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History has been made in Portage Park's Bungalow Belt. At least that is how the National Register of Historic Places will be designating it as of this week. Under this designation, nearly 200 bungalows from the area bordered by Pensacola Ave. to the north, Berteau Ave. to the south, Central Ave. to the west, and Lockwood Ave. to the east may help owners get grants, loans and tax credits to maintain the upkeep of these century-old homes. A celebration for the naming of the historic site will take place at the Portage Park Senior Center (4100 N. Long Ave) on Monday, Dec. 1st from 6:30 - 8:00pm.


And so begins the season when shopping becomes a sport. With this in mind, the Lincoln Square/Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce will be offering Unwrap Lincoln Square and Ravenswood, for the third year in a row, as incentive to shopping locally. Receive $50 back if you spend up to $300 at any Lincoln Square and Ravenswood business located between Foster and Montrose, and the River and Ashland. So from Nov. 28th to Dec. 24th, hold onto your receipts from these businesses that are $25 or more (pre tax and tip). Once you have receipts totaling $300, mail copies to the LSRCC office to receive $50 back until supplies last!


Come celebrate the 1 year anniversary of Coppervine at 1962 N. Halsted on Tuesday, Dec. 2nd from 6:00 - 9:00pm.  $25 per person gets you an evening of specialty cocktails, craft beers, and artisan wines along with hors d'oeuvres pairings. If you haven't dined here before, this special night will be a wonderful opportunity to experience owner Don Sritong's passion of pairing food with drink to perfection.


The Holiday season is always a busy and joyous time in the Loop. To give you a hand, the Chicago Loop Alliance has compiled an extensive list of daily happenings from now until the end of 2014. Plus they're cluing you in to great Holiday Deals that including savings on parking and events admissions. Check it out!


Let's talk turkey. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving after all and not all of us have the ability to metabolize all the calories that will most likely be consumed. Ignite Fitness at 1960 Springbrook Square Dr. #106 is inviting members and non-members to their Pre-Feast Thanksgiving and Burn the Bird Post T- Day Workouts. The workouts are free of charge with the donation of a non-perishable food item so really there is no good excuse not to attend.



First things first, make your lists. Number one is your menu which all other lists will flow from, include all appetizers too, not just the main meal. Create your grocery list next using your menu. I usually plan for more servings than I think I will need. I love leftovers! Also from the menu do your cooking pots, tools and serving pieces.

Remember to thaw the turkey in the refrigerator! This will take as much as 2 or more days depending on the size of the turkey. Put it in a disposable foil pan on the lowest shelf in the fridge. Always store any raw meat on the bottom shelf for safety. Less chance of cross contamination from dripping. It’s also the coldest area.

Do as much the night before as you can. You’d be surprised how smoothly things go on the big day. Set the table with all the serving dishes and silverware. Include the trivets also. No scrambling around on the big day looking for a trivet to go under a hot dish! Cover with a clean sheet to keep the table dust free. Put the pots out also. It’s better to realize the night before that you might need to purchase or borrow more cooking ware. Make sure all appliances are in good working order, especially ones you don’t use often. One year I took out the electric knife just before carving and it was dead. Not a disaster but could have been easily avoided.

Other prep can be done a day or two before. Bake or purchase the pies and dessert. Prep all the vegetables, cut up aromatics for the stuffing. Make your relish trays. I’m doing green bean casserole this year and that can be put together the night before and topped and baked the next day. A simple and easy vegetable dish is roasted Brussel sprouts. Combine halved sprouts with olive oil and garlic then roast in a single layer till brown and luscious.

Bake the stuffing in a disposable aluminum pan early in the morning. The chicken broth that you use in all your dishes should be low sodium, unsalted butter too. It makes it much easier to control the salt. Do not stuff the bird, too dangerous! Prep the turkey. Open the package in the sink, gross juice. Be careful with the turkey and its juice. Wash all surfaces and utensils with hot water and soap that come in contact with raw meat. Wash and thoroughly dry the turkey. Loosen the skin on the breast meat so you can slide your hand in. Be gentle! You don’t want to tear it. Spread about two tablespoons of softened butter over the breasts. Sprinkle a mixture of two teaspoons kosher salt and one teaspoon freshly ground black pepper all over the turkey. Cook according to package directions. When there is about an hour left of turkey cooking time, start the potatoes. Add a tablespoon of salt to the water, it seasons the potatoes well. You can get the potatoes ready to go early but don’t add salt till cooking time.

When the turkey is done remove from the oven and wrap tightly in foil. Mash the potatoes and set aside covered. A word on mashed potatoes. This is not a day for dieting. Cream and real butter make the best mashed. Heat the butter and cream in a large glass measuring cup in the microwave, watch closely, it can boil over easily. Put stuffing and any other dish made ahead in the oven to reheat. Stagger the oven racks so you can fit everything. Remember also, the microwave can be our greatest friend on big dinner day. Warms things up in a pinch.  

As my favorite Quarterback says “R-E-L-A-X”. Most if not all of your guests are family. If something screws up, so what? Also, put them to work. Washing dishes and pans throughout the day makes it much easier after dinner. Most necessary in my small kitchen.

Bon Appetit and Happy Thanksgiving!


PRICE REDUCED!! GLADSTONE PARK - CERTIFIED BRICK OCTAGON BUNGALOW! Park, Chicago  -  Announcing a PRICE REDUCTION on 5449 North Monitor Avenue, a 1,278 sq. ft., 2 bath, 2 bedroom bungalow with new roof and boiler. NOW MLS $219,700 - GREAT VALUE FOR THIS VINTAGE GEM!!!

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Most weeks I'm talking about a new app or new technologies on the horizon. What I forget to tell people is that they also need to not overload their smartphone or tablet with too much technology because you are going to see your battery life go down and your system will start to get sluggish.

So what the big drains on battery life in terms of applications added to a smartphone or tablet? Facebook hits the top of the list for performance draining applications on your phone or tablet. The easiest solution is to remove the app itself and access your Facebook from your internet provider.

Which leads me to the next big drain on your phone or tablet, Google Chrome. When utilizing this software you need to be sure to not only hit the back button, but to also completely close the software. It will help with data usage as well which is something else that can make your device sluggish.

The other thing you should know how to do before you get concerned about adding and deleting software is cleaning out the cache. This will take all the "junk" that gets stored on your computer and simply removes it completely, similar to using CC Cleaner.  Go to your Settings and choose Storage. You will see how much space is being stored in your Cached data. If you have not done this since purchasing your device, you'll find lots of data that can easily be cleared. This should be done weekly to remove unnecessary and unused data.  

PS - If you don't need the downloads, then delete those as well.



Lately, the weather outside has been downright frightful, although it could be worse (Buffalo, NY), but it looks as if it will ease up a bit this weekend as Chicago officially kicks-off its Holiday Season!

Michigan Avenue between Wacker Drive and Oak Street in Chicago is where the Holidays officially begin with the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival this Saturday on the Near North Side.  It’s a winter wonderland for the entire family beginning with the “Lights Festival Lane” (11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.) offering interactive holiday activities, delicious treats and live musical performances by top artists all afternoon at the BMO Harris Bank Stage located in Pioneer Court (401 N. Michigan Avenue). Then from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. it’s time for the “Tree-Lighting Parade” down Michigan Avenue starting at Oak Street with Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse as your masters of ceremonies along with some of their Disney friends on the head float followed by elaborate floats, giant floating balloons, marching bands, singers and twirling dancers with a spectacular fireworks display at Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive at the conclusion of the parade! Afterwards, you can shop ‘til you drop, or until 9:00 p.m., thanks to the extended shopping hours!!

The 19th annual Christkindlmarket 2014 also celebrates the opening of the Holiday Season on Saturday (11:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.), Sunday (11:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.) and daily through December 24th in Daley Plaza (50 W. Washington St.) in The Loop. This open-air, German-style market offers authentic German products not found anywhere else in the city such as hand-blown ornaments, jewelry, beer steins and more from a variety of vendors as well as traditional German food and drink such as bratwurst, schnitzel, potato pancakes, hot spiced wine (Gluewhein), imported chocolates and more!

The 12th annual Chicago Toy & Game Fair returns to Navy Pier (600 E. Grand Ave.) in the Streeterville neighborhood this Saturday (10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.) and Sunday (10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.) and is the only fair of its kind open to the public in the United States. Here’s an opportunity for your kids to not only try out toys and games from around the globe before you shop on Black Friday but also have the opportunity to meet the inventors, compete in the Settlers of Catan and Rummikub tournaments, partake in the Star Wars luncheon, walk in the Frozen parade, see the Bumblebee Camaro from Transformers and much, much more!

For some top holiday shopping, the Randolph Street Holiday Market returns Saturday and Sunday (10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.) to Plumbers Hall (1340 W. Washington St.) on the Near West Side with its indoor urban market. This Holiday Market features a unique mix of timeless antiques, fabulous keepsakes such as estate jewelry and embroidered hankies, vintage and   modern goods, art, house wares and more! Plus there’s FREE parking and FREE gift wrapping!!

The 11th annual DIY Trunk Show returns to Broadway Armory Park (5917 N. Broadway St.) in the Edgewater neighborhood on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for Chicago’s largest one-day indie craft fair featuring 130 of the best artisans from the Midwest selling handmade, one-of-a-kind items such as unique jewelry, purses, ceramics, pet accessories and more with more than half of the vendors selling items less than $25! In addition, free “make and take” jewelry projects and hands-on workshops are featured as well!!

Finally, Thursday, November 27th, brings us Thanksgiving and the McDonald’s® Thanksgiving Parade on State Street from Congress Parkway to Randolph Street in The Loop from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Now in its 80th year, this year’s parade will feature gigantic inflatable helium balloons, decorative floats dispensing holiday cheer, marching bands and talented entertainers representing Chicagoland’s diverse communities, Santa Claus and more!

Will You Be Ringing in the Holidays As Well?



St. Thecia Women's Council Holiday Craft & Gift Show is happening this Saturday 11/22 from 9am - 4pm. Here's another chance to get cracking on your Holiday shopping! Admission and raffle tickets are only $1 each for the chance to win a cash prize. So try your luck while shopping for unique gifts for your loved ones.


This week, Oppenheimer Family Foundation has awarded their creatively branded "from guts to grants" to two teachers of Franklin Fine Arts in Old Town, as well as several Lincoln Park teachers. The name of this Teacher Incentive Grant program comes from the family's hot dog casing business, Oppenheimer Casing Company. The grant program has been in effect for 39 years, funded with stock from the business, to honor and support teachers who often use their own money to fund projects for their students. The awards ceremony took place on Tuesday the 18th at Lincoln Park High School.


Residents of Oak Park should expect to see their water and parking permit rates increased in the coming months. According to the Chicago Tribune this week, Oak Park trustees have voted to raise customers' monthly water charges to generate revenue as well as incite residents to be more efficient with their water use. These trustees also approved an increase to the price of parking permits. This is being done to help fund parking projects for the neighborhood so hopefully residents will eventually see their dollars at work.


Fans of the Colorado-based business, Snarf's Sandwiches, that has a location in the Loop, will be happy to hear that two new locations will be opening in Lincoln Park. Their location at 2201 N. Lincoln Ave. opened yesterday so, if you haven't already, stop in and enjoy their toasted subs, and ice cream and shake bar.


Speaking of the Loop, the Greater South Loop Association met for their annual meeting this past weekend. They discussed various development projects, decided upgrading certain city investments and reviewed projects planned by the Departments of Water Management, and Transportation.  The public is welcome to view a list of these projects on their website as they share their State of the South Loop 2014 report.



Ants do not like vinegar. Spray vinegar where you see them crawl. Mopping with diluted vinegar will help with this also. House plant pests are also adverse to vinegar. Spray with a solution one part vinegar to five parts water to plant leaves.

Vinegar is also an amazing and effective cleaner for hardwood floors. Even cleaners made for hardwood can deteriorate the surface after time. Vinegar is gentle and can be used as often as you like. It restores luster and sanitizes too!

We all know that pets can on occasion have a little tummy upset. The acid in vomit can bleach carpets even after cleaning. Spraying vinegar on the stain will neutralize the acid.

Anyone who dyes their hair knows not to wash it BEFORE application. This is to prevent stripping the natural oils. Vinegar will clean hair product residue without stripping. It’s also a great rinse for oily scalps and dandruff. It restores shine without adding oil like other products.

Of course here are a couple oldies but goodies. Equal parts vinegar and water make an excellent solution for washing glass and mirrors. Sponge on and squeegee off for sparkling glass. A cup of vinegar in the wash keeps colors bright, removes stains and deters lint.



Today I wanted to go local and tell you about a new app from Chicago's very own River North.  It's called Raise and was started by George Bousis and Bradley Wasz from a dining room table using an iPhone for Internet. The app was originally known as CouponTrade, a savings website for discount gift cards, coupons and other online deals.

Raise was designed for people looking for a deal.  You can purchase discounted gift cards from name brands like Dick's Sporting Goods, Target, Macy's, The Home Depot. You can also search by category or value. Once you've selected your cards from the comparison screen, you simply add them to your shopping cart and they are sent to you with free shipping.

Not only can you purchase gift cards but you can also sell them. You choose the price you want to sell the cards. The folks at Raise will accept gift cards and merchandise credit from any restaurant or brand. Once the card sells, you are paid via bank ACH transfer, usually in one to three business day's. The seller will pay 15% of the sale price of the card so bear that in mind.

One of the main benefits is that Raise will not make you wait for your gift card.  With the mobile app, once you've purchased the card it is instantly available on your mobile device. For all you Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers out there, this is going to be a helpful tool in the early morning.



I’ve decided this year that since I can’t beat ‘em I might as well join them!  Are you with me?

Maybe we’ll start with some early Holiday shopping – especially for the hard-to-buy-for ones –

Now in its 2nd year, the Vintage Pop-Up Market at Hotel Lincoln (1816 N. Clark St.) in the Lincoln Park neighborhood will be offering a range of gifts from 15 local vendors on Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on their second floor. This vintage market features vintage clothing, collectible toys, home goods and more while enjoying vintage record tunes from CHIRP (independent radio) and beverages from Chapin Coffee and TeaGschwendner!

The 43rd annual Gazebo Holiday Market will be held at the headquarters of the Junior League of Chicago, Inc. (1447 N. Astor St.) on the Near North Side this Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. This holiday market features over 40 vendors from around the country selling unique wares with a portion of their sales benefiting local at-risk families in the areas of child health & development, literacy and homelessness!

The Grove Arts and Craft Faire wraps up this Saturday and Sunday (10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.) at The Grove (1421 Milwaukee Ave.) in the suburb of Glenview. Experience the seasonal charm at this 136-acre landmark as you browse through charming historic homes and buildings, such as the Holiday House, Grannie’s Cottage, Artisan Lodge, Snowflake Chalet and Mistletoe Cabin, while choosing holiday gifts from over 50 juried artisans offering holiday crafts, unique seasonal decorations, distinctive gifts, home accessories, jewelry and more! Need to rest and re-fuel up, stop by the Sugar Plum Café, an onsite restaurant, offering refreshments, lunch and dinner. As you wrap-up your day, swing by the Gingerbread House for some delicious home-baked goodies and gourmet foods!!

If you’re not quite in the holiday shopping mood yet, then perhaps a trip to the Museum of Science and Industry (5700 S. Lake Shore Dr.) in the Hyde Park neighborhood for their 73rd annual Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light will help get you in the holiday spirit! This year’s event features a Disney theme to coincide with the temporary exhibit “Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives,” presented by D23: The Official Disney Fan Club. The Museum’s 45-foot Grand Tree in the Rotunda will showcase more than 30,000 twinkling lights and hundreds of Disney-inspired ornaments and trimmings. Joining the Grand Tree across the Museum’s Main Floor will be over 50 trees beautifully decorated and representing the diverse cultures and holiday traditions of Chicago’s ethnic communities along with intermittent falling “snow” every half hour as well as various dance and choral group performances on the Holiday Stage!

Don’t want to join them (Bah Hum Bug)? Well, how about the Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beer at the UIC Forum (725 W. Roosevelt Rd.) in the University Village/Little Italy neighborhood on Saturday hosting two sessions (1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. & 6:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.). This festival features over 90 breweries offering 300 barrel-aged beers brewed by brewers from around the state. Here’s your chance to sample dozens of barrel- and wood-aged stouts, ciders, porters, sour beers and many other styles! Finally, as an added bonus for those who don’t want to join them, your weekend sports brings the Chicago Bulls v. Indiana Pacers to the United Center on Saturday at 7:00 p.m., the Chicago Bears v. Minnesota Vikings to Soldier Field on Sunday at 12:00 p.m., and the Chicago Blackhawks v. Dallas Stars to the United Center on Sunday at 6:00 p.m.!

Are You Still With Me or Have You Changed Your Mind?




The newly finished Metra stop at Ravenswood marks the completion of Phase 1 of Metra's multi-year project to rebuild 11 bridges from Balmoral Avenue on the north to Grace Street on the south. With the expectation that stop would be finished in May, I'm sure Ravenswood residents are glad this stop is open just as temperatures are starting to drop. Phase 2 of Metra's rebuild will focus on the east side of the 11 bridges with a projected completion date in 2017.


Are you ready for the Holidays? We know Thanksgiving is next but Portage Park is ready to help you get a jump on your special Holiday shopping needs. Come to Faith Church's 20th Annual Sugar Plum Fairy Art and Craft Event for treats and cider for purchase while you're looking for that special something for that someone special, and for family and friends too.


For one night only, the newest works of artistry by Lakeview's own Nomi Dance Co. will be "Unveiled". Catch this ultimate performance tomorrow, Fri. 11/15 at Athenaeum Theatre. Prepare to be moved by the company's artistic expressions of emotion through movement.


Artists, Carol Brookes, Zac Franzoni, and Hannah Ireland invite you to bring friends and family for a weekend of art and celebration as they throw their Open Studio, Holiday Party and Art Sale At Carol Brookes Art Inc. Perhaps you had seen Carol Brookes' work on display recently at the Robert F. Decaprio Gallery at Moraine Valley Community College. If you'd missed it, you have this second opportunity to experience this collection. Also included are painter, Zac Franzoni and artistic printmaker, Hannah Ireland for what's sure to be an eclectic and conversation-inducing exhibit.


Did you know November is Native American Heritage Month in Evanston? Thanks to Mayor Elizabeth Tishdahl, this will be the 2nd year that this month holds the honor and distinction to celebrate Native Americans' contribution to our country's history and culture. Exhibits and special events will be held weekly throughout November at the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian at 3001 Central St. According to the Chicago Tribune, there are 40,000+ Native American citizens residing in the Evanston and Chicago area. So start talking to your friends and co-workers about their heritages to possibly find your own personal guide to accompany you to some of these events.


NEW REDUCED PRICE! BELLE PLAINE COMMONS - UPGRADED CONDO - GARAGE PARKING! Center, Chicago  -  Announcing a PRICE REDUCTION on 2335 West Belle Plaine Avenue, #406, a 825 sq. ft., 1 bath, 1 bedroom condo with a den in a great pet-friendly, 55+ community. NOW MLS $169,400 - GREAT VALUE!

Property information


Now that the weather is turning colder more people will be starting to use their fireplaces. There are a few safety tips you should be aware of before the first fire. Most important is to have fully functioning smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Detectors are available now with 10 year batteries so no more changing batteries when the time changes.

Hire a chimney professional to evaluate and clean your fireplace every few years. More often if you use it a lot. They can advise you as to a proper schedule according to your usage.

Never leave a fire unattended. Make sure all fires are completely out before going to bed or leaving the house.

Burning wood can spit out dangerous embers that can ignite nearby material. Keep clutter and flammable objects away from the area around the fireplace and use a metal screen to reduce embers.

After the fire goes out keep the damper open until all the smoke clears. Then make sure it’s fully closed to prevent all the heat from going up the chimney. Glass doors also help prevent heat loss.

Always make sure to burn only seasoned hardwood. Certain processed wood such as pressure treated types can give off dangerous chemicals as well as cardboard, Christmas paper and other trash.

With a little thought and preparation we can have a comfortable and safe fireplace season.



In an unexpected move, Microsoft has released a free download version of the Office suite of apps for iPad and iPhone. Normally, you would need an Office 365 subscription, but now you can open and edit documents, spreadsheets and presentations on your iOS device. Thought not yet available, a version will also be available on Android in the near future.

Trying to remain competitive Microsoft made the move in answer to the increased usage of mobile devices and other platforms.  The integration with Dropbox is also a driving factor behind the move as well as competitively priced productivity apps.

The Office app does have some limitations including chart editing in Excel or column formatting in Word. To get the subscription service, the cost would be $10 per month. And you'll need the paid account to view files from a business Dropbox or OneDrive account. Since most businesses continue to use these programs (Word, Excel and PowerPoint), Microsoft still remains extremely competitive in the marketplace.



You need to take advantage of this “stress-free” weekend before it’s too late because they’re approaching faster than you think!

One of our city’s most popular art shows, and the longest-running of its kind, SOFA CHICAGO returns to Navy Pier’s Festival Hall (600 E. Grand Ave.) in the Streeterville neighborhood on Saturday (11:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.) and Sunday (12:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.) for its 21st annual art fair dedicated to Sculpture, Objects, Functional Art & Design, hence “SOFA.” Not only will this art event display and give you an opportunity to purchase pieces from distinguished dealers exhibiting their works from glass, ceramics, wood, metalwork and textiles but it will also feature special exhibits, a lecture series (Friday and Saturday), a CONNECT Design competition, the Corning Museum of Glass Hot Glass Roadshow and much more!

Saturday evening from 9:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. Sluggers Sports Bar & Dueling Pianos (3540 N. Clark St.) in the Wrigleyville neighborhood will be hosting the Give for the Glow Fundraiser. This fundraiser is a benefit for “Camp Firefly,” which is a unique camp for 7 to 18 year-olds who have been diagnosed with a social disorder such as autism. It’s an evening filled with music, cocktails (3 hour open bar), raffles and prize packages such as premium Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and Sox tickets, Broadway in Chicago and Million Dollar Quartet tickets, restaurant gift certificates, family day for 6 at Brookfield Zoo and much more!

The 7th annual GISC Laternenfest and St. Martin’s Parade takes place Sunday from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at DANK-Haus (4740 N. Western Ave.) in the Lincoln Square neighborhood. This European fall festival features a lantern kit for the kids to make and personalize their own lantern along with other free crafts, a sing-along, storytelling, face painting, refreshments for purchase and concluding with the lantern parade at dusk!

The Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University (50 E. Congress Pkwy.) in The Loop is hosting a Family Fun Day on Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. This free event offers interactive activities and hands-on experiences such as tours, stories from the past, a passport scavenger hunt, a musical instrument petting zoo, become a backup singer and more as you discover the rich history of this landmark theatre!

Finally, the 107th annual Great Tree Lighting takes place Saturday (12:00 p.m.) at Macy’s Historic Walnut Room (111 N. State St.) in The Loop kicking off the holiday season! This year’s tree lighters are TV/Radio host and producer, Ryan Seacrest and a 4-year-old child from Make-A-Wish® with entertainment provided by Lee DeWyze, winner of the 9th season of “American Idol.” Also, Macy’s Holiday Windows – “The Journey of a Christmas Wish” and SantaLand® will be making their debut this Saturday as well!

I Warned You -- They’ll Be Here Before You Know It!!




Calling all you Pink Ladies and T-Birds! Taft High School will be performing the musical written by Taft alum, Jim Jacobs. Grease was in fact about the high school. The fall musical will be part of the 75th Anniversary celebration of the school. There are still some Pink Ladies living in the area. Do you think you can find them?


Every once in a while you need to find a great pastry chef. Luckily, Chicago is home to North Pond's pastry chef, Greg Mosko.  Mosko was named one of America's top new pastry chefs by Food & Wine Magazine in the upcoming December issue. He is also the only chef, of the five chosen, from the Midwest. Having been at North Pond for over five years, he said, "This award is definitely going to reconfirm what I believe in my desserts."


The doors open on Friday at 9am to apply to use any park in Chicago's Park District. Let's say you want your wedding, special event or simply a family picnic. There is a two-step electronic process to secure your space for 2015. The cost for your application is $35. It may just be time for a family reunion in 2015, don't you think?


If you've ever been in need of a special antique part to complete your home remodel, you go to the Penn Dutchman. And do it this weekend, Friday through Sunday from 9am-4pm. Owner, Jim Mowery, will be closing his doors and everything must go. He started dealing with high-end antique furnishings and then his business evolved into what it is today. Mowery will purchase just about anything, including entire estate sales. Though the location will be gone, Mowery still plans to sell his wares online.


Imagine dumping your Halloween basket on the table and finding a diamond ring among all the KitKats and Reeses. Initially thinking it was a toy ring, the trick-or-treaters showed it to their parents. Taking an opportunity to teach his young daughters, David Carlin and his princesses created flyers the very next day and were en route to the Auburn Lakes neighborhood to post them. Before one sign went up Carlin received a text message from his brother that there was someone in the neighborhood who lost their ring. One quick phone call and Jennifer Vasek now has her ring back.

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