We should remember that our houseplants can behave very
differently in the winter as they do in the summer. I know especially around
the holidays everyone is really quite busy but I’m finding myself even more
busy in January and February this year. With new goals and tax preparation in
full swing, sometimes I forget the last time I watered the plants. This is not
the worst thing that can happen, actually overwatering
leads to more plant deaths than under watering.
Plant growth slows down in winter. Also keep an eye on sun
angles. Winter sun is very low; you might have to move some plants
around so they can get as much light as possible. Fertilize ½ strength once a
If you have gas forced air it can get extremely dry in
the house, not a good environment for plants. I use a tabletop humidifier and
augment with misting the plants weekly. This also helps with dust accumulation
that impedes photosynthesis. The moisture helps the humans and pets in the
house as well.
Plants should be placed with attention to three things.
Like I said before light
maximization. Move further from windows where the temperature can be up
to 8 degrees cooler, plants can actually freeze if touching the window. Again,
with the forced air heat, keep plants away from the direct air flow from
Even though our winter has been relatively mild keep in
mind these suggestions to get our plants through in great shape.
KATHLEEN WEAVER-ZECH & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO
Every once in a while I come across an interesting website that I feel compelled to share with everyone. Let me tell you about BuyMeOnce. According to the website, BuyMeOnce finds and promotes products that don't break the bank, don't break the planet ... that don't break at all!
The website was created by Tara Button who was working in advertising and was inspired by her client, Le Creuset, a ceramic cookware purveyor who has a lifetime guarantee for all their products. Tara did some research and found that no other site had vetted and compiled a list of products that are guaranteed for a lifetime.
Tara says she is looking for the best sustainable products. One of the brands on her site is Patagonia, which offers free fixing of their clothes. Another company is Feelgood Eco Beds, which uses traditional techniques in building their furniture so that pieces are durable and last. Currently products are available for purchase in the US and UK. They are working on getting the best items available from every country.
There is a lot of research that goes into any product being added to the website. Not only does Tara read reviews and talk to consumers, but she also talks to the experts. For example, when looking at which shoes to add to the site she asked cobblers which shoes lasted and which were easy to fix. She will not place an item on the site before talking to experts because they have the experience with long-lasting products. Tara reads every one of her emails, currently a backlog of about 600, to find the next possible item to add to her website's growing list. The product must match their core mission. Any submission will be reviewed so long as you state what the product is and give a story behind why you believe it should be part of the site. According to Tara, approximately 60 percent of the traffic they currently have is coming from the US.
The site is also offering challenges to manufacturers. An example that Tara cites is an electric kettle. The kettle guarantees that Tara found are short and the online reviews support the claims of poor quality. "It's frustrating, and I feel it's immoral to make something that breaks and ends up in a landfill, and it's really short-sighted," says Tara.
CATHY MALLERS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO
first weekend in February is pretty jam-packed with a variety of events for all
Division Street Entertainment District and Green Curtain Events will be
presenting the Retro Ski Lodge Block Party
this Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at various participating venues in
the Gold Coast neighborhood (North Clark Street & West Division Street).
This retro ski-lodge themed bash is complete with crazy ski costumes, shot
skis, liquor luges and yes, even Yeti sightings! This event is guaranteed not
to miss. After all, it’s a Winter Fest, A Bar Crawl and A Festive Block Party
all rolled into one!!
It’s the Year
of the Monkey and the Chinese Community will be hosting their 33rd
annual Lunar New Year Gala Celebration
this Saturday (5:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.) at the Hyatt
Regency Chicago (151 E. Wacker Dr.) in the Streeterville neighborhood. Along
with an extravagant Asian-themed menu there will be a captivating program where
drummers lead the audience into the Grand Ballroom for an evening of
entertainment that includes a Color Guard Posting of Colors, a Grand
Performance of 4 Asian Cultural Groups with Lions and Flourish, Feeding of the
Lions and so much more! Your emcees for the evening are Linda Yu, Co-Anchor at
ABC-7 and Cary Chow, ESPN Anchor.
year’s “Be My Valentine” Family Event
will take place at The Ritz-Carlton
Chicago (160 E. Pearson St.) in the Gold Coast neighborhood on Sunday from
10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Now in its 9th year with all proceeds
benefitting the Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation, this fun-filled event not
only features a delicious brunch buffet but also offers many Valentine’s events
perfect for the whole family such as character appearances, performances from
the Jesse White Tumblers, All About Dance and Art Beat live, a magic show, a
sweet treat decorating station, cooking demonstrations, arts & crafts,
carnival activities and much more throughout the day!
it to New Orleans on February 9th for Mardi Gras? Well, the next
best thing would be attending one, or all, of the Mardi Gras Parties in Chicago
such as the Mardi Gras Crawl this
Saturday (2:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.) at Navy
Pier, Crystal Gardens (600 E. Grand Ave.) in the Streeterville
neighborhood. Billed as the largest indoor Mardi Gras crawl, this event
includes 10 bars along Navy Pier with 2 $3 gift cards valid at these participating
bars along with food and drink specials, live music, entertainment, games and
prizes! You never have to step outside!!
way, in recognition of Mardi Gras, and Fat Tuesday, Kanela Breakfast Club (1408 N. Milwaukee Ave.) in the Wicker Park
neighborhood will be serving up on Tuesday, February 9th, at 8:00
a.m. Paczki Pancakes! Hope to
see you there!!
the moment you’ve all been waiting for! Super Bowl
50 and the 46th modern-era National
Football League championship game which will decide the league champion for the
2015 NFL Season will take place this Sunday with kick-off at 5:30 p.m. between
the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos at Levi’s Stadium in Santa
Clara, CA! Haven’t been invited, or hosting, a Super Bowl bash? Well then,
checkout Super Bowl Sunday Specials
taking place around town and go cheer for your favorite team! Who is it?
Here's to Variety and
Ron Rivera’s Carolina Panthers! Did I
Just Say That?
SUE MOSS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO
Of all the store closings occurring
around the city since the beginning of the year, the news of Gene's
Sausage Shop and Delicatessen closing at 5330 W. Belmont Ave. on
1/15/16 is the least upsetting. The Polish sausage maker and grocer has been
occupying the space on the southern edge of Portage Park for 36 years but this
closing will give sausage master, Gene Luszcz, the ability to focus on his "semi-retirement"
plus business will continue as usual at the multi-level Lincoln Square location
which includes a rooftop beer and wine garden (4570 N. Lincoln Ave.). Worry not,
Portage Park. You will not be left with an abandoned commercial space in its
wake. Get ready for the Mexican grocery store Carnicerias
Jimenez that will be opening in its place soon.
The younger generation taught me a new
slang term, "Netflix and Chill." I'm happy to report that a couple of
bars are taking the literal meaning to advertise a new idea for getting you out
of the house to patronize a couple local watering holes. In the chilly months
of February and March, Old Town Pour House (1419 N. Wells St.) and Boundary
Tavern and Grille (1932 W. Division St.) are inviting
you out to binge watch TV. On Sundays, starting at 6:00pm, these bars
will feature half-priced bottles of wine and discounted beers while showing
multiple episodes of popular Netflix shows. Follow the link above to view the
The Wrightwood Neighbors Association
invites residents and customers of the Lincoln Park area to the 9th Annual Taste of Wrightwood
on Monday, 2/8, starting at 6:00pm at New Life Community Church (1110 W. Lill
Ave.). This free event will bring local government officials and taste samples
from participating restaurants occupying the area bordered west to east by
Lakewood Ave. and Halsted St. and north to south by Diversey Blvd. and
Fullerton Ave. under one roof for an "Eat and Greet" event. Participating
restaurants include The Twisted Baker, Sweet Station, Four Star Lounge, Pita
Pit, and several others.
There's a new and colorful art
installation coming to Grant Park this month by Tony Tasset, the artist behind
the 30-foot-tall eyeball sculpture that was on display at Pritzer Park in 2010.
The new sculpture called "The Artists
Monument" is an 80-foot-long multi-colored rectangular sculpture
made of steel and wood that resembles a colorful shipping container. Upon
closer inspection, the colored panels are etched with nearly 400,000 names of
artists ranging from well known artists to random people Tasset found on the
internet. His monument pays homage to all people creative and brave enough to
share their artistry with the world.
star is coming to Naperville. Actress Kate Hudson will be making an
appearance at Wentz Concert Hall (171 E. Chicago Ave.) of North Central College
on Saturday, 2/20, at 7:00pm to promote her book "Pretty Happy." Tickets
must be purchased ahead of time to attend this book signing and Q&A event
with Hudson who won the Supporting Actress Golden Globe for her role in Almost Famous in 2000. The event is
sponsored by Anderson's Bookshop located in downtown Naperville at 123 W. Jefferson
MALLERS & DEAN’S TEAM CHICAGO
It’s a sad time, the end of football. Let’s put together
some classic snacks that everyone will love.
Warm white cheddar, bacon and caramelized onion dip
Sauté a medium chopped onion in one tablespoon of butter
till golden, about 30 minutes. Cool slightly and mix with 1/3 cup mayonnaise,
1/3 cup sour cream, 6 slices cooked and chopped bacon and a 7oz package of
grated extra sharp white cheddar. Save a little cheese for the top. Put in a
small cooking sprayed ceramic dish and bake in a preheated 400-degree oven for
15 minutes or until brown and bubbly. Serve with flatbread or crostini.
Buy your avocadoes a few days ahead of time to ensure you
will have perfectly ripe ones for Sunday. Guacamole has a few basic guidelines.
You need an acid like lemon or lime juice, I use lime. It really cuts through
the richness of the avocadoes with fresh taste and prevents
browning. Spices include S&P, garlic powder and cayenne pepper. For
crunch and taste add finely chopped red onion and tomato. I usually drain the
chopped tomato on paper towels so as not to add too much juice. Choose your
peppers with an idea of heat
level. Jalapeno and serrano are hot enough for me. Remember, ribs of
the peppers are the hottest so remove if you want less heat. So mash your
avocadoes and add everything but the tomato. Let flavors meld in the
refrigerator then take out an hour before party time. Add tomato and let it
come to room temperature. Serve with authentic unsalted tortilla chips.
Separate 10 chicken wings at the joint. Toss with ½ cup
flour, ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon cayenne powder. Spread out on a rack over
a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least an hour. This makes sure the flour
coating will adhere. Fry in 375-degree oil that covers the wings until they are
golden brown, usually 10-15 minutes. Simmer ¼ cup butter along with pepper,
garlic powder and hot sauce to taste. Toss in wings and serve alongside bleu
cheese dressing and celery sticks.
Big Game and go Chico and the Panthers!
WEAVER-ZECH & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO
I know, I know, there's always something new on the horizon. These particular earbuds,though, have some really great possibility. The way noise cancelling technology works is actually quite interesting. Essentially, the technology produces a sound wave that deflects and cancels out the other sound trying to reach you. One of the earlier systems of noise cancellation was created for helicopter and airplane cockpits. And as recently as October 2015, noise cancellation was used to prevent boos from being heard on the television series Eurovision Song Contest 2015.
The company QuietOn has created new earbuds that are designed to provide not only noise cancellation but also hearing protection. Since the bud is placed directly in your ear, it's able to eliminate both high and low frequency sounds, which is different from the earphones you see some people using. They are not yet for sale on the open market, but available through an Indiegogo campaign for $130. The earbuds come with their own case which also acts as the charger. A single charge can last up to 50 hours and there are no wires. Once removed from their case, the earbuds are on and active.
Several of the applications they suggest on their page include sleeping in a not-so-quiet room, traveling, working in stressful and continuously noisy surroundings, personal relaxation and even for children or students suffering from concentration problems. According to the feedback already received, the earplugs are providing health benefits by reducing stress, increasing productivity and quality of sleep.
CATHY MALLERS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO
the last weekend of January is here and it may bring with it temps in the 40’s!
But don’t get too excited, it’s still winter and we’ve got February and March
to deal with yet. In any event though, why not get excited about this weekend –
40’s in January in Chicago on a weekend!!
annual Polar Bear Plunge hosted
by the Lakeview Polar Bear Club takes place this Saturday at Oak Street Beach (1000 N. Lake Shore
Dr.) in the Gold Coast neighborhood raising money for two local families in
need. Registration takes place at 11:00 a.m. along with photos and setting-up
for the Plunge itself at Noon. Afterwards, head on over to Fatpour Tapworks (2005 W. Division St.) and celebrate with all the
other polar bears! Why not do something crazy and good at the same time? After
all, it should be a glorious day for a Plunge with temps expected to reach 40!!
get a touch of the “spring-time itch” this weekend so why not head over to the Ideal Home Show Chicago and start
preparing for your spring remodeling projects. This show will offer ideas and
inspiration from Chicagoland’s top home and remodeling experts this Saturday
(10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.) and Sunday (10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.) at Navy Pier (600 E. Grand Ave.) in the
Streeterville neighborhood. This year’s celebrity guests and expert speakers
include: Chip Wade, HGTV’s Celebrity and Host on Elbow Room; Duane Draughton,
3-D Designer for HGTV’s Ahmed Hassan and Owner at VizX Designs, a premier
outdoor living design firm specializing in outdoor living spaces and swimming
pools; and Dr. Bob Wright, a relationships expert and professor of
transformational leadership bringing out the best in us. Also, besides
providing professional advice, these experts and others will demonstrate the
latest products and new trends to make your home a more beautiful place!
chase those Winter Blues away at this weekend’s Randolph
Street Monthly Market for the ultimate shopping, eating, shopping,
drinking, shopping, people watching experience, and, did I mention, shopping
experience at Beaux Arts Plumber’s Hall
(1340 W. Washington St.) in the West Loop neighborhood. From 10:00 a.m. until
5:00 p.m., both days, this indoor market has three levels of 125 vendors of
antique, indie designer, vintage, fancy and global foods as well as local
eateries, libations and live music all while you shop!
Sunday brings the 19th annual AON Step Up for
the Kids at one of Chicago’s tallest buildings the Aon Center (200 E. Randolph St.) in the
Streeterville neighborhood. Beginning at 8:00 a.m., participants will climb 80
floors to the top while raising money for the Ann & Robert H. Lurie
Children’s Hospital. Afterwards, the post-climb party will offer complimentary
food and beverages, live music performed by Spakl and a spectacular view at the
finish line on the 80th Floor as well as more complimentary food and
beverages at the food court on the mezzanine level before heading down to the
lobby to meet up with friends and family!
want to kick-back and relax after such an exciting weekend at The Logan Theatre (2646 N. Milwaukee
Ave.) in the Logan Square neighborhood with a screening of Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles (1974) at 11:00 p.m.
(Saturday & Sunday) starring Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder! Don’t forget
your Big bucket of popcorn!!
Why Not Get Excited?
SUE MOSS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO
Yesterday, Wednesday 1/27, a community
meeting was held by Ald. Anthony Napolitano to discuss plans for a new
liquor store coming to downtown Norwood Park. This would only be the
second packaged liquor store since the Norwood Park Chamber of Commerce and
Industry successfully worked to change the status of neighborhood areas from
"dry" precincts to "wet" ones several years ago. The
planned store, Wine and Spirits, will be located in the northern half of the
shopping plaza at 6060 N. Northwest Highway, while the southern half of the
plaza lies within a dry precinct. At residents' request, the liquor store will
refrain from selling single-serving beer containers of up to 40 ounces and will
close by 10:00pm.
The newer fitness brand, SoulCycle, is
opening its third location in the Southport Corridor (3423
N. Southport Ave.) and starts this Saturday, 1/30, with its first class
at 8:30am. SoulCycle combines dance moves while furiously pedaling on a
stationary bike for a full body workout. Newer soulcyclers start at the back of
the class and work to move up towards the front as they progress through the
program. Instructors guide riders with inspirational and meditative words
similar to yoga routines where intentions are set to engage your mind into your
I know it's only January and we have 4
long months before summer festival season restarts but NOW is the time for
artists and vendors to start applying for valuable space in Old Town's Wells
Street Art Festival scheduled for 6/11/16 - 6/12/16. This festival is one of
the best juried artist events the Midwest has to offer. While food and merchant
vendor applications are not due until May 1st, artists'
applications must be received no later than midnight on Friday 2/5.
The Evanston Environmental Association will
be holding their 14th
annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival at the Evanston Ecology Center
(2024 McCormick Blvd.) on Friday 2/5 and Friday 2/19 from 7:00 - 9:00pm both
evenings. The festival will showcase 9 short films each evening. By short, they
mean running times of 3 to 23 minutes per film. General admission is only $7
per night to view inspirational and informative documentary shorts that bring
attention to environmental issues such as the effects of toxic microplastics in
our oceans (Filtering A Plastic Ocean), the story of three power plants dumping
waste in a rural Pennsylvania community (A Line in the Sand), and much more.
The Field Museum is doing it again this
year! "Free February" will grant free basic admission for all
Illinois residents for the entire month of February. Don't forget to bring your
Illinois ID to save up to $22 for adult basic admission.
MALLERS & DEAN’S TEAM CHICAGO
Sales of existing home shot up last month somewhat
unexpectedly. From the way this year is starting out I think the spring market
is going to be robust. Right now inventory is low and many sellers are selling
quickly at good prices. Of course not all neighborhoods are having this success
so always consult with your Real Estate Professional before deciding to put
your home on the market. Here are a few suggestions for sprucing up the house
if you decide to list.
Stand at the front entrance. What stands out? Move
furniture away from the wall and arrange in clusters around a focal point like
a fire place. Wash the windows and walls if you’re not repainting. Make sure
window treatments are minimal so light flows in. Old tired carpet needs to be
replaced and if there’s hardwood, refinish.
Consider cleaning out the basement
first. It might be time to get a dumpster. I know I have stuff in my basement
that I haven’t looked at in 20 years. Cleaning out the basement will give you a
place to stash stuff (neatly boxed) from cleaning out upstairs.
Think about moving half your stuff to storage. Take
anything seasonal and out of date from your attic, garage and basement. Remove
half the furniture and all the knickknacks. If the house feels empty to you
that’s what you want.
Remove ANYTHING personal. This includes, family pictures,
religious symbols, anything political, even sports affiliations. The home needs
to look as impersonal as possible. Think of model homes you have seen. Buyers
need to see the house and imagine how they could live there.
Kitchens and bathrooms should be spotless. Box up all
your brushes, shampoos, hair dryers, etc. and store under the sink or in a
closet. There should be hand soap and a pretty hand towel. A small decorative
candle is nice too. Clear the kitchen counters of everything but the coffee
maker and perhaps a jar of utensils. Kitchen or dining table should have nice
matching placemats with a bowl of fruit or flowers.
Bedrooms also need personal items put away. Dressers and
night stands cleared. Throw a nice duvet and decorative pillows on the bed.
Kids rooms should have neatly made bed and toys and books stored away. Buyers
expect closets are for storage but make sure doors can be opened without danger
of things falling out. Better yet pack and put away in storage any clothes and
shoes that you won’t need for a few months.
Buyers today are extremely sensitive to smells in a home.
I’ve had buyers turn away from the front door of homes with a bad smell. Pets
and smokers can make a lovely home turn off buyers. If possible, have smokers
go outside. Clean cat boxes daily. Vacuum pet hair and brush furniture. Check
out oxygen systems like Wave
Ventilation for odor control.
Too summarize, clean, clean, clean! Take away half your
stuff, depersonalize, think model home. Get ready to move!!
WEAVER-ZECH & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO
I've had all my numbers on the Do Not Call list for some time now. Although, over the holidays and into this year I saw an uptick in the number of unwanted calls I was receiving so I did a little digging into why this was happening. Here are some guidelines for understanding how this free service works.
You need to register all numbers separately. You can do this using the website (three at one time) or calling 888-382-1222 from the phone you want registered. When you register online, you'll receive a confirmation email with a link to complete the registration within 72 hours. Don't miss the window or you'll have to re-register. Registering your number doesn't automatically stop all calls. It usually takes about 31 days on the registry for sales calls to stop. The Registry only prohibits sales calls, which means you'll still receive calls from politicians, charities, debt collectors, telephone surveys, companies you've recently done business and the like. If any of these callers are told by you not to call again, they have to honor your request (make sure you document the date of the request).
Let's say you receive an illegal robocall. According to the FTC, you should not interact in any way. There are options usually to press buttons so you get taken off their call list or talk to a live person. These are usually tricks and may lead to you receiving more calls. The recommendation instead is to file a complaint directly with the FTC. In addition you'll want to speak with your phone service provider to see what options you have for blocking specific phone numbers and the cost, if any.
One thing to remember is that your number is permanently on the register unless you remove it or it is disconnected. If you move, you'll have to register any new numbers and old numbers are automatically removed from the list. In certain instances, you need to re-register your number. Three of the most common are when your phone gets disconnected and reconnected, you change the billing name on your account or you change calling plans. You do not have to worry if your area code is changed though.
CATHY MALLERS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO
what to do this weekend. Only that you don’t want to stay cooped-up in the
house. Well then, this weekend may just
be the perfect opportunity to “un-coop” yourself!
annual Chicago Restaurant Week
offers 14 belt-busting days (through February 4th) at Multiple Locations throughout Chicago
for an extraordinary culinary experience with top fare at value pricing. This
annual culinary celebration offers special prix fixe menus for lunch and dinner
with over 350 restaurants participating which include 54 new participants this
year. Here’s your opportunity to indulge in Italian, Spanish, French, Thai and
many other cuisines from neighborhood favorites to downtown hot spots! And
don’t forget to bring your appetite!!
Paramount’s Laser Spectacular takes place this Saturday (6:30 p.m.)
at the House of Blues (329 N.
Dearborn St.) in the River North neighborhood. With amazing custom-designed
lighting effects and the use of many lasers, this Laser Spectacular works with
sights and sounds in tandem with the music of Pink Floyd. The first half of the
show features the entire “Dark Side of the Moon” album while the second half
features the Best of Pink Floyd with songs from “The Wall,” “Wish You Were
Here,” and others! Of course, a live Pink Floyd concert is a wholly unique
experience in itself and second to none, but this is definitely the next best
Celebrating David Bowie, one of the most influential
musicians of his era, will take place at the Elbo Room (2871 N. Lincoln Ave.) in the Lakeview neighborhood this
Saturday at 8:00 p.m. with his music being played as well as his movies being
shown! Rest in Peace David Bowie!!
Chitown Beernival will be raising funds for “Autism
Speaks” this Saturday from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Joe’s Bar (940 W. Weed St.) in the Goose Island neighborhood. This
beer-themed carnival includes a beer pong tournament, a flip cup tournament, a
carnival and prizes all rolled into one! Afterwards, head on down to Sully’s House (1501 N. Dayton St. – 2
blocks from Joe’s) for the after-party!!
11th annual Johnny
Cash Festival returns to the historic Irish American Heritage Center (4626 N.
Knox Ave.) in the Mayfair neighborhood this Saturday from 6:00 p.m. to 1:00
a.m. Hayden Thompson, Iron Horse, Hodie
Snitch and others are on hand for this festival along with a surprise guest to
create the best night of the year! I guess you’ll have to attend to find out
who the surprise guest is!!
Finally, Disney On Ice Celebrates 100 Years of Magic
will be at the Allstate Arena (6920
Mannheim Rd.) in the suburb of Rosemont this Saturday and Sunday with
performances at 11:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. You and the little ones
will be charmed by a cast of over 50 that include Mickey Mouse, the Mouse-ter
of Ceremonies, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, the Disney Princesses and many
other Disney favorites! Relive the magic of Disney over the years for the
ultimate Disney experience!!
“Un-Cooped” – Which One Will You Be?
SUE MOSS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO
In case you weren't aware, yesterday,
January 20th, was Penguin Awareness Day.
It's a day to not only reflect on the cuteness of the penguin but to realize
that their numbers are decreasing due to extreme global environmental changes. In
honor of the day, Lincoln Park Zoo's Facebook page posted a video Sneak
Peak: Plans for Robert and Mayari Pritzker Penguin Cove. The Zoo already has a penguin exhibit but they
plan to expand and welcome African penguins in the fall of this year.
Family Tree Resale at 5066 N. Lincoln
Ave. is not your ordinary thrift store. They partner with local schools and
charities to offer vouchers to people in need for free merchandise. This time
they are partnering with Swedish Covenant Hospital which treated four
firefighters who were injured in a Rogers Park apartment fire on January 11th
that displaced many residents. Together, Family
Tree Resale and Swedish Covenant would like to extend vouchers to these
families with help from the community. Anyone donating or purchasing items to the resale store from now until February 14th who say that they are doing so on
behalf of Swedish Covenant will earn points for their charity that will
eventually convert towards vouchers to be distributed to those made homeless by the
Rogers Park fire. This unique thrift store model was created by owner Elizabeth
Basa and last year her program gave out $60,000 worth of vouchers to people in
We're helping the City of Chicago's
Department of Streets and Sanitation (DSS) spread the word that there are new
guidelines for recycling in 2016! This applies only to those blue recycling
carts found in most alleys. The new rule is NO plastic bags are to be recycled
along with the usual glass, aluminum, plastic bottles, cartons, paper, and
cardboard. These items can be thrown into the blue carts loosely, just be sure
to empty out any containers. Only plastic containers that are marked with the
recycling codes of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7 are able to be processed by recycling centers. DSS has
added a NEW Recycling Guide to
their website that includes a fun interactive quiz to keep everyone informed.
Do you or anyone you know love 19th
century history and would like the opportunity to share that interest with
others in an interactive turn-of-the century setting? The outdoor museum of Naper Settlement at
523 S. Webster St. is looking for volunteers that would help run activity stations
and exhibits. Naper Settlement was established in 1969 by the Naperville
Heritage Society and offers a family friendly "living history experience"
that is open year round. Teenagers, 9th through 12th graders, and adults are
welcome to apply for volunteer Building Interpreter and History Connector positions
with upcoming information meetings set for Tuesday, 1/26 7:00pm - 8:30pm, or Saturday,
1/30 10:00am - 11:30am. Contact the Director of Organizational Resources at
630-305-5256 or via email at email@example.com for more information. Costumes are
not required for these volunteer positions.
The Special Service Area collective of
business owners and residents, Six Corners Association, is working to salvage
historic elements from the former Bank of America building located at 4747
W. Irving Park Rd. before it is demolished and converted into a 26,500 square-foot
retail space by Clark Street Development sometime this year. Six Corners
Association works to keep the commercial area bordering the neighborhoods of Portage
Park, Old Irving Park, and North Side beautiful and thriving. Their intention
is to take away elements of the building that had been in existence since the
1920s and put them on display, and to give furnishings to local nonprofit
groups. Today at 1:00pm happens to be Six Corners Association's first
Commissioners meeting of the year. Would you like to become a
member? Individuals, non-profits and businesses are welcome to join.
MALLERS & DEAN’S TEAM CHICAGO
winter has finally come I thought it would be good to share a couple easy slow
cooker recipes. Here you will find an easy beef stew and some delicious lemon
stew you need to brown 1 pound of stew
meat. Use a heavy pot or frying pan with high sides. Get the pan
screaming hot and add canola oil. Fry in batches so as not to crowd the pan.
Transfer the meat to the slow cooker. Brown one onion cut in ½ inch pieces till
soft. Add I clove garlic minced and cook two minutes. Add to slow cooker.
Deglaze the pan with 3 cups beef broth. Add to slow cooker along with ½
teaspoon dried thyme, ¾ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, ½ tablespoon Worcestershire
sauce and one bay
leaf. For vegetables add ½ pound baby carrots (cut in half if large),
two stalks celery sliced diagonally and ¼ cup barley. The barley thickens the
stew while adding great fiber. Cook on high around 3-4 hours. For the last hour
add I can of whole white potatoes, like the carrots cut in half or quarters if
large. This is a little cheat but I find these potatoes hold up better and are
already cooked so you are just heating them. Along with the potatoes add 2
teaspoons tomato paste to brighten the flavor.
pepper chicken is just as easy. Mix 1 teaspoon pepper in ¼ cup flour. Dredge 4
skinless chicken breasts that have been cut into thirds. Fry in butter till
golden, chicken finishes in the crockpot. Place chicken in a cooking spray
coated crockpot and sprinkle with one package of Good Seasons® dressing mix.
Pour over ½ cup lemon juice and ½ cup chicken broth mixed. Cook on low for 3-4
hours. Serve over rice or noodles.
KATHLEEN WEAVER-ZECH & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO
Each year at this time, I like to do an assessment of my technology so that it is protected. I've been using Carbonite
for several years. It is a back up system that is always running in the background of your computer. It will back up your files as often as you tell the system. The back up is also stored in the cloud for convenience, which means you can download a file directly from the cloud onto any of your other devices. It's very easy to install and cost effective. They offer both personal and business plans so be sure to pick the right one for your needs.
This year I have also been looking at CrashPlan by Code 42
. This is also an offsite back up provider that has several options you can choose. You can do a free back up to a local drive, another computer, the cloud or all three. It is available for Mac, Windows and Linux. The encryption is 448-bit and can include a private key option, making their security military grade. CrashPlan will use the least amount of CPU power so as to keep your RAM open for other programs. An interesting feature that is provided is called Backup Sets where you can determine how often certain files or folders get backed up.
With computers being hacked more frequently, it's definitely worth the time and effort needed to add this level of security to your documents, photos and music.
CATHY MALLERS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO
seem as if January should be over with by now? But it’s not! However, here in
Chicago the City is offering some great events to help you take the chill off
during a month that’s certainly not in a hurry to leave!!
The Chicago Boat,
RV & Strictly Sail Show has cruised into McCormick Place – South (2301 S. Lake
Shore Dr.) in the South Loop along with the Midwest’s largest sailing show, “Strictly
Sail Chicago,” to bring the best deals on hundreds of boats, RVs, sailboats,
marine accessories, camping equipment, fishing gear and travel destinations to
its boating lovers and outdoor enthusiasts so they can get a head start on
their summer outdoor fun! Features of the show include a Strictly Sail Advanced
Seminar Series, a Progressive Insurance Boat School, an RV Handyman Campsite, a
Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series and more, while interactive activities
for the kids include a life-size pirate ship full of hands-on fun, the “Be a
Diver Pool” where kids learn to scuba dive in a heated pool, a Paddle Fest with
free paddle sports demos, a Huck Finn trout fishing pond and much more!
Sketch Comedy Festival
wraps-up this weekend (Saturday – 3:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m. & Sunday – 1:00
p.m.-8:00 p.m.) at Stage 773 (1225 W.
Belmont Ave.) in the Lakeview neighborhood. Every hour, on the hour,
performances take place in each of Stage
773’s four performance spaces averaging 20 shows a night and is now the
largest comedy festival of its kind in the world since its debut in 2002! More
than 11,000 patrons annually brave Chicago’s winter to take the chill off at
this comedy oasis! Remember, laughter is the Best medicine!!
I bet you
didn’t know that on January 16, 1919 that Prohibition was signed into law as
the Eighteenth Amendment leading to alcohol prohibition and an era of
bootleggers, gangsters and scoundrels here in Chicago! If not, then join the ComedySportz Theatre (929 W. Belmont
Ave.) in the Lakeview neighborhood this Saturday at 6:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m. or
10:00 p.m. for Prohibition
Fortnight as the theatre is transformed into a 1920’s
speakeasy with plenty of hooch tastings, bootleggers, the Downtown Chicago
Bosses, photo opportunities and more to show you the true meaning of
Prohibition! Bottoms Up!!
didn’t know about prohibition here in Chicago, perhaps you need to brush-up on
the City’s history and there’s no better way than Chicago Authored held
at the Chicago History Museum (1601
N. Clark St.) in the Lincoln Park neighborhood on Saturdays & Sundays
(through January 31st). This crowd-sourced exhibition is held in
their new café-style space where writers of the past and present define the
character of Chicago. Explore this collection of works that take a look into
the City’s neighborhoods, communities and homes, that discover hidden places
you were never aware of, that show you how you’re a part of Chicago’s
reflection and much more for a better understanding of the complexity of
Square Indoor Farmers Market returns to 2755 N.
Milwaukee Avenue in the Logan Square neighborhood from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
every Sunday through March 20th.
Food, fun and music take place all winter long at this market with
vendors that include Bot Bakery, Gayle’s Best Ever Grilled Cheese, Jake’s
Country Meats, Katherine Anne Confections and others! Who needs to wait for
Will You Be “Chilling
Off” This Weekend?
SUE MOSS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO