KCM December 2015

Page 1




A holiday guide PAGE 22



Ring in the New Year with 'Gatsby' flair PAGE 8


Record stores experiencing a resurgence of interest during digital age PAGE 12

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INSIDE BUSINESS & CIVIC 8 'GATSBY' GLAMOUR Twenties-inspired fashion gives cocktail attire a timeless allure

12 VINYL REVIVAL Record stores experiencing a resurgence of interest during digital age

14 WOMEN OF DISTINCTION Christie Ruffino ‘A true visionary’


The 12 gifts of Christmas: A holiday gift guide


HOME & LIFESTYLE 40 WRAPPER’S DELIGHT Garnishing your gifts with style and beauty

42 GET YOUR HOLIDAY DECORATING ON! Wreaths, greens and pretty things can add warmth to outdoor space

Tips to help Mom manage a stressful holiday season



Peaceful Parlour owner shares health benefits of tea

22 EDITOR’S CHOICE The 12 gifts of Christmas: A holiday gift guide

24 SWEET SYMPHONY Holiday concerts evoke spirit of the season


44 HERBAL REMEDY 46 CHRISTMAS CRAVINGS Seven ways to ward off holiday weight-gain


A roundup of theaters showing holiday films on the big screen

A local guide to Christmas tree farms


Local theaters make the season a little more merry and bright with "A Christmas Story," "The Nutcracker" and more

The art of alternative giving

DINING & ENTERTAINING 32 BUON NATALE! Oscar Swan Inn entices taste buds with worldly fare

34 HOSTING THE HOLIDAYS The dish on having a fabulous dinner party


52 CALENDAR Check out our Planit Kane event listing of holiday happenings

54 ARTIST SHOWCASE Water Street Studios artist Ladan Ghajar shares ‘The Strange World’ painting

38 CHRISTMAS PAST AND PRESENT Blue Goose Market owner shares “postcard perfect” holiday memories



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Editor's Note It’s the little things … That’s something to keep in mind this holiday season. The holidays, though stress-inducing at times, come and go so quickly that it’s important to make the most of this special time of year. Sip hot chocolate while curling up with the kiddos to read “The Night Before Christmas.” Bake sugar cookies with grandma. Build a snowman. Put on your pajamas and watch “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Channel your inner Clark Griswold and get crazy with the Christmas decorations. And – most importantly – don’t forget to take time for yourself. Sneak away to have that peppermint martini with your girlfriends. Chances are – at some point – you’ll need it. With the coming of 2016, it also is the time of year to reflect on blessings and seek new ways to better ourselves, and – consequently – those around us.

The dinner party is back! And to help you figure out how to host and what to wear, we’ve gathered a swath of “Great Gatsby”inspired fashions to dress up your New Year’s celebration. Keep things retro at your 1920s-themed celebration with a little vinyl. The revival of records has introduced a music-listening format to a whole new generation. Find out why records are making a comeback in a digital era. With your health in mind, we’ve found ways to keep the calorie count to a minimum while still allowing your favorite holiday treats to creep into your diet; and tea-drinkers will rejoice, as the health benefits of herbal blends are revealed. Cheers to staying happy and healthy through the New Year, and remember to enjoy the moment! Happy holidays to you and yours!

In this month’s issue (the holiday edition), you’ll find ways to aid in the quest for selfbetterment with a list of random acts of kindness; be able to stave off the stresses of holiday shopping by taking a gander at our editor’s choice “12 gifts of Christmas;” and keep things fun and festive with a roundup of holiday-themed stage performances and film screenings featuring throwback Christmas flicks.

Kara Silva, Editor

on the


Everyone loves a party. To ring in the New Year with "Gatsby"inspired decadence, try dressing up your dinner party attire with these two dresses from Special Occasions in Batavia and jewelry from Crystal Bride in Geneva. Photo by RON MCKINNEY Salon Services by MARIO TRICOCI Stylist - PAIGE AND GENESS Makeup - PENNY AND FIONA 6 | DECEMBER 2015 | KANE COUNTY MAGAZINE

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

GENERAL MANAGER Laura Burke 630-427-6213 lburke@shawmedia.com DIRECTOR OF NICHE REVENUE Sherri Dauskurdas 630-427-6263 sdauskurdas@shawmedia.com EDITOR Kara Silva 630-427-6209 ksilva@shawmedia.com DESIGNER Carol Manderfield 630-427-6253 cmanderfield@shawmedia.com ACCOUNT MANAGERS Sandra Petti 630-313-0251 spetti@shawmedia.com Tricia Walter 630-845-5272 twalter@shawmedia.com CORRESPONDENTS Yvonne Benson, Tammy Swanson, Melissa Riske, Kelsey O'Connor, Wendy Foster, Allison Horne PHOTOGRAPHERS Ron McKinney, Brian DeWolf, Joe Perez

Kane County Magazine is available by subscription for $24 a year. If you would like each month’s edition mailed to your home, send payment information and address to Kane County Magazine, 7717 S. Route 31, Crystal Lake, IL 60014 or via email at subscriptions@shawmedia.com.



Twenties-inspired fashion gives cocktail attire a timeless allure










Helping Animals for the Holidays By Anderson Animal Shelter

Featured Sponsor: DePaw University Canine Campus Charitable giving during the holidays is a rewarding experience. Toys may be broken and presents discarded or easily forgotten. However, a charitable gift to Anderson Animal Shelter is sure to give back throughout the year. The shelter’s compassionate and humane treatment of homeless companion animals continues due to the generosity of kindhearted supporters during the holiday season. A monetary gift in any amount aids the shelter in continuing to provide much needed services for homeless pets. There are numerous ways to raise funds that are both creative and fun while incorporating enjoyable hobbies. Your mission of helping the animals will also bring awareness to this worthy cause by involving family, friends, co-workers and the community. Do you enjoy baking and know of others who do? A holiday bake sale with the proceeds going to the shelter would be a worthwhile treat for all. And while you’re baking, don’t forget about homemade pet treats to sell as well. Crafty people who sew, knit or crochet may consider making and selling dog and cat toys. If you have a flair for sprucing up presents with decorations and wrap, host a gift wrapping day with the proceeds benefiting the shelter. Sponsor a pet food or shelter wish list drive. Anderson is always in need of everyday items such as paper towels, bleach and dish soap. The wish list items are fairly inexpensive and consist of things we may carry extras of in our home. These supplies keep the animals fed and cared for and make all the difference in providing them with comfort and entertainment until they are adopted into loving homes. Would you like to name a homeless animal currently living at Anderson Animal Shelter? This is a fun way to get your family or a group of coworkers engaged in the cause. Simply have participants make a donation and write a pet’s name on a slip of paper. When your monetary goal is reached, have a drawing to select the pet’s name. You can also sponsor any one of our shelter animals until it is adopted with a one-time gift donation. Hosting a giving tree through a business is another gift giving option with a personal touch. Employees will choose an animal or item from the tree making the experience more

intimate. Keep in mind that you can double your impact if your company offers a matching gift program. Just check with your Human Resources department and ask for the proper forms. Monetary donations are always needed but the gift of your time is just as much of a welcomed blessing to Anderson Animal Shelter. The outstanding care of our rescued pets could not be provided without the help of its dedicated volunteers. Perhaps you have time to provide hands-on care to the shelter animals. You can assist with keeping the shelter clean or feeding, walking and socializing our cats and dogs. You can offer your time at an event or fundraiser, and if your home is as big as your heart, you may even consider becoming a foster parent. There are numerous ways to help animals in need this holiday season. Your charitable donation will make a difference in homeless pet’s lives and that’s a rewarding experience that lasts throughout the year. As you embrace the joyous spirit of the season, we encourage you to consider helping the homeless animals at Anderson Animal Shelter. A home for the holidays is possible for all our rescued creatures thanks to your generous support. To find out more please visit us at: www.andersonanimalshelter.org.

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Record stores experiencing a resurgence of interest during digital age

n a world dominated by iTunes, compact discs, iPods and music streaming sites like Pandora, vinyl seems to have – somehow – spun its way back into cultural and commercial significance. With new, brick-andmortar record stores popping up, and retail megaliths like Whole Foods adding LPs to its inventory, the question becomes is vinyl the latest fad due to fade with time or is the format experiencing a renaissance?

“I don’t think this is happening because of a counter culture interest or a hipster type of thing – no – I think this is a little bit more pure,” says Steve Warrenfeltz, owner of Kiss the Sky record store in Batavia. “I think that the attraction is the format and the interest in it. It’s an experience. You’re engaged. You put the record on; you drop the needle and sit down to have a beer or a glass of wine, and then you have to get up and turn By KARA SILVA the record over. If you put a CD on, you forget about it and it becomes background to you; it’s not your focus.” The Aurora resident opened Kiss the Sky in Batavia 20 years ago, and has since amassed an inventory of 25,000 to 50,000 records. The vinyl veteran partly credits the resurgence of records about eight years ago to the installment of Record Store Day – an annual event held the third Saturday of April each year (since 2007) to

celebrate the independently owned record store. On the day, new LPs are released and artists make appearances at stores all over the nation. “Record Store Day has a lot to do with the renewed interest,” Warrenfeltz says, adding that people also were tired of listening to the digital format. “Even though [vinyl] has been around for eons – nearly a century – it represented, for a lot of people, a new format.” Having been an avid collector of vinyl since he was a kid, Warrenfeltz hatched the idea to own a record store when he was in high school. “It was a dream, just talks amongst buddies,” Warrenfeltz says, adding that it wasn’t until he was in his mid-40s that he opened the record store with a friend. “We were bored and having mid-life crises (laughs).” Record-store owner Mike Paeth turned a hobby that he shared between he and his two daughters into a family business a year ago when he opened Mile Long Records. “I’ve always been a vinyl fan,” says Paeth, who admits to switching to CDs because of their portability. “I ended up not liking music that much because of CDS. The experience was different. It became about convenience and I think [the music] became more disposable. The artists became more disposable and fewer

Give the gift of music this holiday season. Here’s a list of local record stores to aid in the search: KISS THE SKY RECORDS 180 1st St. Batavia

MILE LONG RECORDS 350 W Front St. Wheaton PURPLE DOG RECORDS 329 Center St. Naperville

albums were selling. There’s work involved in playing vinyl. … You have to be involved with it and, as I got back into records, I started realizing what it was that I missed about music, and I found it again in vinyl.” Paeth wanted Mile Long Records, which gets its name from a line in the film “Blues Brothers,” to harken back to the record stores of the ’60s and ’70s. “The idea for the store was to get people away from their computers,” says Paeth, adding that he prefers not to sell records online. “In the store, I see kids coming in, buying a record, and then going home and listening to it. I mean that’s the stuff that was happening in the ’70s. That’s what I did.” With larger retail chains carrying vinyl now, and younger generations becoming more interested in the format, one could argue that records have become the latest trend in the music industry. “There’s definitely a fad aspect to it. There’s a fad aspect to everything,” Paeth says. “But I think – overall – the undercurrent is that there is interest in the experience itself.” Regardless of the current trendiness of LPs, Vinyl listeners are “the more serious music fans, first and foremost,” Warrenfeltz says, adding that – in terms of age – customers to his store run the gamut.

Paeth sees a large swath of customers at his store, as well, and enjoys witnessing the bonds formed over vinyl. “The coolest thing that I get to see in my store everyday is fathers coming in with sons and daughters. Yesterday, we had a grandmother come in with her grandson,” says Paeth. “Seeing a grandmother buy a Clash album is awesome. ” Mile Long Records has been profitable in its first year, but Paeth says that he is remaining cautiously optimistic about the future. “I’d love to say that I’m making great money – I’m not. But part of that’s by design,” says Paeth, who allocates much of his profits to inventory. “… If it doesn’t work, at least [my daughters] are going to have some great memories with their dad before they leave home.” Warrenfeltz says he’s happy about the renewed interest in vinyl, but he, too, remains cautious. “Lets not get carried away here and think that this is the salvation and solution and that this is going to carry [record stores] into the Promised Land, because it’s not. It’s a complex thing; it’s not cut and dry,” Warrenfeltz says. “There’s a long way to go before the term ‘vinyl is back’ can be used. The next 10 to 20 years are going to be really fun to watch and it’s going to be much different 20 years from now, I am sure.”

Steve Warrenfeltz (right), owner of Kiss the Sky in Batavia

“Music is a universal language and it speaks to people in ways that other things don’t. So, if you really want to touch somebody, give them a special record.” - Steve Warrenfeltz of Kiss the Sky Records

Photo by Joe Perez


‘A TRUE VISIONARY’ Christie Ruffino elevates women to fulfill their potential By MELISSA RUBALCABA RISKE


hen Christie Ruffino realized there was a lack of networking resources to fit her business needs, it wasn’t a sign of a problem, it was an opportunity to create a solution.

“These books bring an awareness of what professional women are doing differently to get exposure for their business,” Ruffino says. She is continuing to develop the DPWN University, providing learning tools for members and connecting members with training classes and conferences.

my eyes, she is a true visionary. She makes things happen.”

Jackie Camacho-Ruiz of JJR Marketing says that in the years she has known and worked with Ruffino, she is constantly impressed by her dedication and hard work.

Photo by Ron McKinney

Ruffino is the founder of Dynamic Professional Women’s Network, Inc. Built from a single chapter in Carol Stream, today the network boasts several “She’s always looking chapters in Illinois and to partner with others two in Wisconsin with – with businesses to a focus on helping women make business help them elevate. In connections.

“She’s always looking to partner with others – with businesses to help them elevate,” Camacho-Ruiz says. “In my eyes, she is a true visionary. She makes things happen.”

“I found traditional networking was not getting the results I wanted, so I created -Jackie Camacho-Ruiz a small group with women who were Ruffino hasn’t forgotten the focused on referral business,” Ruffino says. struggles she faced early in her career while “The difference is we’re relationship focused, trying to juggle school, work and supporting non-competitive. Each group has one person her family as a single mother. She and her staff per industry.” are in the final stages of creating a foundation, While each chapter is autonomous, Ruffino which will serve to help women with support has added structure to the chapters, providing from the members of DPWN. guidelines and training to help members build The foundation will target women who aren’t their businesses. able to qualify for government assistance “Each chapter has its own character, based or financial aid, but could benefit through on the area and leadership team,” Ruffino financial, as well as pro-bono, help from the says. “Our systems and structure have been members of DPWN, who are called Angel the tools to make sure everybody has the Providers, she says. opportunity to help one another in so many “I really wish support like this was in place ways.” when I needed short-term assistance,” Ruffino Inspired by chapter members, Ruffino created says. “I know a lot of good things are going to a publishing division to share the success come out of this.” stories of women in a series of books, which Through DPWN women are promoting their also serve as marketing tools for women. businesses and seeing them grow through Ruffino and her team already have completed referrals, skill- and idea-sharing, as well as three books and a fourth is in the works.

support. She hears stories from the chapters about members going above and beyond to help a member dealing with professional, as well as personal, crises. “We’re really like a big family – a big sisterhood,” Ruffino says. “Women do connect, and there never seems to be a sense of competition.” Camacho-Ruiz says that Ruffino’s work with elevating women to fulfill their potential is what makes her a leader. “More people need to know about her and the things she is doing,” Camacho-Ruiz says.

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KEEPING UP WITH THE KIDDOS Tips to help Mom manage a stressful holiday season with DEBBIE CONLEY


3. Children are creatures of habit and need their routines. It’s better to stay a shorter amount of time and leave happy than to wait until an overly-tired child breaks into a full-blown temper tantrum.

But you are dead tired!

4. Learn to ignore the phrase “When you were young we just ... .” Your children are not you and, yes, times have changed.

he holiday season is upon us once again and along with that comes traditions and expectations in almost every family. There are traditional foods that have to be made and decorations that have to be displayed, houses that have to be driven to and relatives that must be visited. You work inside of the home or outside of the home or both. The baby is teething and up all night; the 3-year-old just extended the “terrible twos” into the next year of life; and the dog is making a chew toy out of a third-generation Christmas ornament.

5. Try not to pack too much into one day, if possible.

You’re expected to be at the in-laws house by noon the next day, bringing with you a warm side dish and happy children who have been bathed and dressed in Christmas attire.

Now that my twin daughters remove left for college this year, I look back and chuckle when I think of the holidays I spent travelling with two small infants and everything but the kitchen sink.

6. If you are travelling, don’t forget the comforts of home that will keep your children feeling happy and secure, such as their favorite pacifier, book or lullaby CD.

Don’t worry. Take a deep breath. If you find yourself feeling frazzled this holiday season, keep the following tips in mind. 1. You’re not alone! Many moms feel the exact same way that you do. 2. You know what is best for your children. If your children need to nap longer and you end up being an hour late, it will be OK.


Photos by Maureen Schwartz

At this point, I’m sure you are thinking to yourself, The days may be long, but the years go by fast. “How did my mom do this with four kids?” and So, try to enjoy the holiday season with your “Why did it seem so much easier back then?” children. You want to have wonderful memories of this time with your children and, more importantly, want that for them, too. Debbie L. Conley, LCSW is a clinical social worker and therapist in Geneva. She specializes in child and adolescent therapy, parenting issues and trauma/ptsd.



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www.dconleytherapy.com FAMILY in FOCUS

Issues Addressed • Academic Underachievement • Adoption/Bonding & Attachment • Developing Schedules & Routines • Sleep Difficulties • Behavioral Issues • Attention Deficits (ADHD) • Depression • Family Conflict • Parenting Concerns • Domestic Violence • Physical & Sexual Abuse • Trauma • Self-Esteem • Grief Issues

Testimonial “I’ve known Debbie for over 15 years. She has a gift for working with young children and driven to help children overcome life’s biggest challenges.” – Erin Merryn- Founder of Erin’s Law, writer and activist.


FOR ALL OCCASIONS Located in an historical home on Wilson St. in Batavia, this shop offers affordable high-styled accessories for women of all ages. You can count on personal service and style advice from the staff to help you find that perfect item. You’ll find a wide selection of designer-inspired purses, jewelry and watches, fashion scarves in the latest colors and prints, as well as a great new selection of winter scarves, gloves, hats and headband warmers. Select from many handbags and totes in the latest styles, including this season’s hottest colors and textures. Come browse our great selection of evening bags for that special holiday party. RT. 31 & WILSON ST. | BATAVIA | (630) 879-1234 (CONNECTED TO BEE-ATTITUDES) OPEN MON-SAT 10 A.M. TO 5 P.M. AND SUNDAY NOON TO 5 P.M. Photos by Joe Perez

BEE-ATTITUDES ANTIQUES Located in a beautiful Victorian home on the corner of Batavia Ave. and Wilson St., we have eight dealers in our shop at the moment, so there is sure to be something for everyone. Glassware, artwork, lighting fixtures, oriental decor, jewelry, mirrors and silverware. In furniture, we carry various styles, including French, Victorian and cottage chic. RT. 31 & WILSON ST. | BATAVIA | (630) 761-0813 OPEN MON-SAT 10 A.M. TO 5 P.M. AND SUNDAY NOON TO 5 P.M.

Photos by Joe Perez

GALENA CELLARS VINEYARD & WINERY Holiday wine and wine gifts Add festive flavor to your holidays with Galena Cellars’ seasonal favorites: Merry Merry Cranberry and Spiced Apple. Serve chilled or enjoy warmed with mulling spices on a frosty winter’s eve. Add a splash of orange juice to our sparkling cranberry to create your own “Crimosa / Mimosa.” Stock up on one of our sparkling varieties to ring in the New Year, or try our new Wedding Cake wine with a delicious almond flavor. Giving wine? Make it personal with custom labels, or give the gift of Wine Club: three bottles delivered four times per year, handpicked by our winemaker. Unique accessories like the wine glass chandelier, artistan ornaments and handcrafted glasses, round out your gift choices. 477 S. 3RD ST. | GENEVA | (630) 232-9463 | WWW.GALENACELLARS.COM Photos by Joe Perez

‘Tis the Season HOLIDAYS



Celebrating its 13th year in business, Galena Garlic Company continues to offer the finest Certified Ultra Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oils, Balsamics, Gourmet Rubs, Seasonings and Sea Salts. As you stroll down State Street in Geneva, stop in to create custom “Easy Gourmet” gift baskets for your family, friends or colleagues. Galena Garlic Company ships nationwide and it's staff would love to help make your holiday gift giving easy. OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK 4 LOCATIONS INCLUDING 318 W. STATE ST., GENEVA (815) 777-9625 • WWW.GALENAGARLIC.COM WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/GALENAGARLICCOMPANY GARLIC911@GMAIL.COM


Looking to have a new love affair? Bird Is The Word in Batavia is dedicated to helping our customers and new parrot aficionados fall in love with the unique and captivating personalities of parrots, along with their playfulness, their beauty and their ability to give genuine affection to those they love. Purchasing a baby parrot and coming into the store to bond and learn his ways until he or she is weaned and ready to go into their new home is one of the specialties Bird Is The Word has done for over 23 years. We are open 7 days a week, M-F from 10-8, Sat 10-6 and Sunday 10-5. And not to be braggarts or anything but we truly know an awful lot about parrots. All of our employees could easily wear a feather in their cap with their acquired knowledge! Stop in and see what we’’re all about. 30 SHUMWAY AVE. | BATAVIA | (630) 406-7610


Our mission is to provide an outstanding variety of quality merchandise in a pleasant, caring environment while maintaining a high standard of customer service. Come experience a shop like no other and see why our customers give us the ‘Highest Satisfaction Rating’ in the area. Our cottagers always bring in a plethora of unique and useful items. It’s an awesome, eclectic mix of bo-ho, mid-century, industrial, painted, re-purposed, collectibles, gifts, and garden, urban & shabby chic. We are a charming and innovative shop where ‘Hip meets Historic’. Please, join us for our eagerly anticipated CHRISTMAS OPEN HOUSE December 4-5-6 with PREVIEW NITE THURSDAY DECEMBER 3RD FROM 5-8 PM. 22 E. STATE ST. (JUST EAST OF FOX RIVER) | NORTH AURORA (630) 844-4468 • LIKE US ON FACEBOOK OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK • 10 A.M. TO 5 P.M.




LEARNING EXPRESS TOYS At Learning Express Toys of Geneva Commons, we aim to provide our customers with a lively, interactive shopping experience that delights the young and the “young at heart.” Providing toy suggestions for children of all ages is a favorite pastime of ours, and we’re committed to helping you find the perfect toy for every occasion. • Free gift wrapping all year • Complimentary personalization • Birthday Box gift registry program Stop in for the latest and greatest toys, games, crafts and puzzles. You are always sure to find the perfect toy. STOP BY AND VISIT US SOON! 610 COMMONS DRIVE | GENEVA | 630-232-8697 Photos by Joe Perez


We are an independent family owned store, with a personal touch. All of us have a lifelong love of animals, that is why we offer rescued pets. We enjoy working with animals and matching people with pets. At Critters we believe pets are special. They become part of the family. Our pet shop is not a high volume”corporate store”. While pets are here they are socialized, loved and exercised throughout the day. Our goal is to be a different kind of pet store and offer rescue pets of all species as much as possible. Our hope is that you will spread the word by telling your friends about our unique petstore. Support us and our rescue by coming to our store for your pet supplies. We have a great selection of natural foods and many pets who would love to meet you. 566 RANDALL ROAD | SOUTH ELGIN | (224) 856-5780

THE LATEST CRAVE The most commonly spoken phrase at The Latest Crave is “Oh, it smells so good in here!” that’s because the bakers pride themselves on serving only fresh baked cupcakes daily. Cupcake flavors change daily so make sure to check out the baking calendar at www.thelatestcrave.com. Also available for custom orders are Jumbo and Mini Cupcakes and Cake Pops. The bakery opened it’s doors in 2008 in historic downtown Geneva on Third and Franklin. Aside from cupcakes, homemade English Toffee is available for retail and wholesale. Or for the perfect one-bite-dessert, try the shop’s famous Frosting Shots - a chocolate cup filled with the perfect amount of frosting. These come in a variety of flavors...ideal for any kind of party! For more info: info@thelatestcrave.com

“Breaking the cupcake in half makes the calories fall out!” 227 S. THIRD ST., SUITE #109 | GENEVA | (630) 262-8200 WWW.THELATESTCRAVE.COM

‘Tis the Season HOLIDAYS


STREETSTYLE How wonderful would it be to never have to enter a freezing cold vehicle? With a professionally installed remote start system now on sale at StreetStyle, you will never have to again! We offer everything from a simple start only system to a full smart phone integrated product. StreetStyle also offers a complete line of audio, video, radar detection, performance, and visual enhancements to satisfy every gear head on your holiday wish list. 870 S. RANDALL ROAD | ST. CHARLES | (630) 377-9779 EMAIL: CUSTOMERSERVICE@STREETSTYLEINC.COM WWW.STREETSTYLEINC.COM

UPS STORE Stop by to see Mike Kenyon and his staff at The UPS Store for all your holiday package and shipping needs. After a busy day of shopping drop by, leave your packages and enjoy a stress free holiday knowing your items will be delivered in a safe and timely manner. Please stop by soon to avoid the last minute rush. Did you know we also provide a full range of business and communications services; office/packaging supplies, mailbox/ postal services, copying, faxing, document finishing and secure shredding services. Happy Holidays! 902 RANDALL ROAD | ST. CHARLES | (630) 443-6610 CONVENIENT PARKING AND LOCATED ACROSS FROM MEIJER HOLIDAY HOURS Photos by Joe Perez

ROCKY MOUNTAIN CHOCOLATE One visit to our store and you'll discover why Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory is the number one destination of chocolate lovers everywhere. Throughout our store you will discover a fantastic variety of yummy chocolates and confections to satisfy cravings of even the most ardent chocoholic! Watch as we dip crisp apples in thick, bubbling caramel from a traditional copper kettle. Smile as we roll them in a rainbow of tasty toppings to

complete your old fashioned treat. Linger awhile longer and learn how fudge is made, as we fashion a creamy loaf on a traditional marble slab, the old-fashioned way, right before your eyes. And of course, everyone gets a free sample! But don't leave without sharing the experience with a gift of fine chocolate, elegantly crafted and beautifully packaged in boxes, tins and baskets.







Finding the perfect gift can be an exhausting ordeal. With so many stores to shop and so little time, allow us to aid in the holiday scramble that is Christmas shopping by offering a list of perfect presents to satisfy the loved ones in your life.

1 1. “Cabin Porn: Inspiration for Your Quiet Place Somewhere” by Steven Leckart and Zach Klein ($30) On the shelves of TownHouse Books in St. Charles, you’ll find the perfect gift for the outdoorsman. What began as an online scrapbook created by a group of friends who wanted to feel inspired to complete homebuilding projects, became “Cabin Porn” ñ a collection of photographs and stories showcasing rustic cabins and eccentric great escapes all over the world, including a stilts house on Braies Lake in Südtirol, Italy; an abandoned hunting hut in Ulvik, Norway; and a log home in Patagonia, Chile.

2. “Alice in Wonderland” books designed by Rifle Paper Co. ($30) It has been 150 years since Lewis Carroll penned “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.” The Paper Merchant in Geneva is offering the newly-released anniversary edition, complete with 70 full-color illustrations reimagined by Anna Bond, the creative director of Rifle Paper Co. Team the classic hardcover with the Paper Merchant’s “Disappearing Cheshire Cat Mug” to tickle the fancy of any bibliophile.



3 3. Novelty soda pop Craft-beer lovers who enjoy gifting a variety pack of brews can provide kids with a similar (alcohol-free) tasting adventure with the novelty soda collections at Rocket Fizz (six-pack for $10.99) in St. Charles and The Little Traveler ($2.29 per bottle) in Geneva. Flavors include bacon with chocolate, gingerbread, s’mores, apple pie, peanut butter and jelly, cucumber, ranch dressing and more.

4. Sid Dickens memory blocks ($82) Give the gift of art this holiday season with memory blocks by Canadian artist Sid Dickens. The collectible plaques feature historic, symbolic, sensual dark tones and sometimes gothic motifs and don the walls of collectors like Sir Elton John, Dolce & Gabbana and Bono. Available at Cocoon in Geneva.

5. Olive Mill gift baskets The Olive Mill in Geneva offers an array of gift baskets for the at-home culinary queen (or king), including the mix-and-match olive oil and vinegar sampler pack (four bottles for $38). The more seasonal Elf Pants, Santa Pants or Mrs. Claus Skirt gift sets include two bottles of olive oil and/or vinegar and are available in store and online. Make sure to try before you buy. Be sure to sample the Tuscan Herb Extra Virgin Olive Oil, it’s a best-seller. www.kcchronicle.com/magazine




6. Artemisia accessories

8. Corkcicle Canteen ($32.95)

Artemisia in Geneva offers an eclectic mix of furniture, clothing, art, accessories and one-of-a-kind finds that would make great host/hostess gifts. Favorite finds include Red Sky Koozies ($32 each) – fur beer Koozies that are hand-crafted in Montana – and Waxed Wood Coasters ($2.50 each) by local wood turner Ken Lasota. While you’re there, treat yourself to that leather, fringe purse you’ve been eyeing.

Galena Cellars in Geneva is allowing wine aficionados to ditch the cooler with its 25-ounce Corkcicle canteens that keep beverages ice cold for 25 hours or hot for 12 hours. Crafted from stainless steel, the Vinnebago edition is specially designed to fit a bottle of wine, and offers a sleek way to enjoy your favorite varietal. Other interesting finds at the wine shop included animal head aerators ($29.99) and Wilde Blum’s leather-bound “Journals of Wine” for the consummate wine collector.

7. ‘OGOBILD with Animate It!’ ($34.99) Learning Express at the Geneva Commons in Geneva is offering the “OGOBILD with Animate It!” kit, which combines constructive play with stop motion animation moviemaking. Containing software developed with the Aardman Animations Studio (creators of “Wallace & Gromit” and “Chicken Run”), the kit teaches kids how to create a stop motion animated movie.


9. Chilly Dog Sweaters ($35) Doggie Divine in Geneva offers sweaters in a variety of styles to warm up your pooch during the winter months. Designs include daisies, shamrocks, plaid and more.

10. Galena Garlic Company gift sets The Galena Garlic Company in Geneva boasts more than 300 spices and offers gift baskets for the grill-master and at-home chef. Mix and match any five spice blends, sea salts, rubs or seasonings for $30.



11. Stainless Steel Martini and Wine Glasses ($29.99) Camping enthusiasts and those who enjoy the outdoors from the comfort of the back patio can sip their favorite cocktails and wine varietals without having to sacrifice the stemware. Shoppes at 127 in Geneva has RSVP Endurance stainless steel wine and martini glasses. They keep drinks cooler longer, are durable and easier to transport than glass stemware.

12. Home brewing kits The Home Brew Shop in St. Charles offers all the essentials to home brewing beer and wine. A two-stage home-brewing equipment kit ($154.99) comes with all of the necessary beer-making accessories for the novice and the active hobbyist. The kit also comes with a “How to Brew” book. Team a home brewing kit with the proper ingredients to make German Oktoberfest, Scottish Ale, Milk Stout or a Double IPA (prices vary). Similar wine making kits cost $134.99.


Retirement Sale 40%-50%-60% Off


Let the spirit move you

LOCAL ART CENTERS TO STAGE HOLIDAY CONCERTS ELGIN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA The Elgin Symphony Orchestra will present “Magical Holiday Concerts” on Dec. 12 and Dec. 13 at the Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 Symphony Way, Elgin. Concerts will take place at 1:30 and 6:30 p.m. Dec. 12 and 1:30 p.m. Dec. 13. The Elgin Master Chorale, Elgin Children’s Chorus and dancers from the Midwest Dance Collective will join the orchestra on stage. Miss Illinois 2014 and soprano singer Marisa Buchheit also will be on stage. The songs featured in the program will be “The Nutcracker,” “O Come All ye Faithful,” “Go Tell it on the Mountain,” “The Little Drummer Boy,” “Do you Hear What I Hear,” “Deck the Halls,” “The Christmas Song,” “Silent Night,” “Sleigh Ride” and – of course – audience sing-along songs. Tickets start at $30 and can be purchased through the ESO Box Office by calling 847-888-4000 or by visiting www. elginsymphony.org.

NORRIS CULTURAL ARTS CENTER The Norris Cultural Arts Center, 1040 Dunham Road, St. Charles, will host a variety of holiday-themed concerts and an art exhibition through early January. For tickets, call 630-584-7200 or visit www. norrisculturalarts.com.

You will find the same great quality jewelry you have come to expect for the past 33 years! Extended hours during the Holidays




www.thegoldminejeweler.com 24 | DECEMBER 2015 | KANE COUNTY MAGAZINE


• The “Music in the Gallery” concert series will feature “The Christmas Harp,” featuring harpists Kate Cockle and Abby Hughes performing as soloists and as a duet in a concert of classical repertoire and familiar Christmas music, will take place at 3 p.m. Nov. 29. Tickets cost $15 for adults and $10 for children under the age of 12. • The Norris will host the Fox Valley Concert Band for its annual Home for the Holidays concert, featuring a variety of popular holiday classics, at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6. The concert will be free of charge, but donations are appreciated. Free refreshments will be served at a postconcert reception in the gallery. • The U.S. Air Force Band of Mid-America Concert Band will present its 2015 Holiday Concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12. Admission is free, but each audience member needs a ticket to enter the venue. Space is limited. • For art lovers, especially those looking for artworks appropriate for holiday giftgiving, The Norris Gallery will host a special exhibit, “The Gift of Art,” opening Dec. 4 and running through Jan. 10. The show will feature original paintings, drawings and limited-edition prints by three of the area’s leading contemporary realist artists: Nick Freeman of St. Charles, Scott Harding of Warrenville and Terry Walsh of Lombard. All of the work in the show will be available for purchase. A free, public reception will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. Dec. 5, providing the public an opportunity to meet the artists. The Norris Gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Admission and parking are free.

Let Us Make Your Holiday Meal Special! • Chef Pasquale Beef Tenderloin Marinated Tenderloin Stuffed with two 1 lb. Cold Water Lobster Tails -Heat & Eat!

• Prime Rib of Beef • Whole Beef Tenderloins • Chateaubriand • Fresh (Chemical Free) Ho-Ka Turkeys (Order by 12/18 for Xmas)

How about a Custom Gift Box of our Gourmet Steaks? Custom packaged & wrapped GREAT FOR CLIENTS & BUSINESS ASSOCIATES

• Crown Roast of Pork with Stuffing • Rack of Lamb • Our Own Honey Baked Ham (Sliced & Tied) • Boneless Rib Eye Roast • Over 40 Varieties of Fresh Gourmet Pastas • Fresh Geese • Boneless Rolled Pork Loin Roast • Italian Beef in Gravy • Boars Head Deli Meat Trays • Cold Water Lobster Tails • Colossal Cooked Shrimp Great Envelope or • Variety of Fish Stocking Stuffers • HUGE King Crab Legs

Gift Certificates

Dates Still Available!

Full Service Catering Available • Book Early Engstrom Plaza 716 West State St., Geneva (Entrance on 7th Street) 630-262-1878




REEL CHRISTMAS CLASSICS Get in the spirit with great holiday films on the big screen By TAMMY SWANSON

Part of the nostalgia experienced each Christmas season comes from classic holiday movies. It might be the 1964 classic “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer." Perhaps you still get a little scared of the abominable snowman and love when Rudolph takes off for Santa as the lead reindeer. “A Christmas Carol” (1951) shows how Ebenezer Scrooge (Alastair Sim) is transformed on Christmas Eve from a mean miser into a joyful, giving man after three ghosts visit him. A tear of happiness might fall as you remember Tiny Tim walking without a crutch. Maybe you prefer a “new” classic, like "ELF" (2003) - a hilarious story about a full-grown man grown man raised by Santa’s elves. Whatever your favorite classic holiday film, there are many playing in the area this year, as well as some special events.


Start your holiday movie marathon at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora, where four different Christmas movies play as part of Classic Movie Mondays. ¡ “Miracle on 34th Street” plays at 7:00 p.m. on December 7 and costs $1. Kris Kringle is put on trial to decide if he is insane and the U.S. Postal Service comes to his aid and saves him. ¡ National Lampoon’s “Christmas Vacation” (1989) shows the Griswold family celebrating the holidays. It shows at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, December 14 for $1. ¡ “Home Alone” (1990) depicts Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) who is left home by by himself, accidentally, and he protects the house from burglars. This movie plays at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, December 21 for $1.

ARCADA THEATRE Enjoy a Christmas cocktail from the Arcada Theatre bar while taking in a throwback holiday 26 | DECEMBER 2015 | KANE COUNTY MAGAZINE

film in a historic setting. (Dates are subject to change. Visit oshows.com for showtimes.) ¡ "Home Alone" (1990) will be screened Tuesday, Dec. 22 ¡ "It's a Wonderful Life" (1946) will be screened at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 23 ¡ "A Muppet Christmas Carol" (1992) will be screened Monday, Dec. 28 ¡ "White Christmas" will be screened Tuesday, Dec. 29 The Arcada Theatre is located at 105 E. Main St. in St. Charles.


Join the Hollywood Palms Cinema in Naperville for the iconic holiday movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946). This movie stars Jimmy Stewart as a frustrated businessman, who is shown by an angel what life would be like if he was never born. “It’s a Hollywood classic. It’s just such a great story. You can’t get better than Jimmy Stewart,” says Gina Marie Woldman, Event HOLIDAYS

Coordinator of the Hollywood Palms Cinema. Karolyn Grimes “ZuZu” will be at the event to sign autographs and answer questions about the movie. “We love (Grimes) dearly. She is so gracious. She draws a crowd every time. We do a nice Q&A before the movie. People come up with the neatest questions for her. Nothing takes her by surprise,” says Woldman. Hollywood Palms offers customers an extensive menu with a full service bar from which to choose, while people watch the movie. “We have a different atmosphere here. We’re not too pretentious. We’re sweet and casual. It’s an adventure. It’s our little Disney World in Illinois,” says Woldman. The movie will be shown at 5:00, 7:00 and 8:30 p.m. on Friday, December 4 and at 12:30, 2:00, 4:00, 6:00 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, December 5, at the theater, 352 S. Route 59, Naperville.



Head east for the Tivoli Theatre’s annual Holiday Film Festival in downtown Downers Grove. Get to the movies early to join a sing-a-long which is accompanied by the Wurlitzer theatre pipe organ. ¡ Kick off the season right with the movie “The Holiday” (2006) starring Jack Black, Cameron Diaz, Jude Law and Kate Winslet at 7:30 pm. Sunday, December 13. Two women swap homes at Christmastime after bad breakups and find romance. ¡ Bruce Willis stars as John McClane in the action movie, “Die Hard” (1988). Terrorists take hostages, which include McClane’s wife during a Christmas party in L.A. The movie starts at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, December 14. ¡ "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" (1989) plays at Tivoli Theatre at 7:00 and 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 15. Chevy Chase plays Clark Griswold who wants to have the perfect Christmas. Laugh along with the Griswolds as they pick out their tree, put up their lights and deal with family and neighbors. ¡ “White Christmas” (1954), one of the most beloved movies, will play at the Tivoli at 1:30, 4:00, 7:00 and 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 16. The song and dance team of Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby) and Phil Davis (Danny Kaye) meet a sister act in Florida. The four get together in Vermont and put on a Christmas show to save the inn of their former commanding general. Tickets are $5 per person and are available at the box office at 5021 Highland Avenue in Downers Grove.


The Studio Movie Grill in Wheaton features in-theater dining and service throughout the movie. Order from the American Grill menu or order a signature cocktail. ¡ As part of Girls’ Night Out, the theater will play “The Best Man Holiday” on at 7:30 p.m. on December 9. College friends reunite after 15 years during the holiday. ¡ For Retro Family Rewind, the theater features Home Alone at 2:00pm on Sunday, December 13 and at 7:00 pm. Wednesday, December 16. Studio Movie Grill is located at 301 Rice Lake Square in Wheaton.




The Heart of Kane County is in the

Giving A non-profit feature

Give the Gift of Hope The holiday season is upon us and with that comes excitement and joy that all children anticipate throughout the year. Kids who have been abused or neglected and are placed in foster care may be experiencing a very different month of December. Unfortunately, these children do not always experience the lifelong memories with families that many of us take for granted. CASA Kane County has been around for three decades and is a nonprofit, volunteer organization that advocates for the best interests of abused and neglected children within the Juvenile Court system. CASA was able to serve nearly 600 abused and neglected children last year, and unfortunately has exceeded that number this year.

• Gift cards for our youth to purchase items • Gas cards for CASA/GAL volunteers • Tickets for recreational activities • Bus passes for transportation • Emergency suitcases/duffels • Laundry basket with household items • OR a cash donation! Recently, a newly sworn-in volunteer shared that “I came to CASA Kane County thinking that maybe I could try to help change a child’s life. Walking away from training, I feel even more empowered than I could have imagined

… almost like a super hero may feel. I feel like I have more than enough knowledge to be the best possible advocate that I can be.” If you would prefer to make a donation directly, please contact Vicki Shaw at 630-444-3100. For further information on volunteering, please contact Deb McQuaid at 630-444-3110. Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season— and thank you for your consideration!

As the holidays draw near, please consider helping children in your own community by giving or collecting one of the following items::

Sponsored by 151 S. 1st Street St. Charles IL 60174 • www.jpjewelersinc.com • 630.513.0123

151 South 1st Street • St. Charles, IL 60174

Special Announcement Jim Petterec is retiring and closing JP Jewelers! I would like to thank each and every one of our loyal family of customers for allowing me the privilege of serving your Fine Jewelry needs for over 22 years. It has been a pleasure to watch you and your families grow and thrive through the years. I am grateful for the strong relationships and friendships we were able to enjoy together. I am wishing you all the health and happiness possible for you and your families. I will remain in the community and want to actively participate in community events and support the business organizations here in St. Charles and the Western suburbs.

Pictured from left to right is Salvador Blanco, Bob Ballou, Jim Petterec, Alex Suptela

Please stop in and take advantage of our final discounts that have never been offered at JP JEWELERS. All our inventory must go with SAVINGS OF UP TO 70% OFF! Thanks for the memories we have made together. Sincerely, James M. “Jim” Petterec

Monday - Saturday 10-5:30 Thursday 10-7 Phone: 630-513-0123 www.jpjewelersinc.com




The art of alternative giving By KARA SILVA


ometimes the smallest of good deeds can have a large impact. A tiny gesture meant to improve the day of a total stranger, friend or family member can create a ripple effect of good-doing that ultimately can result in change – even if it’s just a much-needed change in attitude to help someone get through the day. Though the holiday season is considered a favorable time of year for many, it also can cause stress and create financial strain. To alleviate some of the burdens brought on by the season, consider paying it forward. The concept is an old one. Author Lily Hardy Hammond may have coined the term in the 1916 novel, “In The Garden of Delight,” wherein she wrote, “You don’t pay love back; you pay it forward.” To pay it forward, one must first complete a random act of kindness, which – hopefully – will inspire the benefactor also to perform a random act of kindness unto someone else, who then does the same to someone else … and the chain continues.


17 To kick-start the pay-it-forward process, follow this list of kindnesses – courtesy of the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation. 1. Drive-thru service: Pay the tab of the person behind you in line at a drive-thru. 2. Note of recommendation: Write a letter of praise to the boss of an employee at a business or restaurant who provided stellar service. 3. Leave a nice server the most generous tip you can afford. 4. Shovel snow off your neighbor’s driveway. 5. Facebook message or Tweet someone a compliment. 6. Bring doughnuts, baked goods or bagels to work. 7. Compliment a mother on how well her child is behaving. 8. Offer to cook dinner for a friend or family member. 9. Top up an expired parking meter. 10. Send a letter or email to a teacher or someone who made a lasting impact in your life. HOLIDAYS

11. Spend the day saying hello to or smiling at anyone who crosses your path. 12. Always hold the door open for others. 13. Give away free gifts on Craigslist. 14. Send out-of-town family members a care package. 15. Send anonymous flowers to someone whose hard work often goes unnoticed. 16. Donate old towels or blankets to an animal shelter. 17. Surprise a neighbor with freshlybaked cookies. 18. Give a deserving couple a night out and offer to babysit for free. 19. Find opportunities to give compliments. It costs nothing and takes little to no time. 20. Run an errand for a busy friend or family member.


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Buon Natale!

Holiday Planning with Oscar Swan Upcoming Events: Please call for details | 630-232-0173 Colonial Williamsburg Dinner Friday, December 11th • 7pm

Each Saturday at Noon, Dec. 5th, 12th & 19th Christmas Around the World Luncheons

Christmas Day Buffet December 25th at Noon Please call for reservations

Oscar Swan entices taste buds with worldly fare

Private Holiday Brunch or Luncheon for 10 or more people Please call for details Open to the Public for Lunch & Tours on Wednesdays Call Tuesday for Reservations


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On select Saturdays in December, the cuisine, décor and customs of Germany, Italy and New Orleans will be represented as part of Oscar Swan’s Christmas Around the World luncheons.

GALENA 3351 Elizabeth-Scales Mound Rd. Scales Mound, IL (Near Galena)


scar Swan Country Inn celebrates the holidays best around the dinner table.

As part of its Christmas Around the World luncheons and Colonial Williamsburg Dinner, the local mansion will showcase the customs and flavors of various destinations – and even those from a bygone era.



• Girl’s Day Out • Anniversaries • Sunday Breakfast • Ghost Hunting


“It’s like dining in someone’s home without the work,” says Oscar Swan owner Nina Heymann, adding that luncheons are an opportunity for the public to visit the eight-acre estate, which is only open to the public for special events and guests to the Bed & Breakfast. In the midst of roaming festively-decorated homes as part of the Geneva House Walk on Dec. 5, patrons also will be able to enjoy lunch in a local mansion. The German-themed luncheon will kick off the series at noon Dec. 5. Santa Claus will greet and seat diners at the event, which will feature menu items like bratwurst, German potato salad, schnitzel and spaetzle.


“It’s a nice luncheon, and we are kind-of German, so that’s why we chose Germany as



Photo by Brian DeWolf www.kcchronicle.com/magazine

Are You An


a theme,” says Heymann, who has hosted the kid-friendly event for the last five years.

See your work in the pages of Suburban Life Magazine!

The Italy-themed luncheon will take place at noon Dec. 12, and meatballs, Italian sausage, cannolis, lasagna, ravioli and homemade tiramisu will be served. Violinist Tony Marconi will perform during the event. The New Orleans-themed luncheon will take place at noon Dec. 19, and menu items like gumbo, jambalaya and bread pudding with bourbon sauce will be served. While Oscar Swan’s luncheons will transport diners to another place, the Colonial Williamsburg Dinner will transport diners to another time. “It’s a very special party. … It’s an old-fashioned vintage evening,” says owner Nina Heymann, who serves dinner by candlelight and utilizes the estate’s fireplace for the event. The Colonial dinner will take place at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11. The menu will consist of roasted Hubbard squash soup with hazelnuts and chives; hot spicy shrimp with mango avocado salsa; a salad platter with poppy seed dressing; spice-rubbed beef tenderloin with red wine sauce; roasted sweet potatoes with apples and maple butter; fingerling potatoes seasoned with sea salt and rosemary; home-styled corn pudding; and a dessert buffet. Hot spiced apple cider, coffee and teas will be serves, and alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase at the cash bar. The event also will feature live music. Tickets cost $29 for each Christmas Around the World luncheon and $49 for the Colonial Williamsburg Dinner. Each event can seat up to 50 people. For reservations, call 630-232-0173. Oscar Swan Country Inn is located at 1800 W. State St. in Geneva.

To submit an entry to Artist Showcase email artwork, title of piece, name and village of residence of artist, a two-to three-sentence description of the piece, short bio and artist photo to KaneCountyMagazine@shawmedia.com, subject head “Local Artist Submission.”

It’s Fall Furnace Tune-Up Time! First Time Tune-Up Customers get a special $20 discount!

Call Mendel Today and Schedule an Appointment! (630) 377-3608 Mendel Plumbing & Heating, Inc. 3N640 17th Street St. Charles, IL 60174 630.377.3608 Call Mendel.com


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The dish on having a fabulous dinner party By ALLISON HORNE

The holidays can be stressful and hosting a dinner party can add to the pressure. But thanks to some advice by local culinary experts, holiday hosts should be able to whip up some amazing meals (with less stress), while also enjoying the company of family and friends. Holiday prep Rather than spending the holidays running around frantically, there are a few things a host/ hostess can do to make the dinner-party process easier. “My best suggestion is to plan far enough out that you can do things ahead of time,” says Penny Newkirk, owner of the Country Garden Cooking School in Campton Hills. “Most appetizers and desserts can be made in advance and frozen.” Everything from cookies (which freeze great) to basic hors d'oeuvres can be made months in advance and pulled from the freezer the day of the party. If freezing food isn’t a viable option, prepping ingredients a few days in advance can be a huge time saver and make cooking dinner for 10 a smoother process. It’s easier to recover if you forget a crucial ingredient the day of the party.

Food trends and serving tips This year, when it comes to the food itself, it’s all about the classics and keeping it simple. Newkirk says she leans toward a crown roast pork, which can be found at most local butchers. Newkirk says that she usually makes a bread stuffing with raisins and apples. “It’s a beautiful presentation, and … definitely a 34 | DECEMBER 2015 | KANE COUNTY MAGAZINE

good go-to for the holidays,” Newkirk says. “You definitely don’t want to start cutting it up until everyone sees it.” Oftentimes, choosing what to serve and the serving style will depend on how large the family is.


If there are multiple tables and people spread out all over the house, a buffet-style meal will to ensure that everyone has their share of food. Newkirk recommends a beef stroganoff or tenderloin if serving buffet-style. For smaller families, the basic pass-and-serve method might be best. www.kcchronicle.com/magazine

“Cooking is a gift, and hosting your family is part of their present … . It’s not a chore, but a way to share part of yourself."

Holiday wishes for your


Penny Newkirk, owner of the Country Garden Cooking School in Campton Hills

Slow-cookers, or other vessels with lids can keep things warm in the oven or on top of the stove while waiting for other items to cook or while eating other courses. The food may be vital component to a successful dinner party, but – when it comes down to celebrating the holidays – remember that it’s really about spending time with family. “Cooking is a gift, and hosting your family is part of their present … . It’s not a chore, but a way to share part of yourself. That’s a great way to look at it,” Newkirk says. “The holidays are so important because everyone sets aside time for each other when everyone is so busy with everything going on. Sitting down at the table and sharing with family is the greatest possible thing.”

Visit our showroom this holiday season for our sale

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Yes, beauty is necessary! 407 S 3RD ST. #114 | GENEVA (630) 444-2144 WWW.DESIGNESSENTIALSCO.COM


DINING1 & DEad_Dec2015.indd


KANE COUNTY MAGAZINE | DECEMBER | 35 11/17/152015 3:01 PM

Celebrating Our 10 Year Anniversary! Special Tastings of our Products Every Weekend

Come taste 60 different extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars from all over the world. Unique Gift Baskets Available.

Holiday Hours

315 James St. • Geneva, IL • (630) 262-0210 www.olivemillgeneva.com



Mon-Wed • 10am–6pm; Thursday • 10am-8pm Friday • 10am-7pm; Saturday • 10am-7pm; Sunday • 11am-4pm





Get ready for a new class of truck, combining Cummins muscle with Nissan innovation. The first-of-its-kind 2016 TITAN XD will officially be unveiled January 12, 2015, at the North American International Auto Show.* And now you’ll be one of the first to experience it. Watch for more details on the new 2016 TITAN XD. It’s worth the wait.

Our 2016 Titan and its new diesel debut in December at Nissan of St. Charles! 2535 E. Main St. | St. Charles, IL 60174



www.thenissansuperstore.com Fred & Kay Vargason, Members

Creating the ‘perfect’


The Christmases of my childhood were postcard perfect holiday scenes. My father’s extended family would meet at my grandparents’ house just outside of town to spend the holiday together around a 12foot Christmas tree. Most of the adults all worked together at our family’s grocery store, Blue Goose Market, and the party conversation was continued from the day’s work: sharing stories of favorite customers, large orders filled for friends’ family celebrations, recipe recommendations to remember and simple reflections on the bustling holiday season. My grandmother would set out an abundant feast on an ornate, highly polished dining room table adorned with white, lacy linens, elegant china, and gleaming silver flatware. It was fancy. It was festive. And as a kid it all seemed so...effortless. My wife and I live a life distinctly different from Grandma’s antique lace and bone china. I still crave the festive – if not the fancy – and every year I want the holidays to be epic. I now run the Blue Goose, and am so fortunate to talk with people every day as they prepare for their own holiday celebrations. We are literally a part of their traditions, their recipes, their feasts. That’s a humbling responsibility. And so I see firsthand, from friends and neighbors, that holiday decorating and party planning is never effortless. The holidays are never effortless.

Born and raised in St. Charles, Paul Lencioni represents the fourth generation of his family to own and operate Blue Goose Market, a full-service grocery store serving the Tri-Cities. Paul is an active member in several charities and local business organizations in St. Charles.

My wife and I will make the best plans and they won’t be perfect. Like most parents today, we live busier lives than our grandparents did. We’ll spend hours on Pinterest searching for the “just-right” table decor. We’ll hide the elf on the shelf…again and again and again. We’ll stress out. And then, then we’ll come back to the simple stuff, like showing the people we love that we love them and that we’re glad to be with them. We’ll wear the ugly Christmas sweaters. We’ll dance around the living room like Sugar Plum Fairies. We’ll Bing Crosby the blues away. And we’ll feast. We’ll feast on the miracle of the season as much as the mundane of our busy lives, and we’ll try to remember every bite of the whole holiday season—especially with whom we shared it. As a kid I believed my Grandmother’s holidays were perfect (I still do). As a father and husband, I know perfection should never get in the way of happiness, and that no matter how the plan unfolds, my daughter will most likely remember our holidays as postcard perfect. Why? Because we made the effort.







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Next, sprinkle the onions with the ham dices and then top with a layer of the Gruyère. Repeat the layers ending with the cheese. In a sauce pan over medium heat, bring the cream to a boil with the bay leaves and thyme.

Dr. Adam W. Bryniczka*

Dr. Richard R. Leitzen

TIPS & TRICKS: Use a heavy hand when seasoning the potato layers as this will also be the seasoning for the cream. Preheating the cream before you pour it over the potatoes cuts 1/2 hour off the baking time.

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Remove the herbs and pour the cream over the top of the cheese slowly, giving it time to flow into the spaces in the layers. Top the cheese with the panko and cover the dish with aluminum foil. Bake for 60-75 minutes or until potatoes are tender and the cream has thickened. Remove the foil and brown the bread crumbs, another 5-10 mintes.

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DIRECTIONS: Preheat the oven to 425°. Butter a 1-1/2 quart baking dish or Dutch oven. In the bottom, layer the sliced potatoes and season them with salt and pepper. Cover the potatoes with a thin layer of the onions.

Dr. Gregory C. Bryniczka*

Niles 847.823.5510


INGREDIENTS 1-2 Tbsp. Kerrygold unsalted butter (Dairy) 2 lbs. Russet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8" thick (Produce) 1/2 lb. Boar's Head Black Forest Ham, cut 1/4" thick, diced with the rind removed (Deli) 1 large sweet onion, julienned (Produce) 8 oz of Gruyère, shredded (Deli Cheese Island) 1 pint heavy whipping cream (Dairy) 2 bay leaves (Aisle 3) 3 sprigs fresh thyme (Produce) 1 cup panko bread crumbs (Aisle 2) salt and pepper (Aisle 3)

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This holiday season's package will sparkle, glow and shine, too.

“We love helping them,” Franklin says, adding that placing cute stocking stuffers at a place setting can add some fun to the dining experience.

While last season’s use of natural wood, burlap and the chalkboard styles are still popular, this season Whimsical napkins can liven up a holiday table will feature more gold and silver tones in decorating, setting, along with traditional Christmas crackers, says Sarah Franklin, manager of The Paper Merchant, a proven favorite for the younger members of the an independent stationary family, Franklin says. and gift store in downtown “A lot of people will As much as Franklin and her staff Geneva. enjoy helping customers wrap up “People are looking for something very simple, but also very elegant,” Franklin says.

see something on Pinterest or Etsy, get an idea and come in here and ask us, ‘Do you have this?’ and we can help them put something together.”

their presents, they also enjoy helping them find perfect presents, from stocking stuffers to hostess gifts.

Whether you use wrapped Personal stationary presents to decorate the makes a fun gift that is home or are wrapping a often appreciated, and special gift for a friend or Franklin says that it can loved one, adding little be made in one or two details and personal touches days – even during - Sarah Franklin to the packaging can the holiday rush. of The Paper Merchant make a difference. Some The popular light-up customers like to use a sprig gloves will be back of evergreen or ornaments as a present topper, says and are a lot of fun for customers Franklin. trekking through the winter nights on holiday walks. Making a gift personal is important in gift-wrapping, and options, such as embroidery or custom printing, can make a gift seem more special. At The Paper Merchant, customers can find rows upon rows of colorful wrapping and assorted bows. Franklin enjoys trying to match the wrapping to the colorful gifts inside the package. “A lot of people will see something on Pinterest or Etsy, get an idea and come in here and ask us, ‘Do you have this?’ and we can help them put something together,” Franklin says. It’s not unusual for customers to bring in their tablecloths and fine china dishes as they search for accents to brighten up the dining room table, Franklin says. Bright, decorative napkin rings, small favors and colorful place cards can enhance a holiday table setting. 40 | DECEMBER 2015 | KANE COUNTY MAGAZINE

Novelty gifts can be fun as well, and Franklin says the travel wine glass is a popular gift. The plastic tumbler – complete with a lid, straw and the ability to toss it in the dishwasher – is a fun gift for a ladies luncheon or could pair nicely with a bottle of wine for a hostess gift.




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GET YOUR HOLIDAY DECORATING ON! Wreaths, greens and pretty things can add warmth to outdoor space with MEAGAN PROVENCHER, SR. LANDSCAPE DESIGNER, ICN Before we have time to lament about the end of the fall season, winter is already upon us.

TIPS TO PURCHASING AND ARRANGING GREENERY ¡ Make a list so you don’t overpurchase. ¡ Purchase enough ribbon. It takes at least 2 to 3 yards of ribbon to make a bow and more if you are winding it through garland. ¡ Measure twice, cut once! ¡ Save extra clippings for other uses, such as a vase on the dining room table, tucked in a soap dish or arranged in a candleholder. (But keep it away from the flame!) ¡ Lights, lights, lights! Lighting really accents greenery and creates a soft glow that has a warming effect. ¡ Protect the greenery, if it will be exposed to sunlight, with an antidesiccant spray like Wilt-Pruf plant protector. Just spray the greens and let them dry before arranging them in the containers or hanging them.

Make sure to always measure the area that will be decorated. Trust me. Eyeballing measurements never works. Measure all around the doorway It’s never too early to start thinking about holiday and account for outdoor lighting features and any greenery. slack that you want in the greenery. Don’t cut your Thinking of decorating your front door? Instead of garland until you’ve hung it and like the way it looks. stowing away planters or pots for the season, fill the (Save the scraps – you can use them later.) containers with greenery and dried flowers to keep The look can be simple or elegant, modern or some color outside throughout the winter. It’s easy to do, and fresh cut greens will last well into winter traditional. You don’t have to limit yourself to just the door. Wreaths can be hung on windows; window and sometimes even into early spring. boxes can match the entryway; garden statuary can Just about any doorway, container, hanging basket be decorated with the same theme; and bird baths or window box can be decorated for the holidays. can be filled with greenery. Here are some ideas on outdoor decorating to aid in DECORATING WREATHS the artful arrangement of seasonal displays: No one said that you have to just slap a red bow on GETTING STARTED a wreath and hang it from the front door. It’s easy • First, walk around your yard. Look for twigs, dried to decorate plain wreaths and make them beautiful seed heads, flowers, berries and unusual leaves that for the holidays. All that you need is a glue gun (or you may be able to use in any arrangements. florist wire) and some dried flowers, fruit, bows, ribbon and – most importantly – a little imagination! • Also look for things to decorate, such as a mailbox, birdbath or bird feeder, arbors, trellises, It’s fine to use artificial fruit and flowers, but you entryway doors, lamp posts, benches, shepherd’s can use real holly berries, dried coneflower heads, hooks, fences, summer containers and more. pine cones, apples, magnolia leaves and dogwood branches. Decorating takes a little patience but • Keep a consistent theme or color throughout before you glue anything down, start laying out (lights, bows and materials) the accent pieces on the wreath until you like their • If you’re purchasing greenery, it often helps arrangement. to bring in a photo or two of the entryway. Some It often helps to decorate like a clock, spraying at 3 greens work better than others depending on the size and length of the garland, size of the container o’clock, 6 o’clock and 9 o’clock and putting the bow on at 12 o’clock. You can always go back and add or color theme. a sprig or two of smaller pine cones in the leftover DECORATING ENTRANCEWAYS space. A home’s front entrance is the first welcoming A battery-powered string of lights will allow you to that your family and friends will receive when illuminate a wreath, as well. they visit your home. In just a short time, you can have a beautiful entryway decorated with garland, containers and wreaths.




Get Ready for the Holidays at Wasco Nursery & Garden Center

DECORATING CONTAINERS If you have planters sitting on the front porch then stuff them full of greens to improve the outdoor ambience during winter.

Your Holiday Decorating Headquarters

To fill the container, purchase several bundles of mixed greens, such as cedar, juniper, pine, spruce and hemlock. It helps to bring the dimensions of the pot (or the actual pot) into a nursery to make sure you have enough greenery to fill it.

Find a huge assortment of Christmas greens, branches, berries and more at Wasco Nursery, plus a large selection of containers to inspire your holiday decorating creations. We have all the materials to help you create your holiday décor whether you want a natural look with cones, seed pods and vines or a brighter look with painted stems, glittered balls and metallic accents.

First, take out all of the old and dead plants and remove about a third of the soil (or all of it if you wish) and start filling the pot by arranging one type of greenery similarly to how you would decorate a wreath – clockwise. Weepy hanging greens, like cedar, look good around the rim of containers, while spruce and pine tend to be more upright and full. If you don’t like the way something looks just yank it out and trim it or place it in a different spot. Add special adornment like dogwood stems, dried flowers or holly stems to enhance the display. Don’t overdo it – less is more when it comes to “garnish.” Most importantly, remember to have fun! Decorating with fresh greens is easy, and the greens will last beyond the holiday season – just in time to be yanked out for the first spring pansies.

Wreaths, garland, boughs and fresh cut Christmas trees are also available along with Amaryllis and Paperwhite Bulbs.

Holiday displays feature unique ideas for doors, centerpieces, mantels, stairways and more. Talk to our creative staff about designing and arranging a custom holiday container for your home or business.

Happy holidays from the staff at Wasco Nursery! It has been my pleasure to write these columns, and I hope that you’ve learned some new gardening tricks. We’ll see you in the spring, and – remember – it’s never too early to start thinking about next year. Meagan Provencher is the Sr. Landscape Designer at Wasco Nursery and Garden Center in St. Charles. She can be reached at 630-584-4424 or design@wasconursery. com Meagan Provencher is the Sr. Landscape Designer for Wasco Nursery & Garden Center in St. Charles. She can be reached at 630-584-4424 or design@ wasconursery.com.


The perfect gift for anyone on your list is a Wasco Nursery Gift Certificate, always available in any amount.

90 “Meeting your growing needs since 1925.” 41W781 Route 64 | St. Charles | 630-584-4424 | wasconursery.com HOME & LIFESTYLE


Herbal remedy

Peaceful Parlour owner shares health benefits of drinking tea By YVONNE BENSON


lthough drinking tea might be as habitual as drinking water or coffee, many people find the ritual of making and drinking tea to be centering. The time it takes to heat the water and pour it over tea leaves, followed by patient steeping, comes to a climax when the curls of water vapor reach your nose and you breathe in the inviting scent. Then you dress the tea, perhaps with milk, sugar or honey, and cool it to a temperature that won’t scald your lips.

Vitamins, herbs and spices and their health benefits at a glance. GREEN TEA – Lowers cholesterol ROSEMARY – Heart health OMEGA 3 – Lowers cholesterol VITAMIN D – General health and cancer prevention FISH OIL – High blood pressure and heart disease LICORICE ROOT – Coughs CINNAMON – Type II Diabetes GINGER ROOT – Nausea


Tea offers many other benefits beyond the ritual of making it. “I love making a cup of tea and offering it to another person with a warm smile,” says Shari Ralish, president and owner of Peaceful Parlour in Geneva. “One of my favorite things to do is sit with a friend over a cup of tea.” A few years ago, a fascination with plants led the eco-chic boutique owner to begin studying herbal medicine.

“Many people have read about the antioxidants associated with green tea or simply want to eliminate coffee while [still] having some caffeine,” Ralish says, adding that herbal teas also can help relieve symptoms of a cold, aid in relaxation before bedtime and can energize you in the afternoon. “Our Soothing Spearmint blend has warming and energizing ginger root mixed [with] soothing licorice root, which can be helpful with a dry, sore throat. We add rose petals to lighten it and bring in some love.”

“With some basic knowledge, I began to blend For relief from an upset stomach, Ralish dried herbs together for tea,” she says. “Once we recommends fennel and peppermint. started offering organic, hand-blended teas, the “I've served our Smokey Chai after Christmas word spread [and] our line of teas was born.” dinner; it’s a lovely digestive with not nearly as Black, white and green teas all have antioxidant much caffeine as coffee,” she says. “For bedtime, properties. However, green tea has the most. I recommend our Dreamer's tea with heavier Antioxidants fight free radicals, which change herbs and spices like clove, chamomile and cells and can damage DNA. Drinking black, white lavender that weigh you down and make you feel and green teas can detoxify the body. sluggish for sleep.” Matcha tea is green tea that is ground into a fine Though Ralish’s favorite teas change, she often powder and then mixed with water or milk. The enjoys drinking the shop’s Peaceful Synergy tea entire tea leaf is consumed rather than merely in the winter because “the lemon grass and steeped. As a result, matcha green tea has more chamomile are relaxing, while spearmint and than 100 times the antioxidant qualities of other tulsi are uplifting.” teas. Though many herbal teas are steeped with hot Some sources also claim that it helps burn water – technically – they’re not teas. Tea is fat, increases concentration, lowers the risk of made from very specific plants and herbal teas cancer and boosts energy. are far broader. Herbal tea, or tisane, is any



“Once we started offering organic, hand-blended teas, the word spread [and] our line of teas was born.”

How much do you know about varicose veins?

– Shari Ralish, president and owner of Peaceful Parlour in Geneva

beverage made from the infusion of herbs, spices or other plant material in hot water. “While we offer a number of green teas, black teas and white teas, our focus is blended dried herbs, which are known as an herbal tisane or herbal infusion,” she explained. “The green, black and white teas all come from the Camellia sinensis plants, which are traditionally referred to as tea. Herbs, on the other hand, come from many different species of plants.” A broader definition of tea allows for all kinds of variations and experimentation. But with so many options out there, it’s helpful to identify the flavor or desired homeopathic remedy to make it easier to narrow down the selection. “Our knowledgeable staff is happy to help customers select the right tea for what they are feeling … . We package our teas in a compostable brown paper bag or a glass jar to stay in line with our sustainability practices,” says Ralish. Peaceful Parlour also hosts various workshops related to herbal medicine and spiritual wellness. Peaceful Parlour is located at 212 S. Third St. in downtown Geneva. For more information, visit peacefulparlour.com or call 630-232-6300.


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ways to ward off holiday weight-gain

Christmas-tree-shaped sugar cookies, Krispy Treat wreaths, chocolate pecan pie and bread pudding drizzled with caramel are only the desserts – add the mashed potatoes and gravy, casseroles and Christmas ham and you’ve got a dinner table that doubles as a calorie-counters worst nightmare. An unsettling reality check is that Christmas dinner can pack an astounding 3,000 calories. Add holiday stress to that startling figure and you’ve got a recipe for weight-gain.


Avoiding those pesky extra pounds during the holiday season is a difficult undertaking. To aid in the battle of the bulge, here is a list of seven tips. 1. PLAN IN ADVANCE

Avoid spontaneity when it comes to eating and you’ll avoid grabbing whatever is nearby. To ensure that there will be something healthy to nibble, bring a veggie platter or a salad to dinner.


Have a couple of bites of red velvet cake instead of a couple slices. Savor, don’t gorge. Keep in mind that the more you deprive yourself of something, the more you’ll be consumed by the fact that you can’t have it.


Have a healthy snack before dinner so you won’t eat as much. Snacks can help curb appetite so that you don’t overeat.


Water has zero calories and helps you feel full. Staying hydrated while consuming holiday libations will ultimately lead to you drinking less wine or eggnog and – ultimately – keeps the extra calories at bay.


Earn the extra calories by upping your physical activity level. Try to add an additional 10 to 20 minutes on to your usual gym time or take 10-minute intervals of time during various parts of the day to get up and move or go for a walk.


Studies show that there is a link between not getting enough sleep and gaining weight. Try to get seven to eight hours of sleep. And staying up late will inevitably lead to more drinking and picking at leftovers.



Overindulgence happens. Don’t punish yourself for being human. Instead of beating yourself up, give yourself credit for the things you did right.







or more than 100 years, Christmas trees have heralded the beginning of a much beloved and highly-celebrated season. Families around the world treasure the tradition of selecting, and often, even cutting down their own Christmas trees. Fresh tree sales have been on the rise in recent years. “Many understand the choosing of a real tree is actually good for the environment. Christmas trees are grown on tree farms like ours and are intended to be harvested and replanted. Tree farms stabilize the topsoil, protect the water supply, provide refuge for wildlife, produce oxygen and filter the air,” she said. “Trees are a recyclable and renewable resource whereas artificial trees contain non-biodegradable plastics and metals.” KUIPERS FAMILY FARM 1N318 WATSON RD. | MAPLE PARK www.KuipersFamilyFarm.com 815-827-5200

ABBEY FARMS 850 BUTTERFIELD RD. | AURORA www.AbbeyFarms.org 630-966-7775 Abbey Farms is a not-for-profit organization run by and for the Monks of Marmion Abbey in Aurora. Operating since 1949, Abbey Farms is one of the oldest farms open to the public in the area. Proceeds from the enterprise benefit the continuation of different ministries performed by the Monks of Marmion Abbey.

“We see more and more families who are choosing to make getting the Christmas tree a traditional holiday event with a trip to the farm where they spend time as a family doing something fun. This is so much more fun that just hauling the artificial tree out of the basement,” said Kim Kuiper of Kuipers Family Farm.

Abbey Farms offers a variety of pine trees for cutting on more than 120 acres. They also sell fresh pre-cut fir trees from Michigan.

Kuipers Farm offers the opportunity for visitors to choose and harvest their own trees, including Fraser firs, white pines, Scotch pines and concolor firs. They have recently however, reduced this side of their operation because of the huge popularity of the pre-cut Fraser firs that they bring in from North Carolina.

Trees come with a complimentary shaking and netting. Leased pets are welcome.

Kuipers also offers handmade wreaths and unique gifts in their Orchard Shop.

New this year will be Abbey Farm’s Pine Tree Café offering fresh, made-from-scratch entrees and bakery items. Santa will be on hand to visit with the children.

Kuipers seasonal hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. .

Christmas tree season begins the weekend before Thanksgiving and ends December 23, from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Visitors after dark are encouraged to bring flashlights.

The newly expanded Camelot Christmas Tree Farm increases the selection by 20 percent over prior seasons, in varieties that include Concolor, Fraser, Canaan, Douglas, Balsam Fir, Blue and White Spruce, White Pine and Scotch Pine.




Once you have found your perfect tree, stop back at the “little red shed” where you will find a warm atmosphere with an array of interesting farm antiques on display. Enjoy homemade oatmeal cookies, hot chocolate, and coffee. Camelot Tree Farm is open noon to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends, November 27 - December 19. The Friday after Thanksgiving, it opens at 9 a.m.)

LEE’S TREES 45W002 LEES RD. | LILY LAKE www.LeesTreesUSA.com 630-365-2116 “Tree freshness is the focal point with our customers,” said Lee Richardson of Lee’s Trees. Visitors can choose and harvest their own trees, which will be shaken, baled and loaded by staff. Varieties include Scotch pine, white pine, Canaan fir, balsam fir and more. Customers can also choose pre-cut trees which are harvested weekly from Wisconsin. Lee’s Trees also sells handcrafted wreaths and swags, decorations and more. Refreshments are free including home-made cookies. Lee’s Trees opens annually on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Hours are Friday, November, and then all subsequent Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.


HealingSpace founder Marilyn Mitchell, M.D. has integrated holistic practices with traditional medicine for more than 35 years.

PUCKERVILLE FARMS 13332 BELL RD. | LEMONT www.PuckervilleFarms.com 708-508-0906 Puckerville Farms offers pre-cut Fraser fir trees, which are grown in Allegan, Michigan, and brought back to Lemont, the day before Thanksgiving. “This ensures that we have the best shaped and freshest pre-cut trees in the area,â€? said Corey Milella of Puckerville Farms. Puckerville Farms opens the day after Thanksgiving and will remain open until Christmas Eve, or when they run out of trees‌whichever comes first. “Due to our high popularity, we sold out of trees in only 10 days of being open last year, so we are bringing more trees back this year. But once we sell out, that’s it for the season,â€? said Milella. Puckerville Farms also offers customdecorated wreaths and garlands, table top trees and more. Puckerville is open Monday-Friday, 3-7 p.m., and Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.

RICHARDSON ADVENTURE FARM 9407 Richardson Rd. | Spring Grove www.RichardsonFarm.com 815-675-9729 With over 80,000 trees growing, and thousands from which to choose, George Richardson said that Richardson Farms boasts one of the two largest selections of trees in Illinois. “We are selling over 6000 each year, choose-and-cut,� he said. Pre-cut trees are also available and individually priced.

Marilyn Mitchell, M.D.

The physical body communicates what impacts a person on all levels. The body can compensate for many things, but it has its limits. Eventually when there is a disease or a disorder the physical symptoms are the signal that something deeper is occurring. Until we examine the mental, emotional, spiritual levels, even the soul’s longing, a permanent cure is less likely to occur. The medical model deals with the physical body. Integrative Medicine incorporates natural remedies. In my practice, I go further to address the underlying origins of dysfunction. When I’m with a patient, I use an intuitive listening process which provides a space for them to get in touch with their full, deeper self. From this place, we are able to recognize the patterns that are being mirrored in the physical body. The patient may be realizing this connection for the ďŹ rst time. This process allows me to design a treatment plan for the patient to achieve optimal health and wellbeing.

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Service-oriented, Richardson has as many as seven tractors pulling wagons to the fields and back at any one time, with three crews shaking and baling the trees. The heated barn has decorations, wreaths, and thousands of feet of roping. They also offer free hot chocolate, fresh donuts, fudge, kettle corn, and more.

âœĽ Nutritional IV Therapy âœĽ Lab Services

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Holiday Stage


Holiday shows are the perfect way to make the season a little more merry and bright. Check out our rundown of the best local acts. By KELSEY O’CONNOR


ELGIN COMMUNITY COLLEGE 1700 SPARTAN DR., BUILDING H | ELGIN What better place to see a winter show than the Blizzard Theatre? For the holiday season, the theatre will present “Girls Like Us: The Music of Carole King, Carly Simon, and Joni Mitchell.” Inspired by the book, the performance will showcase the music of the three iconic singers for one night only: Dec. 11 at 7:30p.m. TICKETS: $28 BOX OFFICE: (847) 622-0300


111 W. MAIN ST., SECOND FLOOR | ST. CHARLES The legendary Plaids will take the main stage to spread some yuletide cheer in “Plaid Tidings: A Holiday Musical.” The all-male vocal quartet will perform the greatest holiday hits with their own hilarious and harmonious twist. The familyfriendly show will run through Dec. 27. TICKETS: $28 for adults, $25 for seniors, $23 for seniors BOX OFFICE: (630) 587-8521


105 E. MAIN STREET | ST. CHARLES There’s something for everyone at the Arcada Theatre this holiday season. Gather the family for Jingle Bell Rock, an exciting, contemporary show featuring a live band and talented singers. Other offerings include performances by Gary Hoey, Michael McDonald, Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals, Ronnie Spector, Jim Peterik, The Lettermen and more. TICKETS: Prices vary BOX OFFICE: (630) 962-7000



Come see the show that the Chicago Tribune calls “the happy start of a grand family tradition.” The show, “The Christmas Schooner,” is based on the story of historic Christmas tree ships. The critically acclaimed musical tells the moving story of a ship captain who risks his life to bring Christmas cheer to turn-of-the-century Chicago. “It’s a very heart-rending tale, a very interesting musical,” says director Dennis Brown. It will run Friday through Sunday from Dec. 4 to 20.

One of the most beloved Christmas movies comes to life on stage with the musical version of “A Christmas Story.” It’s “the perfect show for the entire family and a fun way to introduce the kids to musical theater,” says Jim Jarvis, vice president of marketing at Paramount Theatre. For those looking for holiday fun with a little edge, check out the hilarious, raucous skits and songs at “Holidazed & Confused” from the famous Second City.

TICKETS: $20 for adults, $18 for students, $12 for children BOX OFFICE: (630) 584-0139

TICKETS: $41-$56 for A Christmas Story, $36 for Holidazed & Confused BOX OFFICE: (630) 896-6666




1040 DUNHAM RD., ST. CHARLES, IL 60174 Celebrate an “Irish Christmas” this year with The Ragged Rascals. The talented group of five musicians travel the area bringing their own brand of Irish music to the Chicago suburbs. Their afternoon performance on Dec. 20 will blend traditional Irish favorites and a mix of holiday classics. TICKETS: $15 for adults, $10 for children BOX OFFICE: (630) 584-7200


What better way to kick off the season than with one of the most classic Christmas musicals? The State Street Dance Studio will present its 12th annual production of “The Fox Valley Nutcracker” on November 28 and 29. The cast of more than 100 performers will transport the audience through the Land of Sweets with mesmerizing sets, vibrant costumes, and professional performances.

Photos provided by the Paramount Theatre in Aurora

TICKETS: $25-35 for adults, $20-$30 for children BOX OFFICE: (630) 937-8930



Order Now for the Holidays! Featuring Our Own Holiday Sausages

Featuring Our Own Smoked Hams

• Swedish • Smoked Polish • Fresh Polish • Lithuanian • Hungarian & More

• Spiral Sliced • Bone In • Boneless

GREAT DECEMBER EVENTS Discover more at planitcakne.com

12 Varieties of Beef Jerky and 14 Varieties of Snack Stix for Holiday Gifts & Parties

HOLIDAY CANDLELIGHT RESTORATIVE YOGA SERIES 7 p.m. Thursdays, December 3, 10, 17 Shine Yoga 5 North River St., Batavia $50

Ream’s Elburn Market Fine Quality Meats & Sausages Fresh • Aged • Cured • Smoked

The three-class series will help you to focus on what's important this holiday season. This will help you to find enjoyment and peace from spending time with family and loved ones. The 75 minutes spent on your mat will pull you away from the rampant consumerism and excess that has invaded the holiday season. Restorative Yoga Poses help promote healing/ relaxation by dispelling feelings of stress, anxiety, depression, exhaustion and fatigue. It also promotes restorative sleep and stress relief. Every class will be led by candlelight and finished with a guided meditation/relaxation. It costs $50 for all 3 classes. Registration required - sign up today to reserve your spot

HOURS: Monday - Friday 9 am - 6 pm • Saturday 9 am - 4 pm • Sunday 11 am - 4 pm • Christmas Eve Open 9-2

128 N. Main Street • Downtown Elburn - Closed Christmas Day • 630.365.6461

A Great Old-Fashioned Full Service Meat Market

FRANK SINATRA'S 100TH BIRTHDAY PARTY 8 p.m. Saturday, December 12 Arcada Theatre 105 E Main St, St. Charles For information or to order tickets, call 630962-7000 or visit www.oshows.com


CHRISTMAS DINNER DANCE 6 p.m. Friday, December 18 St. Andrews Country Club, 2241 Route 59, West Chicago $48 to $53



The St. Charles Singles Club Christmas Dinner Dance will take place on December 18 at St. Andrews Country Club in West Chicago. Tickets are $48 for members; $53 for guests and must be purchased in advance. For tickets and more information, contact Marianne at 630-6597466. www.kcchronicle.com/magazine

Auto • Home • Life • Business

INDOOR FARMER'S MARKET 9 a.m. to noon, Fridays through May. Baker Methodist Church East Main at 4th Avenue, St. Charles

TOM FULLER BAND W/ DOWNTOWN CHARLIE BROWN 9 p.m. Saturday, December 19 EvenFlow Music & Spirits 302 W. State St., Geneva The Tom Fuller Band embodies the soul and creative energy of the Chicago's rich musical heritage - from Chicago's finest rhythm and blues, through Cheap Trick to late period Wilco. The songs embrace Fuller's distinctive blend of innovative melodies and chord structures, alongside lyrics that engage, uplift and resonate with passion and truth. NEW YEAR'S EVE AT HOTEL BAKER Thursday, December 31 Hotel Baker 100 West Main Street, St. Charles

The Mark Hauser Agency 630-587-8722

451 Dunham Rd, Suite 300 St. Charles, IL 60174 mhauser@farmersagent.com gregory.mhauser@farmersagency.com Mark Hauser Farmers Insurance

Make Historic Downtown Crystal Lake Your Holiday Destination Downtown Crystal Lake has charming, innovative shops, restaurants, entertainment and more.

The New year's Eve dinner will consist of a pre-fixed menu for $45. The event will take place from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Guest rooms start at $229. For more information, visit www. hotelbaker.com.

It’s where hip meets historic -- easily accessible by train, bike, foot and auto.

NEW YEAR'S MORNING HIKE 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Friday, January 1 Creek Bend Nature Center 37W700 Dean St., St. Charles

In the heart of Crystal Lake, you will find everything you need – Downtown Crystal Lake

What a better way to start the new year than a hike in the wintery woods. On this special holiday, you’re welcome to bring the family – grandkids and all. We’ll look for the first animal tracks made in the New Year’s snow. We’ll also look at trees, seeds, and surprises from Mother Nature. There will be coffee and cocoa in the nature center after the hike. For information, contact Brittany Kovach Forest Preserve District of Kane County at kovachbrittany@kaneforest.com or call 630-762-2721 www.kcchronicle.com/magazine


Located on the main floor inside the church. The market includes locally raised and produced food products, bakery goods and artisan crafts. www.bakermemorialchurch.org

A Premier Illinois Main Street Community

Downtown Crystal Lake /Main Street OUT & ABOUT

Plan your day with a visit to our website: www.DowntownCL.org KANE COUNTY MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2015 | 53

LADAN GHAJAR of Naperville ‘The Strange World’, Acrylic on canvas




Artist SHOWCASE Professional artist Ladan Ghajar currently works in a private studio at Water Street Studios in Batavia. The Naperville resident was raised in Tehran, Iran, before immigrating to the U.S. in 1985. In 2000, she returned to her home country, where she worked with and learned from other Iranian artists and painters for a year. Upon returning to the U.S., Ghajar was honored with a Presidential Merit Scholarship from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she received a degree in visual art. While living in the Chicago area, Ghajar has flourished as a professional artist, showing her work in national and international galleries, such as The School of Art Institute of Chicago, the Chicago Cultural Center, Union Street Gallery, Atbin Gallery in Iran, Gallery Gora in Montreal, and more.


Ghajar says she prefers painting with oils and acrylics, but also dabbles with ink, watercolors and mixed media. Her work largely comprises rich colors and figurative signature images. Artists like André Breton, Kandinsky, Dali, Chagall, Miro, Rothko and Matta have all influenced her work. And, Ghajar says, the subject matter of her work has been largely influenced by the ideas of Carl Jung and Friedrich Nietzsche. Through her work, she “seeks to encourage people to raise questions about the world we live in and challenge the status quo and our perception of reality,” she says. “The most powerful [piece of] art is one that can speak to all human beings, despite our differences or where we come from.” For more information about Ghajar’s work, visit ghajar.org.

To submit an entry to Artist Showcase, email artwork, title of piece, name and village of residence of artist, a two- to three - sentence description of the piece, short bio and artist photo to KaneCountyMagazine@ shawmedia.com, subject head “Local Artist Submission.” www.kcchronicle.com/magazine



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