as I gripped his jacket even tighter. Just before we hit the herd of stopped cars, we cut to the left, zipping full speed between a line of cars and a brick wall. It felt like we had about three inches on each side of us to spare. Even then, the air between us and the wall was getting pretty nervous. We parked up on a curb, which looked more like a spot where a pedestrian would wait for the crosswalk rather than a parking space, but nonetheless “when in Rome” they say. I followed Mauro and his wife Makeyla into a small bar and they ordered a round of espressos. It was around 11 p.m. As I sipped the shot that was more potent than a thimble of paint thinner, I began wondering how I seem to always end up in these peculiar places with the funnest strangers. Two weeks prior I had been riding my bicycle across a series of Islands that make up Croatia.


While riding tip to tip on a particularly long island, I spotted a perfect cafe for a lunch break along the water. I sat on a bench in front of the café, eating my baguette, when a man approached me. In a hybrid English and mostly Italian way, the guy asked if he could buy me a drink. I took him up on a cold soda and joined him and his wife for lunch. They said they had seen me riding my bike an hour before while driving across the island and decided to wait for me at the café. Both being mountain climbers, they were quite interested in my bike with bags of gear strapped to every square inch.

for that passage, or what is left, are all about the size of bowling balls. While most of the tourists enjoyed the leisurely stroll along this ancient road, I got the genuine experience of what it probably felt like to be in the back of a wagon rolling along those boulders. Since then, I have never complained of any road conditions, as I just recall back to that jackhammer of a ride.

They invited me to their apartment in Rome, if I ever was to pass through on my journey across Europe. I hadn’t considered going to Rome at that point of the journey, but that was as good of a reason as any. Two weeks later I was coming over the last mountain pass heading into the one-and-only Rome. Mauro and Makeyla met me at the outskirts of the city and drove me to their apartment.

I ended up staying with Mauro and Makeyla for a short week, enjoying home cooked dinners and small parties with their friends. One little moment I’ll never forget was when I had my bags opened up and possessions spread about their living room to do some laundry. After hanging some shirts up on the line on the balcony I came back in and Maruo was standing shirtless next to my bags, wearing my goggles and snorkel on his head. No matter how much I research or plan for an awesome trip, I always find the greatest people and moments between all the places I think I want to go.

The next day Makeyla wanted to take me on a bike ride on The Appian Way - the oldest road in Rome, built around 300 B.C.E. The idea was extraordinarily novel and unpractical. Roadwork wasn’t as much of a science back then as it is today. That being said, most of the stones used

 Peter Stadalsky is an Aurora resident and adventurer. He shares his travel experiences with a “glass-half-full” view of the world.


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