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Baking soda is a great deodorizer. Buy the refrigerator packs and make sure you change every three months. Sprinkle on carpets and upholstery. Leave for fifteen minutes then vacuum. Sprinkle in gym shoes and bags to deodorize between uses. Tap out before using.

Baking soda is also a natural cleaner and gentle abrasive. Use with water on countertops, stainless steel, and cooking utensils. Use straight with a damp cloth or sponge to clean tough spots in the refrigerator or microwave. Clean bath toys with a sponge dipped in baking soda and water. It freshens and cleans.

Stuffed toys are really hard to clean. To get rid of dust and surface dirt, place in a paper bag with one cup of baking soda. Close the top and take outside. Vigorously shake for a few minutes. Dump out the bag and shake off as much of the baking soda as you can. Vacuum with your handheld brush. The baking soda draws out dirt and dust leaving them fresh smelling.

Have stained plastic food containers? Scrub with a damp sponge and baking soda. Or make a soaking solution with 4 tablespoons of baking soda and I quart warm water. Clean your produce of pesticides and waxy residue with a mixture of baking soda and water. Add a couple tablespoons to dish water to boost your dish detergent.

Do the tried and true drain freshener and cleaner. Pour one cup baking soda in the drain. Follow with two cups white vinegar. Behold the chemical reaction! It will foam and bubble. Let sit for ten minutes then rinse with super-hot water. There you are, fresh and clean drains.


Over the weekend it was announced that Hulu plans to ramp up their subscription service. While Hulu does already offer add-on service this would be a newer subscription service that would stream cable TV and network content. As an example, Disney and 21st Century Fox are part owners of Hulu with Comcast. So Disney would offer not only ABC but also ESPN and Disney Channel while Fox would offer FX and other local/national sports channels.  Comcast has not yet joined the bandwagon.

With users already getting away from traditional subscription prices, Hulu is simply following the latest trend in online services creating "skinny" TV packages - budget-friendly prices on popular channels. With over 9 million people subscribing to their content, Hulu has been offering add-on services like Showtime, Starz, and the like as a form of testing the threshhold for this service. While Hulu is keeping hush about the cost, experts are predicting the cost to be approximately $40 per month which would give you live shows and on demand. As with current Hulu TV shows, you'd still be watching targeted ads.

The change would not happen before the first quarter of 2017 so you have time to prepare.



It’s weekend time in Chicago again and what a lineup the City has for us as we bid farewell to April and welcome in May!

Topping off the list is Baconfest Chicago being held at the UIC Forum (725 W. Roosevelt Rd.) in the University Village/Little Italy neighborhood this Saturday (12:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.) and Sunday (12:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.). This nationally renowned, locally beloved festival celebrates America’s favorite cured meat – bacon – with some of the hottest chefs from the finest local restaurants featuring some of the most creative bacon dishes you’ll ever sample! Besides sampling these bacon dishes, you can also quench your thirst with a refreshing bacon-based or bacon-inspired cocktail or brew provided by the liquor sponsors. There’s even bacontrepreneurs and bacon-friendly brands exhibiting their wares and selling a multitude of local craft bacons and bacon-related products. And, topping it all off, Golden Rasher Awards (the Oscars of the bacon world) are given out to pro and amateur chefs. It’s a bacon-lover’s Nirvana for sure!!!

The first annual One of a Kind Spring Show is being held at The Mart (222 Merchandise Mart Plaza) on the Near North Side this Saturday (10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.) and Sunday (10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.). Not only will this show feature 300 talented artists selling their work but it also will feature fashion shows, gourmet demonstrations, live performances from the Old Town School of Folk Music musicians and an art show in conjunction with the Lillstreet Art Center!

The Old Crow Smokehouse (149 W. Kinzie St.) in the River North neighborhood will be hosting the River North Wine Fest on Saturday from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Your ticket includes wine tastings and a cheese plate! On hand will be over 35 wines from all over the world available for sampling along with other goodies!

The 6th annual Pastoral Artisan Producer Festival returns to the Chicago French Market (131 N. Clinton St.) in the West Loop on Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. This free event showcases the talents of local, national and international producers of high quality artisan foods and beverages from over 100 culinary artisans for your sampling pleasure. And, new this year, the festival will feature a stage show featuring James Beard Nominated Chefs!

Wrapping-up this Saturday is the 2016 NFL Draft with the NFL Drafts being held at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University (50 E. Congress Pkwy.) at 11:00 a.m. and the football festival for fans of all ages, known as Draft Town, being held at Grant Park (337 E. Randolph St.) and Congress Plaza in The Loop from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.! No tickets are required for Draft Town; however, there’s only a limited number of tickets to go inside the Auditorium Theatre and Selection Square Driven by Hyundai within Draft Town.

And finally, Sunday brings us the following events:

Walk MS Illinois hosted by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Greater Illinois Chapter will hold its largest annual fundraising event throughout several locations in Illinois, which include Chicago Lakefront 2016 in Lincoln Park, Pottawatomie Community Center in St. Charles, Centennial Park in Addison and Naperville, Kankakee Valley Boat Club in Kankakee, Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden in Rockford, Tipton Park in Bloomington, Washington Park in Springfield and several other Chicago/Chicagoland locations as the Society tries to fulfill their mission of a world free of MS!

The Cinco De Mayo Parade kicks off at Noon from 1800 W. Cermak Rd. (Damen/Cermak to Marshall/Cermak) in the Little Village neighborhood in remembrance of the victory the Mexican forces had over the invading French army in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862!

Hope You Enjoy This Line-Up!  There’s Plenty More Going On This Weekend As Well!!



"Well hello, neighbor," said Old Irving Park Association (OIPA) to Portage Park Neighborhood Association (PPNA), "come on over for the Spring Neighbors' Night Out on our turf at McNamara's Irish restaurant!" Well that's basically  how it went down. So come on out and meet your neighbors at tonight's gathering, Thursday 4/28, from 7:00pm - 9:00pm at 4328 W. Irving Park Rd. for some appetizers provided by the establishment plus there's always the cash bar and menu items for purchase to enjoy.


Make sure to remember to take advantage of Oak Park Conservatory's (615 Garfield St.) extended hours on Thursdays until 7:00pm through August 25th AND their Annual Sale this weekend. Only Conservatory members get to attend the opening of the sale on Friday 4/29 from 2:00pm - 6:00pm. If you're not already a member, you can do so upon arriving to the sale or use the link below to join ahead of time. Non members are welcome to attend the sale on Saturday 4/30 from 8:00am - 4:00pm and Sunday 5/1 from 12:00pm - 3:00pm The varieties and prices in the Annual Plant Sale catalog are astounding!


Do you know any family who feels like they may need support with a child with behavioral issues? I'm sure at least one comes to mind. So why not have a great time at a fundraiser for Tuesday's Child, the non-profit organization that uses proven methods to address behavioral issues through individualized training for children and their caregivers. Join the Family Fun Day on Sunday 5/1 at DeVry University (3300 N. Campbell Ave.) from 8:30am - 1:00pm. The event starts with a family friendly 5K Fun Run and Walk and ends with carnival attractions such as games, bounce houses, family activities, prizes, live entertainment and food trucks. Admission for the full day is $40 per family of up to 5 members or $20 per family to attend the carnival only.


How much of a foodie are you really? So much so that you already have your ticket to this year's James Beard Foundation Awards Ceremony at Lyric Opera this coming Monday, May 2nd? If not, it's not too late to buy your tickets. Super cool TV chef Carla Hall from "The Chew" and "Top Chef" will be hosting the 30th annual awards show at 20 N. Wacker Dr. plus many restaurants throughout the city will be featuring menu items and specials in honor of the event through the beginning of May.


Chicago's becoming more luscious with the opening of another Lush Handmade Cosmetics store that officially opened this week at 3430 N. Southport Ave. The Southport Corridor News & Events page is showing some seriously enticing photos of the new location. In my opinion, you could never live too close to one of these stores and now Chicagoland has 4 of them. Once you walk inside you can't help but find fun and interesting gifts for so many people you know - old and young, male and female. You might score a gift for yourself while you're there because the staff literally encourages you to touch and try as many items as there are on display. Some soaps look good enough to eat, made from natural products by hand.



Not closing the lid when you flush. If the lid is open anything inside like germy water particles and you know what can spray across the room up to six feet away!! Research has proven this time after time.

So therefore, don’t use your cellphone in the bathroom. Of course you’ll say “Oh no, I never!” We know you are lying. According to a 2011 study at least 16% of phones have fecal matter on them and I’m sure it’s higher today. You wash your hands but don’t think of your phone that you put next to your face! Wipe with an antibacterial wipe a couple of times a day.

Don’t keep your makeup in the bathroom. With the spray research we must consider other things we leave out. We often keep our makeup on the bathroom counter. The same applies here. Store makeup in a caddy in your bedroom that you can bring into the bathroom in the morning. Also, storing makeup in the bathroom will make it even more susceptible to bacteria growth because of all the moisture.

Not using the fan. And open a window if you can. It really can eliminate much of the moisture so make sure to run it and even leave on for at least 15 minutes after your shower.

Drying towels on hooks. Towels need to breathe and dry flat. Bunching on a hook traps moisture and soap residue that can lead to bacteria growth. Lay towels flat on bars and launder after three uses.

Neglecting the shower curtain. Always make sure you pull it closed after showering so it can dry thoroughly. Spray down with Clorox® bleach spray every two weeks, it will rinse off the next time you shower.

Using the pouf too long. People, these are very inexpensive. They can also breed colonies of bacteria. Replace monthly. Personally, I know people who use them till they fall apart (me, though not any more).


This past weekend we had beautiful weather. People were out and about, enjoying the lakefront and what the city has to offer. When there is so much, you really need a way to search quickly and based upon your location at the time.

The My Chi Parks App is perfect for for anyone who is looking to enjoy the arts and cultural performances available to any Chicagoan. The app is a free download through Google Play or the Apple store. You can find events that are near your current location. You can search by park, date, event type or event title.

As those of us who use the system, there is also a way to find the entire summer movie line up. You can find the many movie titles available and their park locations. If you live by a specific park, you can see the schedule of movies available to you. One of the more valuable items is creating a favorites page under My Events. This allows you to save those events that you want to attend and share them with others. You'll also be notified of any changes to your saved items.



Another weekend with spring-like temps sets the stage for a myriad of charity fundraising events being held here in Chicago that are sure to not only provide you a fun-filled day but also show your support for those who need our help!

The American Cancer Society Walk and Roll, which began in 1971 as a bike-a-thon, sets up 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. This family-friendly fundraising event honors cancer survivors and raises awareness about reducing cancer risks while raising money to support the lifesaving services provided by the American Cancer Society! There are several ways to participate which include a 5K walk or run, a 10K skate or a 15K bike ride all while enjoying entertainment and a post-picnic around Soldier Field with others who are also celebrating in the fight against cancer!!

The Chicago Cubs will be hosting their 11th annual Race to Wrigley Charity Run at Wrigley Field (1060 W. Addison St.) in the Wrigleyville neighborhood this Saturday at 8:00 a.m. with personal fundraising proceeds benefitting the Advocate Children’s Hospital. All runners will receive a Race to Wrigley performance shirt and an ATI Physical Therapy drawstring bag along with one beverage at the post-race celebration being held at the neighborhood bars of Cubby Bear, Sports Corner, Deuces and the Diamond Club and Murphy’s Bleachers. Top male and female in each age category will receive a finisher’s medal as well with the first 100 people to fundraise $500 or more receiving an autographed baseball from a current Cubs player and the top fundraising team and overall fundraiser receiving tickets to the April 27th game against the Milwaukee Brewers! Let’s Run and Have Some Fun Cubs Fans!!

The American Brain Tumor Association’s Breakthrough for Brain Tumors 5K (BT5K) takes place at Soldier Field (1410 S. Museum Campus Dr.) in the South Loop this Sunday at 9:00 a.m. although the event site opens at 8:00 a.m. Your participation allows this organization to provide vital brain tumor resources to patients and their families, fund desperately needed brain tumor research as well as patient programs and support services!

Finally, March for Babies takes place this Sunday (7:30 a.m.) at Butler Field, Grant Park (400 E. Monroe St.) in The Loop. Bring the whole family for a walk along Chicago’s beautiful lakefront then enjoy family activities which include a balloon artist, crafts, face-painting, an alfresco photo booth, games and much more! What’s more, strollers, wagons and dogs on leashes are permitted as well!! Premature birth is the #1 killer of babies. By participating in and raising money for March for Babies, you’ll be supporting programs that help mothers have healthy, full-term pregnancies. In fact, YOU help save babies’ lives!!

By the way, if you wish to take a little break between your charity events, the Old Crow Smokehouse (149 W. Kinzie St.) in the River North neighborhood will be hosting a Country Day Party this Saturday from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Enjoy a lunch buffet (12:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.), beer, bloodies and mimosas (12:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.) and live music with Derringer & Rye (1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.). It’s time to party the Nashville-style way!!

Have FUN While Supporting These Great FUNdraisers!!!



Tax season is over for those of you who did not file for an extension. So it's time to free up some desk space and shred some old documents. Norwood Park is offering Free Shredding Events on Saturday mornings from this Saturday, 4/23, until June 25th. There's a limit of 3 paper bags or 3 small boxes worth of shredding so gather your most sensitive documents and get ready to shred.


The City of Chicago's Small Business Improvement Fund is looking to help small business properties by offering financial assistance for eligible permanent building improvement costs. The West Loop Community Organization is holding a Central West SBIF Roll-Out Meeting to discuss details and opportunities for accessing the grant. RSVP by Monday, 4/25, for the Tuesday April 26th event at Mercy Home for Boys & Girls (1140 W. Jackson St.) from 4:30pm to 5:30pm. You can ask questions and RSVP by contacting WLCO Executive Director Carla Agostinelli at 312-666-1991 or


Now it's Bridgeview Bank's turn to welcome neighbors and new clients for an evening of food and fine art at their Lincoln Park branch at 1970 N. Halsted from 5:30pm - 7:30pm next Thursday, 4/28. I've been noticing more banks using interesting community events for getting more people into their doors. This event is open to the public and will feature paintings by Josh Moulton, woodworking by Caroline Robe, treats provided by Geja's Cafe, Insomnia Cookies, and more. RSVP by emailing


With all the news of continued difficulty between Chicago Public Schools and Chicago Teachers Union, it's great to hear of Naperville's (School District 203) attempts to incentivize their need to fill substitute teaching positions by offering more competitive pay. It's no easy feat for a teacher to call in for a sick day as they are required to also submit curricula for their time off so whomever takes over the class will keep their students on track with the school year. Substitute teachers do so much more than keeping the classroom from becoming unruly while their usual routine is disrupted by a teacher's well-deserved absence. So District 203 is offering to raise their pay scale for substitute teachers so that they may earn closer to or above $100 per day as opposed to some Districts' pay of $85 - $90 per day. District 203 has budgeted to spend up to $2.5 million on substitute teachers this year. Pay will also be raised for substitute classroom nurses, licensed practical nurses, and home/hospital tutors.


Get ready to "Toast the Coast" in 2016 by purchasing your ticket for the Wednesday May 11th event from 6:00pm - 9:00pm at The Racquet Club of Chicago (1365 N. Dearborn Parkway). If you're already a member of the Gold Coast Neighbors Association then admission is only $125. Non-members admission is $150. Entertainment will provided by Stanley Paul & His Trio which will be a lucky second opportunity to catch their performance since their appearance this Sunday, 4/24, at The Pump Room is already sold out!


We all sometimes get too busy and often forget to throw the washed clothes in the dryer or perhaps aren’t as careful as we need to be sorting. Here are a few easy solutions for these everyday problems.

If you’ve left clothes in the washer too long and they have a mildew smell or even have got to the point of black spots, rewash them in the hottest water safe for the fabric along with chlorine bleach for whites and color safe bleach for everything else.

The same can be done when the color from one garment bleeds into others. Wash the stained items immediately before they dry (important before the color sets) along with appropriate bleach. Carbona®, the maker of many stain removers, also makes a Color Run Remover that should help if rewashing doesn’t work.

I have allergies so I always have tissues in my pocket. Inevitably, they end up in the wash and end up in little bits all over everything! Rewash the entire load and use fabric softener in the final rinse. Shake off as much as you can before drying. The lint trap will capture much of the residue. Anything left, rub off with a dry sponge like Mr. Clean’s® Magic Eraser.

Shrinking your favorite sweater usually is something you have to live with but sometimes it can be brought back. Wet thoroughly and blot between two white towels. Carefully stretch back into shape and air dry flat. It’s usually best not to dry sweaters. Often I just dry for 5 minutes then lay flat on a towel, gently pull to proper shape and size and let dry.

If you do have dried-on stains, treat with a pre-treating gel like Shout® Advanced Gel. It is thicker to stay on the stain. Leave overnight then again wash in the warmest water that is safe for the fabric along with color safe bleach.

Have a right away laundry bin. Put here, favorite outfits, uniforms or dance costumes. Make these a priority to wash first so the baseball uniform and ballet tights are always ready for the next practice or big game.


Amazon is now throwing its hand into the ring with Netflix and Hulu for your video streaming service. As most people who use Amazon know, you can use the Prime service as a means for saving money on shipping of products you ship and can watch certain movies and TV shows for free.

Amazon launched Prime Video in 2011 and was only available through the Prime network with the yearly $99 subscription. Now that Amazon Prime Video service has taken off and won a couple Emmy's, the subscription service is launched. You can pay $8.99 per month after a 30-day free trial. You can also join Prime separately for $10.99 per month.

Prime Video is following a similar format to their competitors showcasing their original programs including The Man in the High Castle, Mozart in the Jungle and Transparent. There is also news of a TV series by Woody Allen. In addition to their programs, you can now add channels to Prime Starz and Showtime.

As someone who has tested all three of these services for various reasons, the cost is actually less expensive than using a full cable package and each offers its own elements. You just need to decide what you want as part of your package and what you're willing to pay.



The weekend we’ve been waiting for is finally here – no rain, snow or cold and temps in the ‘60s for most of us! I think it’s about time us Chicagoans can shed our winter blues and coats!!

Not only are there two great outdoor events scheduled to help us shed those winter blues but also these events will help raise money for the foundations they represent:

Be The Match® Walk + Run takes place this Saturday (8:30 a.m.) at Montrose Harbor, Grove 16 (600 W. Montrose Ave.) in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. Join hundreds of folks as they hit the streets of Chicago to help patients with blood cancers receive life-saving bone marrow transplants or a cord blood transplant! Not only will participants be raising money for this cause but they’ll also be recruiting donors as they participate in a 5K or a 1K – and there’s even a Tot Trot for the little ones. Remember, every three minutes someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer which can happen to anyone at any time so why not be a Hero to a patient in need!!

DASH for Detection 5K Walk/Run takes place this Sunday (9:00 a.m.) at Soldier Field (1410 S. Museum Campus Dr.) in the South Loop. This family-friendly event, which also includes a Kid’s DASH, starts and finishes at The Midway, a new climate-controlled indoor space located on the 50-yard line. Participants will be taken along the City’s beautiful lakefront paths and the scenic Museum Campus as they run and/or walk to raise funds for The Rolfe Pancreatic Cancer Foundation and The Lustgarten Foundation who have joined forces to develop an early detection test and one day finding a cure for pancreatic cancer! All routes are handicap and stroller accessible with Team prizes being awarded for most money raised and most participants as well!!

Watson Adventures will be kicking-off this Saturday (2:00 p.m.) The Loop Movie Locations Scavenger Hunt at the Daley Plaza (50 W. Washington St.) in The Loop. Participants discover the many places in downtown Chicago made memorable in movies and on TV such as the orange Flamingo sculpture (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off), the Daley Plaza (The Fugitive), City Hall-Cook County Building (Blues Brothers) and other lesser-known places. What’s great about this scavenger hunt is no knowledge of the movies or The Loop is required – just a sharp mind and comfy shoes! Come see Chicago through the eyes of Hollywood!! If you haven’t been on a Watson Adventures’ scavenger hunt before, they use witty, tricky questions in fast-paced games bringing out the best in a fascinating place and hopefully, the best in you and your teammates. It’s been said that these hunts are like walking tours spiked with caffeine!!

Speaking of caffeine, L&A Healing Studio (1620 S. Michigan Ave.) will be hosting the first annual South Loop Coffee Fest this Saturday (12:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.) at 5 local coffee shops that include OverFlow Coffee Bar (South Loop), Sip & Savor (Hyde Park), Goddess and the Baker (The Loop), Brü Coffee (Wicker Park) and Sol Café (Rogers Park). Each coffee shop will showcase their amazing coffee and other house specialties offering samples, pastry pairings and even workshops on coffee recycling methods and more! Now this is my kind of fest!!

Finally, the 16th annual Antiques, Garden & Design Show takes place this Saturday and Sunday (10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.) at the Chicago Botanic Garden (1000 Lake Cook Rd.) in Glencoe. This show inspires stylish living by presenting beautiful gardens and objects in a way that transcends the ordinary! Multiple indoor gardens designed by Craig Bergmann Landscape Design will accentuate this year’s show along with a theme of blue and white highlighted by pops of color such as yellow, coral, magenta, purple and terra cotta as well as various exhibitors and lectures from experts presented throughout the weekend! This is Spring’s most anticipated event – don’t miss it!!

Let’s not forget the Chicago Cubs v. Colorado Rockies games this Saturday and Sunday (1:20 p.m.) at Wrigley Field. It’s time to start working on those tans!!





A new traffic restriction has been put into place to reduce problems in the accident prone area at the intersection of Ridge Ave. and Grove St. The restriction began yesterday, 4/13, with signs prohibiting left hand turns from Ridge onto Grove and Grove onto Ridge between the hours of 7:00am - 7:00pm. According to, many cars were seen still making left turns and authorities have yet to start enforcing violations but be sure that officers will be scoping the area soon so you may need to consider alternative routes if this has been a part of your daily commute. This restriction is currently only a trial run through October to see if it successfully reduces the number of accidents at the intersection.   


Last month the Ravenswood neighborhood lost its Argentinian BYOB restaurant, ARTango South American Bistro, when it closed on March 25th. However the owners have moved and expanded their restaurant to Lincoln Square which is now gifted with a new cuisine destination, Artango Bar and Steakhouse, at 4767 N. Lincoln Ave. which opens tomorrow, Friday 4/15, at 4:00pm. Husband and wife owners, Sebastian Casanova and Maria Alferov, are partnering with chefs Dudley Nieto and Fred Ramos to bring fine dining Argentinian fare to their new 180-seat establishment that will feature live music entertainment and tango dancing to celebrate their passion for the "Golden Age" of 1920s Buenos Aires. Starting tomorrow, restaurant hours will be Mondays - Thursdays & Sundays 4:00pm - 11:00pm, and Fridays & Saturdays 4:00pm - 1:00am.


This month welcomes a new boutique store to the Lakeview area. The Colette Collection at 2858 N. Clark St. replaces the old Xcito Women & Men's Apparel storefront that had been vacant for a long time. 29-year-old owner, Lauren Rubbelke, has created a boutique store with modern styles that are also affordable. Just looking at The Colette Collection website shows dresses for $30 - $65. Rubbelke's plan is to keep all items under $100, making her store more approachable to the public. The store also carries sports-themed dresses and Fitbit charms designed by Rubbelke herself. shares more about this entrepreneur here.  To celebrate the grand opening, online orders will include free shipping through the month of April.


The Irving Park Community Food Pantry, just east of Portage park within the Irving Park United Methodist Church at 3801 N. Keeler Ave., is requesting donations of organic soil and herb plants to bolster the herb garden dedicated to food pantry recipients. This is only the second season that the Food Pantry has been using the gardens to supplement their offerings to those in need. Herbs are harvested every Wednesday morning and distributed to panty clients in addition to the groceries and toiletries that they receive. Volunteers are also welcome to help tend the garden. Donations can be dropped off by using the Grace Street entrance of the church. Call 773-283-6262 for more information and to learn the best times for donation drop-offs.


The Chicago Real Estate Council is well aware of the public's concern regarding the rise in property taxes and they are presenting a panel discussion and luncheon that will focus on properly navigating the appeal process to help control this expense. Members of the CREC can RSVP and attend the luncheon free of charge. Non-members are welcome to attend the 11:30am Tuesday 4/26 event at Maggiano's Little Italy (111 W. Grand Ave.) for $75 per guest. Follow this link for reservation information. The event may sell out and reservations must be received no later than Friday 4/22 so be sure to reserve your spot sooner than later.



1. Avoid rubbing the stain. If you attack the stain too vigorously you can undo the carpet pile giving it a matted appearance. Blot from outside in (keeps the stain from spreading) with an absorbent cloth. Old cotton towels work great. Keep several on hand.

2. Don’t go crazy with the cleanser. Dilute carpet cleaner or use a drop of dishwashing liquid in a cup of warm water. Spray on a clean towel, not directly on the carpet. Dab the stain turning the cloth as it absorbs the stain. Use multiple cloths and cleaner as needed.

3. Rinse sparingly. If you saturate the stain with cleanser or water it will wet the padding and send the stain down into the carpet backing making it almost impossible to get out. You will also be leaving cleanser residue which attracts dirt like a magnet. Instead, dip a clean cloth in clear water and continue blotting until all traces of the cleanser is removed. Change cloths and water as needed.

4. Even if the stain looks gone, residue that’s deep down may travel up the fibers as they dry. Cover with several layers of clean white paper towel (no fancy designer pattern which can stain). Place a heavy flowerpot or vase on top. This should soak up any residue remaining.

5. In the morning remove the pot and towels. Fluff the fibers and let the carpet dry completely. Still see the stain? Repeat 2-4. Vacuum the area when thoroughly dry.



Most of us are very familiar with Uber. Back in 2013, Michael Pelletz and his wife were hit with some extraordinary changes in their lives and Michael became a driver for the company as a means to make additional money which ultimately led to a full-time position with the company. His wife also wanted to become a driver yet she felt it wasn't as safe for her to be doing it. Fast forward to 2015 when Michael was in a potentially dangerous situation himself. After some discussion he and his wife, Kelly, came up with Chariot for Women.

On April 19 this new service will become available. According to their site, Chariot for Women would use the safest practices to give the most secure and fun rideshare experience in the industry, driven by women, for women. Like Uber and Lyft, the rideshare uses an app for requesting a ride. Because it is built on safety, when the passenger requests a ride a safe word pops up on both the driver's and passenger's phone. If the safe word is incorrect, you can simply back away and find your correct vehicle.

The team has also taken it a step further by giving back to the community. Each month a list of 10 local and national charities will be selected to receive 2% of every fare. As the customer, you will select the charity which are women-based.



Despite the roller coaster ride Chicagoans have been on lately with this war between winter and spring, we’re gearing-up for yet another wild weather weekend that brings us the following events!

Get ready for the largest educational event in North America as the 23rd annual ReptileFest takes place at Northeastern Illinois University Physical Education Complex (3600 W. Foster Ave.) in the Gage Park neighborhood this Saturday (10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.) and Sunday (10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.) where attendees get to touch, hold, and get close to hundreds of amazing reptiles and amphibians throughout this 40,000 square foot space! However, no animals are for sale at this action-packed weekend!!

Not into touching or holding slimy critters? Then join Clearbrook’s Associate Board at their 8th annual Mad Hatter Mayhem Pub Crawl this Saturday from 3:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Wicker Park neighborhood. Don your wildest, kooky hat for this event which features drink specials, a silent auction, raffles and contests, including best female hat, best male hate and best team hats! The crawl begins with check-in at Whiskey Business (1367 N. Milwaukee Ave.) with scheduled stops at Nick’s Beer Garden, Flat Iron Chicago and ending at the Emporium Arcade Bar. Plus, a party favor, appetizers, giveaways and more are included in the ticket price!!

Get ready to stuff your face at this year’s The Taco Takedown where home cooks will face-off for the title of Chicago’s taco master this Sunday (2:00 p.m.) at Lincoln Hall (2424 N. Lincoln Ave.) in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. Think your super-secret taco recipe is tops in Chicago?

For all my American Girl doll fans out there, the Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.) in The Loop is the place to be this Sunday from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. for the American Girl Fashion Show! This fun-filled event for girls, their families and their dolls features a colorful fashion show presentation of historical and contemporary fashions as well as elegant refreshments, door prizes and more!

Last but not least, the 2016 Baseball Season begins here in Chicago with the Chicago White Sox hosting the Cleveland Indians at U.S. Cellular Field on the South Side this Saturday and Sunday at 1:10 p.m. Let’s Play Ball!!

As for the Chicago Cubs, their home opener isn’t until Monday, but dedicated Chicago Cubs fans will be celebrating their home opener of the 2016 season in the spirit of “Wait ‘Til Next Year” this Saturday (7:00 p.m.) at the 108th Annual Next Year Day event held in the heart of Cubs territory in Wrigleyville at Heating & Cooling Pub (3530 N. Clark St.). Event highlights include great drink specials, amazing games, live music from Del Crustaceans, The After Party and Katey Day, a charity raffle benefiting Peace for Pits and much more!

Are You Ready For Another Chicago Wild Weekend?

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