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THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - CHICAGOANS SHOW MOTHER NATURE WHO’S BOSS!

What’s up with Mother Nature? And where are our spring temperatures? It’s just not right! Well, we Chicagoans will show Mother Nature that she can’t spoil our weekend plans with her rain and cold temps!

Join thousands of walkers, skaters, cyclists and volunteers honoring cancer survivors and raising awareness to reduce cancer risk at the 44th annual American Cancer Society Walk and Roll taking place at Soldier Field, Stadium Green (1410 S. Museum Campus Dr.) in the South Loop this Saturday at 8:30 a.m. with step-off at 10:00 a.m. Your choices are a 5K Walk, a 10K skate or a 15K bike ride, and since this is a fun family-friendly event, this year’s Walk and Roll is introducing its “Inaugural Kids Dash” being hosted by Shani Davis, Chicago’s Olympic gold medalist speed skater, and sponsored by BP and Beverly Bike & Ski! The Kids Dash will be non-competitive races on Waldron Drive at 9:00 a.m. before the Opening Ceremonies where all the youth participants receive a medal and get to take a group photo with Shani Davis!! The optional post-event picnic at the Stadium Green will have food for purchase from “Robinson’s Ribs Food Truck” after the routes begin.

If you prefer to run, the Chicago Cubs will be hosting the 10th annual Race to Wrigley Charity Run at the “Friendly-Confines” Wrigley Field (1060 W. Addison St.) in the Wrigleyville neighborhood this Saturday at 8:00 a.m. presented by ATI Physical Therapy. In recognition of the Race’s 10th anniversary, the Cubs are introducing an additional race – “Let’s Run Two” – a 10K. However, a 5K route is also a choice with both routes taking runners through the streets of Chicago’s scenic Lakeview neighborhood then back to Wrigley Field. All proceeds will benefit Cubs Charities with Fundraisers earning a prize for $100, $250, $500 and $1,000+ raised along with prizes and pre-game on-field recognition for the Top Fundraising Team and Top Individual Fundraiser!

The 5th annual Pastoral Artisan Producer Festival takes place at the Chicago French Market (131 N. Clinton St.) in the West Loop this Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. This FREE tasting and meet-the-maker festival features almost 100 artisan producers of cheese, bread, beer, wine, confections and other food stuffs by showcasing the talents, and dedication, of these local, national and international producers of craft food and beverage!

The annual Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo sets-up this year at McCormick Place (2301 S. Lake Shore Dr.) in the South Loop this Saturday (10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.) and Sunday (10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.) with the best in the business covering comics, movies, TV, games, toys and much more! Some of this year’s participants include Stan Lee (creator of Spider-Man), Chad L. Coleman (“The Walking Dead”), Sean Astin ("The Lord of the Rings"), author Charlain Harris ("Sookie Stackhouse" series), and many others. An array of panel discussions, autograph signings and screenings in addition to special events will be featured as well!!

Finally, the 2nd annual Pet Health Expo takes place at Canine Crews (1616 N. Washtenaw Ave.) in the Humboldt Park neighborhood this Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. This expo features over 25 pet-related vendors as well as grooming, training, canine massage, oral health & first aid demos, veterinarians, specialists and more! Also, the first 50 guests receive a goodie bag!! Please note due to the canine cough/influenza outbreak, Canine Crews requests that you leave your pets at home to keep them healthy.

Will You Be Showing Mother Nature Who’s Boss? I know I WILL!!

SUE MOSS & DEA'S TEAM CHICAGO
NEW TO MARKET! EAST ANDERSONVILLE - EXTRA-LARGE DUPLEX CONDO - ROOM + VALUE!!

• 1,500 sq. ft., 2 bath, 2 bedroom duplex condo - MLS $274,500

 -  Edgewater Duplex Condo Feels Like a Townhouse! Extra-Large 2 Bedroom/2 Bath Unit with Both Bedrooms on Main Level! Open Floor Plan – Sunny Living Room with Bay Window, Gas Fireplace, Adjacent Office Alcove. Kitchen with Bar Offers Perfect Layout for Entertaining! Deluxe 1 1/4" Black Granite Counters, Light Maple 42" Cabinets, Under-Mounted Sink, Premium White Appliances. Gleaming Oak Floors – Both Levels! Lower Level Media Room is HUGE – Plus, Second Office, Laundry Room with Full-Sized Stacked Washer and Dryer, plus Folding Area. Expanded Storage Downstairs as well. EZ Street Parking, Pets OK! Andersonville, Edgewater Shops, Restaurants, Pierce School, CTA Bus and Red Line L all Nearby! Room and Value – You’ve Gotta See!

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CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS - PORTAGE PARK, NAPERVILLE, WEST LOOP, RAVENSWOOD / LINCOLN SQUARE, LINCOLN PARK

PORTAGE PARK

The funeral Mass and procession for Cardinal Francis George takes place at noon today, Thursday 4/23, at downtown's Holy Name Cathedral (730 N. Wabash Ave). Afterwards the procession will travel west on the Kennedy Expressway to Irving Park Road to pass by the Cardinal's home parish, St. Pascal's Church (3935 N. Melvina Ave) where a simultaneous special screening of the Mass is being held. Doors open at 11:30am. Expect traffic delays as the procession continues west to Narragansett Ave. and Nagel Ave., then northwest on Milwaukee Ave. to Dempster Ave., and then north on South River Rd. to All Saints Cemetery in Des Plaines where he will be laid to rest next to his parents.

NAPERVILLE

The Naperville Art League's Fine Art Center & Gallery (508 N. Center St) is holding a benefit tomorrow, Friday 4/24, from 7:00pm to 9:00pm to raise funds for classroom renovations. There will be music and refreshments, a silent auction, raffle baskets, and art for purchase all for a suggested donation of $10. The Naperville Art League offers classes and workshops for adults and children that include various paint mediums and jewelry making.

WEST LOOP

The West Loop Community Organization (WLCO) is hosting a Safety Seminar for West Loop Residents on Tuesday, 4/28, at POW! Mixed Martial Arts and Fitness (950 W. Washington Blvd) from 7:00pm to 8:30pm. WLCO Executive Director, Carla Agostinelli, wisely states, "as the weather warms up, it's important that residents stay extra vigilant and prepared." This free event is open to the public to help individuals recognize threats and how to take preemptive measures to keep yourself and home safe. Self-defense exercises will also be taught by POW!'s owner Katalin Rodriguez-Ogren. Contact the WLCO office at 312-666-1991 to RSVP or learn more about this helpful seminar.

RAVENSWOOD/LINCOLN SQUARE

Now is the time to purchase your tickets for the Spring Wine Stroll which takes place next Thursday, 4/30, from 6:30pm to 9:30pm in the Ravenswood and Lincoln Square neighborhoods. Various businesses will open their doors to showcase 40 - 45 different red and white wines, paired with hors d'oeuvres. It's your choice to take either  the Ravenswood or Lincoln Square route for $40 each, or both for $60.

LINCOLN PARK

With all the confusing changes in healthcare recently, more Urgent Care facilities have been opening in various neighborhoods, including the new Innovative Express Care at 2400 N. Ashland Ave., to help simplify the process of obtaining assistance when you are sick or have a minor injury. These facilities are open 7 days per week with walk-in availability. They offer immediate treatment for common illnesses and injuries instead of having to wait for an appointment with your primary care physician and without the hassle and exorbitant fees of going to your local Emergency Room. They claim to accept most major medical insurance plans and out-of-pocket fees are relatively reasonable. Keep these alternative healthcare options in mind for yourself and loved ones.

CATHY MALLERS & DEAN’S TEAM CHICAGO

KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - SAVING MONEY ON GROCERIES

Use your receipts to track your purchases on sale items. Every family purchases mostly the same items every week. Each week take a few minutes to record the sale price and regular price of your most purchased items. Sometimes items will be say 2 for $5 then the next week 3 for $10. There will be a pattern you can pick up after several weeks. It only takes a little time and should result in significant savings. Stock up at the lower price. Start out with a few items, you can add more later. All store ads are available online.

Meal planning is most important. It doesn’t mean having a specific meal for every day but instead means you have the ingredients to make a meal at any time. I keep chicken tenders in the freezer. Thaw and grill in a grill pan. Pair with a salad or throw into buttered noodles with parmesan. You can buy meat on sale and freeze. A store in my area often has BOGO on meat. I buy and use a petite sirloin for steak tacos and freeze the other for later. Again grill and top salad or fry with green peppers, soy sauce, and beef broth. Thicken with corn starch and pair with noodles or rice. Freeze spaghetti sauce. It’s easy to thaw and use in a pinch. You can freeze burgers and steaks. Buy in bulk and save!

Shop produce in season. Many vegetables can be blanched and frozen. Blanching is boiling veggies for a few minutes then immediately plunging them in an ice bath. Store in a freezer Ziploc®. Squeeze as much air out as you can. Freeze berries on a tray, put in Ziplocs®.  

Know the store you shop the most. All stores will provide a store grid. Know how you shop. Make your list according to the store layout. This will prevent impulse shopping. Beware the displays at the end of the isles. These often have items not at sale price. Check out the shelf tags. They will tell you the price per ounce or pounds or whatever. I always check out the sale items. Sometimes they are not the best buy.

KATHLEEN WEAVER-ZECH & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

TECHNOLOGY TIPS - DID YOU LOSE SOMETHING?

Are you like many people and you put something down but you can't find it. Now I'm still a huge fan of The Clapper for lights, but in this technology age it's no longer appropriate.

There is a new device on the market called TrackR.  Have you ever played the kids game Marco Polo or Hot/Cold? This device has many similarities to both these games.  It will tell you the distance between you and your item where the gadget is attached. Speaking of the device, it's about the size of a fob for your key chain so it's practical and looks pretty decent too.

The device itself is pretty intuitive. You download the app on your smartphone (both Android and iPhone ready). You tap the app and the TrackR will ring. And if you have your TrackR but can't find your phone, use the device to ring your phone even if it's on silent. There are a couple unique features. One is the Crowd GPS. If you lose your keys, for instance, and another owner of a TrackR is closer than you, you'll get a GPS update. Second you can set separation alerts so that you don't leave your item or your phone behind.

TrackR has three different designs available. There is one for a pet collar, which is also water proof. There is the Metal Loop which can be attached to a key chain, but stylish enough that it can also be attached to other items like a backpack or purse. Finally there is the Water Proof, specifically designed for when you are near water.

The TrackR is currently in pre-order status. It's about the size of a quarter, with a 1 year battery life. And for those who get the Metal Loop, you can also have it engraved.

CATHY MALLERS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

NEW REDUCED PRICE! ARCADIA TERRACE - BEAUTIFUL UPDATED BUNGALOW!

http://www.dean-team.com/photos/chicago_homes_for_sale_by_deans_team/images/3959965/secondarythumb.aspxArcadia Terrace, Chicago  -  Announcing a Price Reduction on 5819 North Talman Avenue, a 1,450 sq. ft., 3 bath, 3 bedroom classically-styled with contemporary finishes! NOW MLS $389,400 -- Incredible Value!!

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THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - CHICAGOANS CELEBRATE ARRIVAL OF CITY’S GREENERY!

Look!  It’s a bird, it’s a plane, its budding trees!! Yep, Wednesday, April 22nd, is Earth Day; however, Chicago and its citizens will be sprucing things up beginning this weekend with family events taking place from Humboldt Park to Brookfield. It’s been a long time coming after being buried in white, gray and black snow for a good portion of this past winter!!

Let’s get started with a rundown of this Saturday’s Chicago’s Earth Day Celebrations

Humboldt Park (1440 N. Humboldt Dr.) -- Humboldt Park Neighborhood

This park spans 219 acres which includes a garden, a fishing area, a boathouse and an outdoor swimming pool. T-shirts and gloves will be provided by the park while supplies last. Cleanup is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. with a celebration from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. which includes lunch for volunteers, live entertainment, educational activities and more! It’s a biggie!!

Skinner Park (1331 W. Monroe St.) – Near West Side Neighborhood

Help celebrate Earth Day by bringing the whole family to help clean and beautify this park from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Union Park (1501 W. Randolph St.) – Near West Side Neighborhood

Bring your work gloves and a friend to clean and lay mulch preparing this park for the arrival of warmer weather from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Vittum Park (5010 W. 50th St.) – Garfield Ridge Neighborhood

Cleaning products and tools will be provided to spruce up this park from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The Buena Park Neighbors Association will be hosting their Spring Clean and Green this Saturday to clean up their neighborhood and plant Monarch Butterfly-friendly plant species by meeting up at Dollop Coffee & Tea (4181 N. Clarendon Ave.) in the Buena Park neighborhood at 10:00 a.m. and spreading out from there (bring a pair of gloves). Then at Noon it’s off to Michael’s Pizzeria (4091 N. Broadway St.) for a community lunch!

Then after a day of getting down and dirty beautifying our City, treat yourself to Pet Bowl at Timber Lanes Bowling Center (1851 W. Irving Park Rd.) in the North Center neighborhood this Saturday with a Family Bowl from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. (bumper bowling available upon request) or the Adult Bowl from 9:15 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. This 7th annual benefit for ALIVE Rescue will include unlimited bowling, shoe rental, a vegetarian food buffet, dessert and a live auction! Plus, every person in attendance will be going home with a Stayin’ Alive gift bag!! This event sells out every year so be sure to purchase your tickets in advance.

Finally, Brookfield Zoo (8400 31st St.) in Brookfield will be hosting their Party for the Planet this Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. in celebration of Earth Day. Your day will be filled with fun and educational activities, tree planting, an eco expo, zoo chats, a performance about endangered animals, live music and much more for the entire family!

Will You Be in the Mood to Celebrate Chicago’s Spring Greening or Will You Be a Stick in the Mud?

SUE MOSS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS - LAKEVIEW, OAK PARK, NORWOOD PARK, WEST LOOP, GOLD COAST

LAKEVIEW

As of 4/11, the start-up web development company, BuildThis began its second year in business after a successful first year. According to DNAinfo.com this is a big step for DePaul graduate founders, Shane Higginbotham and Sean Neilan, who started by working from home just 1 year ago and opened their own storefront at 3240 N. Sheffield Ave. just this past February. They offer services such as website and mobile applications development, quality assurance, project management, and analysis with their growing team of tech experts. So if you have a technology-based idea that you'd like to put into motion, these folks could be a great place to start.

OAK PARK

Tomorrow, 4/17, is the third Friday of the month of April so it's time again for another Oak Park Arts District Gallery Walk. The Arts District is the half mile stretch on Harrison Street from Austin Boulevard west to Elmwood, and every third Friday from 6:00pm to 10:00pm local galleries stay open later than usual to give the public an interesting and unique evening activity. Be sure to check out the website every third Thursday of the month to see what will be featured every third Friday for your night out on the town. 

NORWOOD PARK

Unless you filed for an extension, yesterday was the deadline for filing your 2014 IRS taxes! According to IRS.gov, there is a 3 - 7 year Period of Limitations for amending your tax returns so it's wise to hold onto your records. So now that another tax year has passed, you can shred some of your older documents during the Document Shredding and Electronics Recycling Day this Saturday, 4/18, from 10:00am to 1:00pm at St. Thecla Parish (6725 W. Devon Ave.). There is a limit of 3 bags or boxes per resident for shredding plus you can recycle your electronics such as TVs, microwaves, and printers for free as well.

WEST LOOP

Spring is in full swing with tons of events coming up by the end of April. Here's a heads up for the 5th Annual Pastoral Artisan Producer Festival next weekend, Saturday 4/25, from 11:00am to 3:00pm at the Chicago French Market (131 N. Clinton St.), presented by The Specialty Food Association. This free event will include cheese, bread, wine, and confectionary tastings and demonstrations from local and international vendors.

GOLD COAST

There's a bit of star power coming to the Gold Coast soon. Gwyneth Paltrow's designer lifestyle pop-up shop, Goop, will have a 2-week residence at the Waldorf Astoria (11 E. Walton St.) from Saturday 4/25 through Sunday 5/10. This will be Goop's third pop-up launch after setting up temporary shops in Los Angeles and Dallas. Goop began as a website in 2008 where Ms. Paltrow shared her well-curated interests of all things from fashion to healthy eating, travel and activities to fitness and "mindfulness".

CATHY MALLERS & DEAN’S TEAM CHICAGO

KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - USES AND BENEFITS OF COCONUT OIL

I am afflicted every winter with what is commonly known as “winter itch”. The extreme dry conditions we experience in the Midwest during the winter only exasperates my already very dry skin and hair. Even the most expensive lotions give little relief. I’ve seen coconut oil touted as a dry skin remedy and have decided to give it a try.

Use it as a moisturizing lotion. Simply combine ¼ cup coconut oil with ¼ cup beeswax (available at health food stores) and ½ cup almond or olive oil. You can add essential oils that you like such as chamomile, lemon or lavender. Store in a mason jar. Use coconut oil full strength on rashes and cuts and scrapes.

Coconut oil makes an excellent makeup remover. It can also soften fine wrinkles. I don’t have trouble with acne but I’ve seen in many blogs and articles that it is very effective. It has antibacterial properties. It also works wonders on even the worst cases of diaper rash.

I have very curly hair. Like most blessed with this this lovely hair it is also very dry. Use coconut oil as a deep conditioning treatment. Apply to your entire head, all the way to the ends. Wrap your head in a warm damp towel and cover with a shower cap. Leave on a minimum of 15 minutes. Wash your hair as usual. For a quick frizz treatment rub a small amount in your palms and distribute through your hair.

Cooking with coconut oil is still very controversial. Modern medicine has declared it an almost dangerous saturated fat. Newer thinking is that saturated fats are not the boogey men we were led to believe. Besides, coconut oil’s saturated fats contain Medium-chain triglycerides. These are more beneficial than most triglycerides from meat and other saturated fats that are long- chain. It also contains Lauric acid that kills bacteria, viruses and fungi. I admit I don’t understand all I’m reading but I think it’s worth a try to exchange some of the oils and fats in my cooking with coconut oil.

Organic coconut oil is best. I found mine at my local grocery store but you might find better prices looking online. Check for health food stores and organic sites too.

KATHLEEN WEAVER-ZECH & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

TECHNOLOGY TIPS - YOUR GOOGLE SEARCH IS GOING TO CHANGE

It's being touted as "Mobilegeddon" among other names, but the main thing to understand is that Google is once again changing their algorithm for search engines. On April 21, if your website is not ready for mobile search, it will adversely affect your current ranking position.

Mobile devices are the product of choice when searching the web. By definition, mobile friendly sites change their layouts according to the device screen size. Some websites have a separate page created specifically for mobile and this is not necessarily going to be the best use of a site. The recommendation from Google and pretty much all other web designers is that you should have a Responsive Design. You can also take the mobile friendly test to see if your site is ready for the change.

According to Adam Dorfman of Search Engine Land, "Relax. Google is simply nudging the market in a direction we've all been heading for quite some time." Further Dorfman talks about how this is not a surprise to most designers or SEO specialists. When looking at a site, you want to view Expedia or Airbnb for their responsive designs. Or you can go the route of Breastcancer.org which has a separate mobile site altogether. Even if your move to mobile goes slower than expected, your site will start to see quick benefits.

With these new changes to searching it could be quite an adventure of finding information while sites get themselves prepared for this newest search algorithm from Google.

CATHY MALLERS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

 

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - PASSING TIME JUST WAITING FOR SUMMER!

After last weekend’s jam-packed days, this weekend is the exact opposite, as Chicagoans will be passing their time just waiting for summer and its jam-packed weekends!

Once again, CHIRP Record Fair & Other Delights returns to Journeymen Plumbers Hall (1340 W. Washington Blvd.) on the Near West Side for its 13th year. It’s a music collector’s paradise featuring thousands of crates of vinyl records along with DVDs, CDs, posters and more! Your Other Delights will include a Chic-a-Go-Go party, a special “first time” performance, a CHIRP Music Quiz, guest DJs, signings and so much more while benefitting the Chicago Independent Radio Project. And, if you don’t know what a vinyl record is, perhaps you should check-out this fair!!

Celebrate International Table Top Day with board gamers from all around the world at one of these events:

Geek Bar Beta (1941 W. North Ave.) in the West Town neighborhood will be hosting International TableTop Day beginning Saturday at 12:00 p.m. and ending Sunday at 2:00 a.m. You’ll get to choose any game from the bar’s collection with no rental fees all day. Game Hosts will be showcasing various games throughout the day as well so be sure to check-out the Hosted Gaming Schedule! Also, the bar will feature a special games-themed menu for the day beginning at 1:00 p.m. along with $2 off all large-format Shareable beers. Bring a friend, meet new ones and learn a new game!

Cat & Mouse Game Store (1112 W. Madison St.) in the West Loop along with Board Gamers Worldwide will be hosting Neighborhood Game Day this Saturday from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. This FREE event for all ages will feature crafts, various tournaments, a range of general gaming, and more which will be ongoing throughout the day! You’ll also have the opportunity to play jumbo-sized games from Skokie’s Mayfair Games, or learn to play the world’s most popular modern board game “Settlers Of Catan,” or try your hand at the Prize-Wheel-O-Wonder for prizes such as gift certificates, promotional items and FREE games!

The outdoor events planned for the weekend are:

Chicago Be The Match Walk + Run is taking place at Montrose Harbor, Grove 16 (600 W. Montrose Ave.) in the Uptown neighborhood this Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Help cure life-threatening blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma by joining this event which offers a 5K, 1K or Tot Trot! Be The Match raises funds to help patients overcome financial barriers to transplant since insurance doesn’t cover all the costs as well as growing the Registry to create more matches and funding life-saving research!!

Heroes With Hope 5K is taking place at MB Financial Park (5501 Park Place) in Rosemont this Sunday beginning at 9:00 a.m. Although this 5K Race will start in the stadium you’ll soon be winding through the Village of Rosemont raising proceeds for Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation! Be sure to dress up as your favorite super hero too!!

Finally, Block Thirty Seven (108 N. State St.) in The Loop is the place to be this Saturday at 10:00 a.m. for the Open Casting Call for CBS’ Big Brother! There’s a grand prize of $500,000 to be won this season!!

How Will You Pass Your Time?

SUE MOSS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO
PRICE REDUCTION - WEST RIDGE THREE-FLAT! GREAT INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY!!

Whttp://www.dean-team.com/photos/chicago_homes_for_sale_by_deans_team/images/3949828/secondarythumb.aspxest Ridge, Chicago  -  Announcing a Price Reduction on 6726 North Artesian Avenue, a 3 bath, 5 bedroom three-flat. Now MLS $449,400!

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CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS - LINCOLN SQUARE, LINCOLN PARK, PORTAGE PARK, EVANSTON, LOOP

LINCOLN SQUARE

4535 N. Lincoln Ave. has morphed from Bad Dog Tavern into Mash, the new eatery by the same owners, Bonehead Entertainment. After 7 years in business, Bad Dog closed on February 8th and has been being going through a makeover ever since. The interior decor and menu has been upscaled to include fresh seafood such as oysters, crab, and lobster but the dog-friendly patio will remain. Also still expect to have plenty of local craft beers on tap.

LINCOLN PARK

I don't know about you but leaning this was news to me: Saturday, 4/11, is National Cheese Fondue Day. Although discovering the origins of the day have proven to be difficult, we know it exists because purveyors of fondue across the nation are keeping this unofficial holiday alive. Geja's Café at 340 W. Armitage is one such purveyor and claims to be recognizing a full week of cheese fondue appreciation which began Monday, 4/6, and continues through Sunday, 4/12. According to Patch.com, premier diners will receive a $5 discount for mentioning "National Cheese Fondue Week" at the restaurant.

PORTAGE PARK

Here's hoping this extreme rain clears out for the weekend! Bike 45 is honoring the re-election of their founder, Alderman John Arena, with a victory ride as their first ride of the season. The social group began to promote safety, fitness, and the appreciation for the neighborhoods of the 45th Ward which include parts of Portage Park, Irving Park, and Jefferson Park. The group ride begins this Sunday, 4/12/15, at 9:00am in front of Mia's Gelato (4200 N. Central Ave) and will take a tour of some of the ward's best bakeries including Delightful Pastries, Chicago Sweet Connection, and Ideal. Expect to bike up to 10 miles and be sure to wear your helmet and bring a backpack for carrying water and any tasty treats you might pick up along the way.

EVANSTON

Eating to promote a good cause is a wonderful pastime, don't you think? Artisan bakery, Hewn (810 Dempster St), is throwing a benefit event for Hazzard Free Farm whose business suffered major losses of crop and equipment due to a recent fire in Pecatonica, IL. Hazzard Free Farm's flour and oats will be on sale and Hewn will donate some of their sale proceeds towards the cause. Plus they will be raffling off products from other neighboring businesses who have rallied in support of Hazzard Free Farm's owner, Andrea (Andy) Hazzard. Attend the benefit this Sunday, 4/12, from 8:00am to 1:00pm.

LOOP

The Law Project at 100 N. LaSalle St., Suite 600, is a community-based legal assistance resource that keeps on giving to small businesses, first time home buyers, and nonprofit organizations. They provide affordable and free services and seminars to support lower income organizations and entrepreneurs in navigating the often times bumpy track of business-related legality. One interesting upcoming event is their 2 day Nonprofit Compliance Bootcamp taking place at the office on Tuesday 4/21 and Thursday 4/23 from 9:00am to 12:00pm, both days. This affordable class is intended for the board chair, president, or executive director of any newly recognized 501 c3 nonprofit organization looking to start out on the right foot. Search the website for other events and resources that The Law Project provides to guide your organization towards success.

CATHY MALLERS & DEAN’S TEAM CHICAGO

KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - FIRE SAFTEY IN THE HOME

Fire safety is often not thought of. We put up a smoke alarm and that’s pretty much the end of things. There are many other things we can do to prevent fires and reduce the danger of them starting.

Make sure all detectors are in working condition. Test twice yearly to ensure proper performance. A good rule of thumb is to schedule this at clock changing time. A better solution is to purchase one of the new generation of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. These have lithium ion batteries and will last up to ten years. I would still test annually.

It’s good to have an evacuation plan in case of fire, especially if you have young children. Everyone should know two ways of egress from every room. Make sure all windows unlock and open easily. Have a place outside where everyone gathers after evacuation. This will ensure that everyone has escaped safely. Teach children how to leave a burning building quickly and never to return.

Keep the furnace and chimney in good working condition. Have professionals clean and check both annually. If you use space heaters or wood stoves they must be monitored closely. Keep them clean and the areas free of combustible materials like newspapers and magazines. The areas around the furnace and water heater should be cleared also.

Many fires are started by faulty electric cords. Make sure all cords attached to lamps and appliances are in good condition. Use of extension cords should be minimal and temporary. Make sure the extension cord is rated for the appliance you are using it on. Make sure the cord is never covered with rugs or other materials.

Store all flammable liquids in their proper place in an approved container. Teach children the danger of these materials. Keep only the necessary amounts.

With a little preparation and planning you can assure your  family’s safety to preventing fires and how to survive in case there is one. 

KATHLEEN WEAVER-ZECH & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

TECHNOLOGY TIPS - PACMAN IS BACK FOR A LIMITED ENGAGEMENT

This past week I was traveling and had to use my Google Maps to get directions to my destination.  Then I looked at the bottom of the screen and there was this image of Pac-man on the lower left of the screen.  Of course, being the curious person I am and a fan of the game, I had to click the square.

According to Google, the game will only be around for a little while and ironically it was announced on April Fool's Day. It's the real version of Pac-Man with Inky, Pinky, Blinky and Clyde. The game rules remain the same as the original arcade game. Pac-man needs to avoid the ghosts, eat the dots, us the power pellets to attack the ghosts for doubling point values and watch out for blinking ghosts that may turn back and you'll lose a turn. The game also comes with the extra points items like the strawberry (300 points), orange (500 points), cherry (100 points) and the like.

You can play on both your mobile and computer but it's best played on your computer as your mobile has limited options. And of course, Wired Magazine has already come up with the top 15 places to play. Here's the caveat. They are all cities where Wired has offices or employees who found the most interesting locations.

Whatever you do, don't get caught!

CATHY MALLERS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

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