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KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - EASY FIXES TO KEEP YOU WARMER
There are easy low cost solutions for preventing heat loss in your home this winter.

If you have not already done so remove window air conditioners. Leaving them in the window all  long is almost as bad as having a window open. Simply covering them on the outside is not enough. If your unit fits in a wall opening put an insulated panel over it. You can cut a piece to fit out of insulating foam.

Check insulation to make sure it’s adequate. There should be 6 inches in the attic for a sufficient R value in our area. Fill in the cracks and gaps where air can escape. Even new homes sometimes do not have enough insulation.

Spray polyurethane foam insulation can be used in many areas around the home. Go around the basement exterior walls and spray around anything entering and leaving the house like electrical conduit and water pipes. Careful, a little goes a long way as this product expands to form a seal. It can be trimmed with a utility knife as needed. Basement doors to the outside can cause heat loss and drafts. Cut a piece of rigid foam insulation to fit snugly in the door opening.

When the fireplace is not in use make sure the flue damper is tightly closed. Use fireplace doors to slow down heat loss. There are airtight fireplace doors available. They have rubber gaskets that hold the doors together for an airtight seal.

If you have old fashioned storm windows make sure all the inner windows are completely closed. I noticed this week one of ours in a bedroom was not all the way down and you could feel the draft coming in. Older windows can benefit from a bead of silicone caulk to seal up drafts.

Many houses have recessed lights. These are often open to the attic and cause a lot of heat loss. If your lights are marked ICAT (Insulation Contact Air Tight) you are good. If not you can purchase baffles to seal the fixture. Take out the bulb, insert the baffle and replace bulb.

Attic stairs or access panel can be problem. They make kits for attic stairs but they are expensive. Good weather stripping should help quite a bit here. You can also cut a piece of hard foam insulation larger than the opening of the access door and glue it on the attic side.

KATHERINE WEAVER-ZECH & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

DUNNING - GLENLAKE SPLIT-LAYOUT CORNER UNIT - TOP LOCATION!

• 1,765 sq. ft., 2 bath, 2 bedroom condo - pet-friendly - MLS $199,000

 -  Largest Glenmoor Model Features an Incredible 1,840 Square Feet of Living Space – Split-Layout Corner Unit! Sunny Living Room – Adjoining 16' Balcony! Formal Dining Room. Big Kitchen Features Premium Appliances, Ample Cabinets, Counter Space – and a Separate Breakfast Area! Spacious Bedrooms – Master Suite with its Own Bath – Double Sink! Closet Space Galore, Wall to Wall, or Walk-In! Laundry Room Features Full-Sized Washer and Dryer, plus Utility Sink, Folding Table, and Additional Overhead Cabinets. Clean Radiant Heat, Central Air. Garage Parking and Secured Storage Closet on First Level. Easy Guest Parking. Pet-Friendly Building Features Beautiful Grounds, and an Outdoor Pool! Top Location, near Shopping, Merrimac and Portage Parks, Schools, CTA and Expressways. You’ve Gotta See!

Property information

TECHNOLOGY TIPS - CHICAGO CITY COUNCIL APPROVES UNIVERSAL TAXI APP

As my brother fondly says, "Hey, Cath, I used The Uber and I love it." Insert funny giggles here if you must, but he has a point. Uber is my favorite app for getting a taxi in those areas where you don't see a lot of taxi activity in the city of Chicago.

This past Wednesday, the Chicago City Council passed several measures for our local cab drivers including the plan to create a new mobile app that is universal for hailing a cab. Established taxi companies are in support of this move to a universal app as a way to keep competitive in the growing technology start-up market.

As a part of the plan taxis will receive financial support including fee breaks for car lease or medallions, lowering fine amounts and giving drivers a portion of the revenue from in-car advertising. The initiative is backed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel (whose brother is an Uber investor) and AFSCME (the local union for half of Chicago's taxi drivers).

Chicago is the first major city to agree to create the local app. A similar app has been proposed in New York City as well. There are still details to iron out, but this is clearly a step towards to making the playing field much more level.

CATHY MALLERS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

PORTAGE PARK - EXPANDED 5BR BRICK ENGLISH-STYLE HOME - ROOM + VALUE!

• 2,475 sq. ft., 2 bath, 5 bedroom home on extra-wide lot - MLS $287,400

 -  ROOM GALORE in this Expanded Portage Park Brick English-Style Home on Extra-Wide 34' Lot! FIVE True, Large Bedrooms, Two Full Baths. Plus, Family Room Addition, and Second Floor Office! Eat-In Kitchen, Family Room with Adjoining Dining Area, Wood Burning Fireplace! Expanded Basement Under Addition. Fenced Yard with Patio. Brick 2 1/2 Car Garage with Side Drive. Top Smyser Elementary School, Two Blocks to Wright College! Shopping, Portage and Merrimac Parks, CTA and Expressway Transportation All Nearby! This Lovely Home Affords Room AND Value – Make it YOUR Showplace!

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THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - ‘TIS THE SEASON TO BE JOLLY!

‘Tis the season to be jolly so what are you waiting for? This weekend is packed with all kinds of jolliness for kids and adults alike, and it even comes with a Pineapple Express (warmer temps)!! Let’s begin our journey at the area’s zoos –

Zoo Lights takes place at Lincoln Park Zoo (2200 N. Cannon Dr.) in the Lincoln Park neighborhood Saturdays and Sundays from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (through January 4th) for its annual family-oriented, free holiday celebration which features luminous displays and offers many holiday-season activities throughout the zoo!

Holiday Magic takes place at Brookfield Zoo (8400 31st St.) in Brookfield on Saturdays and Sundays from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (through December 21st) for its annual family holiday tradition displaying Chicagoland’s largest light festival with over one million twinkling LED lights as well as featuring professional ice carving demonstrations, animated light shows, a laser light show, caroling to the animals and much more! And let’s not forget Breakfast with Santa in the zoo’s Discovery Center with seatings at 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Reservations are required for this all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet with Santa and Mrs. Claus!!

Moving on with our journey, the Music Box Christmas Show takes place at the Music Box Theatre (3733 N. Southport Ave.) in the Lakeview neighborhood on Saturdays and Sundays (through December 24th) and is celebrating its 31st anniversary this year. Prior to the screenings of two popular holiday movies, “White Christmas” and “It’s a Wonderful Life,” Santa leads the audience in the singing of cherished Christmas carols of all time with the lyrics projected onto the screen so all can participate and sing their hearts out!

For those who really want to get jolly –

Twelve Bars of Xmas takes place at Cubby Bear (1059 W. Addison St.) in the Wrigleyville neighborhood on Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. The theme for this year’s 19th annual pub crawl is TBOX ZOO where participants are encouraged to dress as their favorite Zoo Animal, or at least a holiday costume, since everyone wears a costume for this event! Post-crawl, head on back to Cubby Bear for an exclusive concert at the closing ceremonies featuring “Stache,” Chicago’s favorite party band!! This is a must attend for all you “Party Animals!!!”

Or, Kris Kringle’s Kandy Kane Ball & Toy Drive takes place at Joe’s Bar (940 W. Weed St.) on the Near North Side this Saturday from 9:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. This 12th annual event features passed appetizers, drink tickets, live music and DJ entertainment all benefitting the Chicago Children’s Charities! Bring a toy donation for no cover access, otherwise, it’ll cost you $20 to get in!! So please bring a toy for this tremendous cause!!!

Finally, get your jolly on at the Jingle Bell Run/Walk this Sunday (9:00 a.m.) at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum (2430 N. Cannon Dr.) in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. Wear a holiday-themed costume, add some jingle bells to yourself, and join in on a 10K or 5K run/walk and celebrate the season of giving! Participants will receive a long sleeve cotton shirt, a jingle bell necklace and a finisher’s medal that doubles as a commemorative ornament!! Santa, candy and holiday music round out this event as well as 100% of the funds raised going to the Arthritis Foundation!

How Will You Be Getting Your Jolly ‘Tis Season?

SUE MOSS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS - LOOP, PORTAGE PARK, LINCOLN PARK, RAVENSWOOD, OAK PARK

LOOP

Friday, 12/12, at 11:59pm marks the deadline for applications for 2015 fall enrollment for  CPS magnet schools, gifted programs, and selective-enrollment high schools. These are applications for kindergarten-aged students for magnet and gifted programs, and current eighth-graders for the selective-enrollment high schools. Applications can be made online or delivered in person or if postmarked by Friday to CPS' Office of Access and Enrollment located at 42 W. Madison St.

 

PORTAGE PARK

Two important events regarding Portage Park are happening this weekend! First, a benefit holiday party is being held at Black Rock Pub and Kitchen (3614 N. Damen Ave.) on Friday, 12/12, from 6pm - 9pm to raise funds for Portage Park mother of two, Meryldine Domenz-Bigosinska, who was diagnosed with lung cancer in October. This is a fun way to show your support for a family in need of support. Then, in the heart of Portage Park, the annual Holiday Tree Lighting is set to warm your spirits on Saturday, 12/13, from 3:30pm - 5:30pm at the playground at 4100 N. Long Ave.

 

LINCOLN PARK

ZooLights, presented by ComEd and PNC Bank, has been in full effect since November 28th and will continue on until January 4, 2015. This Chicago tradition should not be missed from year to year. Just a reminder to make time to come out with family and friends for ice skating and various festive activities. This Sunday, 12/14, will begin the first of three Family Polar Parties offered during the remaining Sundays throughout December. For $10 admission, you and your family can learn about animals' abilities to survive in cold-weather climates through crafts and games. Maybe you'll learn some tips to keeping warm during these next several months while you're at it.

 

RAVENSWOOD

It's time again for Lillstreet Art Center's annual Holiday Party and Open House. The Holiday Party will be on Friday, 12/12, from 5pm - 9pm at 4401 N. Ravenswood Ave. Enjoy live music and complimentary Koval Distillery whiskey while shopping for artistically handcrafted gifts. Then on Saturday, Lillstreet will open its doors for their Winter Open House from 12pm - 4pm. Come in to meet artists in their studios and learn more about the various workshops and classes that Lillstreet Art Center has to offer all year round.

 

OAK PARK

The Oak Park Arts District's Holiday Lights celebration began last month on 11/21 and will continue its festivities through to the end of the year. Follow the link to find out about neighborhood events that will allow you to "Shop Artfully" throughout the Holiday season.

 

CATHY MALLERS & DEAN’S TEAM CHICAGO

KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - REAL TREES FOR CHRISTMAS

I’m sure many people think an artificial tree is better for the environment as you use the same tree for many years. I’m thinking real trees are actually more environmentally positive and recyclable. Real trees manufacture oxygen their whole growing time. There are many cities and villages that will mulch the tree for you after the season. It makes great mulch. Artificial trees are made of chemicals that are not environmentally friendly and not recyclable.

Trees from neighborhood lots are very nice but are usually quite pricey, charging by the foot. I’ve had better luck at home centers like Menards and Home Depot. They have a wide variety of tree types and sizes. They always have my favorite the Fraser Fir at a reasonable price. Frasier’s have thick rather short bluish green needles. The trees are full and have a wonderful pine smell. They also last a good while in the house.

Choosing a fresh tree is a lot of common sense. Keep in mind the space where you are placing the tree. Don’t over buy. Too big a tree looks silly and it’s hard to decorate. Grasp the tree by the trunk and bang it on the ground. Some needles will fall but there should not be too many. Run your hands down the branches. They should be soft and pliable not brittle. If you have the store cut the trunk make sure it’s at least two inches and get it home in a bucket of water as soon as possible. It’s best to do it at home if you’re able.

Leave the tree outside or in the garage in a bucket if you’re not ready to trim it that day. Bring it in and give it several hours to relax and warm up before trimming. Keep as far away as possible from registers and radiators. Keep away from open flames such as fireplaces and candles. Check the water level twice a day for the first two days and once a day thereafter. Many trees will suck up a gallon of water or more in the first couple of days. Never let the water get below the cut! It will seal up!

Make sure all the lights and cords you are using are UL approved and heavy duty. This is probably overkill but it’s better to have more protection than less. I am a big light person usually putting at least six strings on a six foot tree so I always use heavy duty cords. Nevertheless, our tree is never on unless there is someone in attendance. Always off when we’re in bed or away. Again, maybe overkill but can’t be too safe.

After New Year’s we will talk about recycling the tree.

KATHLEEN WEAVER-ZECH & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

TECHNOLOGY TIPS - DELIVERY FOR YOUR PARTY JUST GOT EASIER

Granted this is not something that has been in Chicago that long, but I have to admit, I'm very excited about it.

Of course, it's a new app called Minibar Delivery. Because it is still new to the Chicago area, it has not yet reached all neighborhoods. Still, this is one great option for all your holiday parties.  It can also be used for your company party if you're in charge.

The concept is quite simple.  Let's say you have to purchase beverages for an event you're hosting. It takes a lot of time to get all the spirits, wine, beer and/or mixers for the occasion. Now imagine going online and having everything delivered to your home within an hour of when you order it. Even better imagine you have all your libations purchased but you forgot ice and limes.  You can also use Minibar Delivery to have those last minute items delivered straight away.

And if you haven't purchased all your holiday beverages, now is a great time to go to the website, enter your delivery address and verify that they deliver to your area.  How great it would be to save a couple hours back for holiday fun and festivities!

CATHY MALLERS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - SOMETHING FOR EVERY TYPE OF SHOPPER DURING THE HOLIDAY SEASON!

We’re getting ever closer to Christmas and some of us have our Holiday shopping completed (not me) while others of us wait until after Thanksgiving (me) and even others of us wait until Christmas Eve (usually husbands)! Well, it doesn’t matter what category you fall into because Chicago has something for every type of shopper during the Holiday Season!!

For those of us who shop after Thanksgiving, here are your weekend options:

The One of a Kind Show and Sale Chicago 2014 sets-up on the 7th floor of the Merchandise Mart (222 Merchandise Mart Plaza) in the River North neighborhood on Saturday (10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.) and Sunday (10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.). This 14th annual show and sale features an alternative to traditional retail shopping with handcrafted creations offering a wide range of media which include accessories, ceramics, furniture, gourmet, holiday, kids, mixed media, photography and more for that one-of-a-kind gift! But there’s more for you to enjoy than just shopping. Also featured is live music, a crafting workshop, fashion shows, gourmet cafes and art demonstrations!!

The West Town Winterfest Jolly Trolleys located at EuroFurniture (2145 W. Grand Ave.) in the West Town neighborhood, and known as “South Pole Headquarters,” will offer you the opportunity to be taken by trolley to different retail locations throughout West Town for your holiday shopping excursion all while supporting the local businesses. Also, complimentary drinks and snacks will be served along the way! Other holiday attractions such as a pop up craft shop, live performances by ChiMe students and festive food trucks round out your trolley excursion for a day of fun this Saturday and/or Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.!!

The 27th Annual Victoria’s Craft Boutique & Holly Daze Café takes place at the Oldest Home in Chicago, Noble-Seymour-Crippen House (5624 N. Newark Ave.) in the Norwood Park neighborhood on Saturday (10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.) and Sunday (10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.). Here you will find handmade gifts such as personalized ornaments, festive holiday items and even baked goods along with the Holly Daze Café for a bite to eat (light fare & desserts) while you shop! For those of you that have completed your Holiday shopping, or prefer to wait until Christmas Eve for the best deal, here are your options for the weekend:

The Santa Hustle 5K returns for its 6th annual event at Soldier Field (1410 S. Museum Campus Dr.) in the South Loop this Saturday at 9:00 a.m. benefitting “The American Cancer Society.” A Santa Hat, Santa Beard, and a dri-fit sweatshirt (men’s & women’s sizes) will be provided to all 5K participants with awards being given for Best Individual Santa Costume and Best Group Santa Costumes. A customized Santa Hustle medal will be awarded to the top 3 male & female finishers in each age group, with the top 3 overall male and female finishers receiving a Santa Hustle embroidered stocking! Afterwards, it’s off to Navy Pier (600 E. Grand Ave.) in the Streeterville neighborhood for the Santa Hustle post-race party!! Don’t forget to bring your race bib to receive your food and drink specials being offered at Navy Pier’s establishments.

The GiveForward’s 7th Annual Ugly Sweater Pub Crawl kicks-off at Old Crow Smokehouse (3506 N. Clark St.) in the Wrigleyville neighborhood this Saturday from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.  Get into the spirit of the season by donning your UGLIEST holiday sweater and a chance to win the Grand Prize – Bulls Tickets and $50 Cash with 2nd Place receiving $150 and 3rd Place receiving $50! This year’s pub crawl schedule is Old Crow (12:00 p.m.-1:30 p.m.), Roadhouse (1:30 p.m.-3:00 p.m.), Barleycorn (3:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m.) and Sluggers (4:30 p.m.-6:00 p.m.).

Finally, if you really want to get into the spirit of the season, why not have your pet join you at the Ugly Sweater Party for Pets being hosted at Bentley’s Corner Barkery (1137 S. Delano Ct.) in the South Loop, or one of their other locations, this Saturday from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Not only do you have to don your UGLIEST holiday sweater but also your pet (good luck with that one)! This event features refreshments and carolers along with the opportunity to have your photo taken with your pet in front of their 36-foot Christmas tree and with Santa!! Post this photo to their Facebook page for a chance to win a raffle prize as well!!

Curious – What Type of Shopper Are You!!

SUE MOSS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS - LOOP, NORWOOD PARK, LAKEVIEW, GOLD COAST, EVANSTON

LOOP

Americans whose employers do not offer health insurance benefits have until Feb. 15, 2015 to take advantage of the Affordable Care Acts' Open Enrollment Period. People have a lot to say about the Affordable Care Act and here's your chance to learn the facts. Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Dept. of Cultural Affairs & Special Events is holding the 2014 Chicago Artists Health Care Town Hall on Friday 12/5 from 4p - 8p at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. This event is open to the public and geared to inform those in need of health insurance about the benefits and options that may be available to them. The event is geared towards helping uninsured artists, so request an appointment today!

 

NORWOOD PARK

The Norwood Park Historical Society is hosting their 27th Annual Holiday Boutique and Cafe from Thursday 12/4 through Saturday 12/6 at the Noble-Seymour-Crippen House, 5624 N. Newark Ave. Admission is only $1 to peruse the wares of 35 crafters for your Holiday shopping needs. Follow the link for time schedule.

 

LAKEVIEW

Tis the season to give so fundraisers are abound this month. Lakeview will be hosting the IMF Inaugural Holiday Soirée to benefit the Lurie Children's Wish List. The fundraiser will take place Friday 12/5 starting at 7:30pm at Justin's Bar, 3358 N. Southport Ave. Suggested donation is $10 at the door, or for $35 you can enjoy the drink package from 8pm - 11pm.

 

GOLD COAST

Tonight (Thursday 12/4) the Gold Coast is proud to invite you to the Grand Reopening of their Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa location at 919 N. Michigan Ave. You can purchase tickets to enjoy cocktails, appetizers, and desserts while deciding on which spa services or products you'd like to try. Come in for a proper pampering and/or purchase a gift certificate for the Holidays.

 

EVANSTON

Evanston's City Council will continue to decide how much the City budget will assist in the move of the Evanston Art Center to its new location on Central Street. According to the Evanston Round Table, the EAC will continue the transition into May 2015. However the debate continues on whether the Council will grant a waiver of the building permit and related fees to assist this non-profit, which was asked to leave its current location at 2603 Sheridan Rd. The discussion will continue in January 2015 and in the meantime, art activities, events, exhibits, and classes will continue for the public all the way up through their big move to Central Street.

 

CATHY MALLERS & DEAN’S TEAM CHICAGO

NAPERVILLE - HIGH-END LUXURY EXECUTIVE-STYLED COLONIAL - TOP DISTRICT SCHOOLS!

• 4,711 sq. ft., 5 full baths, 4 bedrooms, 3 levels highly-upgraded - MLS $967,500

  High-End Luxury in Suburban Naperville! This 4 Bedroom/5 Full Bath Executive-Styled Colonial Home Features a Two-Story Foyer, Grand Stairway. Formal Living and Dining Rooms!

Huge Gourmet Island Kitchen with Top Stainless Appliances – Thermador Range, Restaurant-Grade Refrigerator – 42" Hickory Cabinets and Custom Granite All Around. Eating Area Overlooks Custom Deck, Big Yard! Gleaming Mahogany-Stained Oak Floors!

Family Room Features Vaulted Ceiling – Fully Wired for the latest Electronics and Digital TV's. Bay Windows, Beautiful Gas Fireplace!

Main Level Office with Built-In Bookcase; Full Main Level Bath with Custom Fixtures, Slate Flooring!

Upper Level - Four Large Bedrooms – each with its own Walk-In Closet. Three Full Baths – one Jack & Jill Style with Dual Access!

Sprawling 28' Master Suite – Fireplace, Dressing Area, and Adjoining Private Balcony. Huge Master Bath – Double Sinks, Deluxe Jetted Tub, Half-Moon Window, Separate Shower, Bidet. One of the Largest Walk-in Closets You’ll Ever See!

Finished Lower Level Media Room – Oversized Windows Offer Tons of Light. Full Bath, and Master Control Room for Home Electronics. Zoned Heat, Air Conditioning. Central Vacuum!

Outside, in the Extra-Large Fenced Yard, you’ll discover a Custom-Made In-Ground Fiberglass Salt Water Swimming Pool, plus a Covered Hot Tub, and Custom Deck. Paver Patio. Beautiful Landscaping!

Top District U104 Schools – Neuqua Valley High School. Quiet yet Convenient Location – Kinloch Subdivision!

THIS IS THE ONE!!!

Property information

KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - REMEMBER SAFETY WHEN PURCHASING TOYS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

The American Academy of Pediatrics has a few tips for parents and others to remember when making selections for the children in their lives this holiday season.

There are many toys that should be avoided for children under the age of 8. Children can suffocate or choke on broken or uninflated balloons, save these for older children. Toys with pull strings should not be longer than 12 inches to avoid strangulation hazards. Be careful with ribbons on packages, very dangerous in the hands of little ones. Only battery operated toys at these ages. Plug in toys pose a chance of burns or shock. Battery operated toys should have a screw closing on the battery compartment to prevent little ones from opening. Batteries in general are very dangerous for children. Button batteries are found in many items besides toys that young ones come into contact with. Musical greeting cards, remote controls and hearing aids all use these. If a child swallows one, seek medical help immediately! They cause serious intestinal problems and can even kill a child. Magnets do the same. There are government regulations that concern parts that are choking hazards for children under 3. It is especially important for the ages of 0-3 to watch age restrictions to assure safety.

Parents that have children of various ages need to be especially vigilant. Older children’s’ toys need to be stored safely away where younger children cannot reach. Always select toys that suit the abilities, skills, age and interest level in children of all ages. Have a safe and happy holiday season.

KATHLEEN WEAVER-ZECH & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

TECHNOLOGY TIPS - AMAZON IS MAKING NEWS AGAIN

As you know, today is Cyber Monday. It's actually a marketing term that came about in 2005 during the holiday shopping season. It's based on the fact that the biggest shopping day online has traditionally been the Monday after Thanksgiving. Since that time, the holiday has become another sales day similar to Black Friday. Get excited, Cyber Monday is now offering full week deals for all us online shoppers!

And like the beginning of Cyber Monday or the yearly announcement of new phones from Apple, Amazon is making another big announcement. Last year, we heard about the drones and the idea of delivering products via a quadcopter. This year it's about robots.

The company is using more robots than employees at this point to manage their 10 fulfillment warehouses. The robots look like a Roomba (the automatic floor sweeper) and are called Kiva. Kiva's main role is to help with picking products as they have been ordered. In theory the robot will make fulfillment faster but cutting down on the time it takes to load and process products and packages.

When looking at the video of how this technologically advanced system works, you'll be amazed. The system allows the employees to be much more efficient and according to Amazon the seasonal help needed will increase with the hopes to maintain the new employees.

The drones are still on the table at this time and the robotic technology is has put Amazon on the cutting edge of fulfillment. Because of Amazon's advancements, other major retailers are getting into the competition.

CATHY MALLERS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - UNWIND WITH CHICAGO’S HOLIDAY THEATRE PRODUCTIONS!

Now that Thanksgiving is behind us (no pun intended) and Black Friday will soon be there as well, let’s take advantage of this last weekend in November to unwind with some of Chicago’s Holiday theatre productions before the next phase of the Holiday Season is in full-swing!

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical ends its engagement at The Chicago Theatre (175 N. State St.) in The Loop this Saturday with performances at 11:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. This classic Dr. Seuss Christmas story comes to life on stage with the spirit of the holiday season for children and adults alike. The New York Times has even stated that this Chicago production is “100 times better than any bedside story” featuring spectacular sets, costumes inspired by Dr. Seuss’ illustrations and the hit songs “Welcome Christmas” and “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” from the original animated TV special!

The Nutcracker runs through December 28th at the Chopin Theatre (1543 W. Division St.) in the Noble Square neighborhood featuring a modern production of this holiday feature with no ballet but with riveting dialogue, astonishing puppetry, original song and more fit for the entire family! This Saturday’s performances are at 3:00 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. while Sunday’s are 3:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m.

‘A Christmas Carol:  An Evening of Dickenian Delights’ runs through December 21st at the Dream Laboratory (5026 N. Lincoln Ave.) in the Lincoln Square neighborhood with a uniquely intimate and immersive presentation of this holiday classic presented by the Dream Theatre Co. Upon entering the lobby, you will immediately step into a Christmas of Dickens’ time featuring sights, sounds, smells and tastes of a long-ago Victorian holiday season along with hot cider and homemade sweets before sharing the journey with Scrooge and his three Christmas ghosts! This Saturday’s performances are at 3:00 p.m. & 8:00 p.m. while Sunday’s is 3:00 p.m.

A Christmas Carol runs through December 28th at the Goodman Theatre (170 N. Dearborn St.) in The Loop featuring Charles Dickens’ classic tale of Ebenezar Scrooge, played by Chicago actor Larry Yando, and the true meaning of Christmas! As the Chicago Sun-Times reports, “There’s no better way to get into the holiday spirit!”

Christmas Bingo: It’s a Ho-Ho-Holy Night runs through January 4th at the Royal George Theatre Center (1641 N. Halsted St.) in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. This production brings together Christmas and Bingo in an interactive show with Christmas trivia and goofy prizes so you better be ready for some actual bingo games (Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. & Sundays at 3:00 p.m.)!

HoliDaze runs through December 21st at Chicago Dramatists (1105 W. Chicago Ave.) in the River West neighborhood returning for its 2nd year with a series of original one-acts showcasing the zany, crazy, dysfunctional chaos of the holiday season (Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. & Sundays at 2:00 p.m.)!

It’s Christmas Goddamnit” runs through December 27th at The Annoyance Theatre (851 W. Belmont Ave.) in the Lakeview neighborhood with its annual Christmas comedy celebration at the James’ home showcasing dysfunction, disaster, distrust and even the accidental murder of the loathed uncle! Performances are on Saturdays from 8:00 p.m. to 9:15 p.m.

The Santaland Diaries runs through December 28th at Theater Wit (1229 W. Belmont Ave.) in the Lakeview neighborhood with David Sedaris’ accounting of his time in the trenches as an Elf at Macy’s during the holiday season! This production’s performances are on Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. & 9:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3:00 p.m. and has been called the “24 funniest pages ever written in the English language!”

So What Do You Say?  Time To Unwind A Bit!!

SUE MOSS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

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

PORTAGE PARK

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.

LINCOLN SQUARE

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!

LINCOLN PARK

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.

LOOP

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!

NAPERVILLE

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.

CATHY MALLERS & DEAN’S TEAM CHICAGO

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