Rock out with Inbound Kennedy and chow down on awesome burgers at the brand new Muscle Burger! Friday 3/7 at 10:00 p.m. at Muscle Burger located at 7021 West Higgins Avenue. No cover. Please call 773-467-4700 for more information.
It is never too late to celebrate Mardi Gras! Enjoy the sounds of Lakeside Pride Music Ensembles and partake in the bottomless bubbly at the Jazz Royalty Annual Benefit. Laissez-les bonnes temps rouler (let the good times roll)! Saturday 3/8 at 6:30 p.m. for $25 per person in advance and $35 at the door at the Center on Halsted located at 3656 North Halsted Street. Please call 773-381-6693 for more information.
Love her or hate her, the always entertaining Chelsea Handler is back! In Chicago for one night only to promote her newest book, Uganda Be Kidding Me. Sunday 3/9 at 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. starting at $75 per person at the Chicago Theatre located at 175 North State Street. Please call 312-462-6300 for more information.
So, you have made a LinkedIn connection but would like to meet some of those people face to face? Check out the Linked 'N Chicago live event! Ticket includes appetizers, one drink and a professional photo by Jorge took Your Picture. Saturday 3/6 at 6:00 p.m. for $20-$25 per person at Timothy O'Toole’s located at 622 North Fairbanks Court. Please call 312-479-2431 for more information.
Calling all oenophiles! Over 100 different wines will be showcased at the Naperville Winter Wine Festival. There will be hors d’oeuvres, wine demonstrations and you get to keep your Riedel wine tasting glass. Proceeds to benefit DuPagePads. Sunday 3/9 at 1:00 p.m. for $60-$65 per person at Hotel Arista located at 2139 City Gate Lane. Please call 847-382-3270 for more information.
CATHY MALLERS & DEAN’S TEAM CHICAGO
of the summer garden will bring a ray of sunshine in this bleak, bleak winter
we are experiencing throughout much of the country this winter. Spring will
come eventually even if that seems rather doubtful now.
Check out seed
catalogs for ideas for the garden. I don’t recommend starting from seed
for beginners but it will give you ideas for plants to look for at the garden
center. Be mindful of what zone
you are in to choose plants that will thrive in your area. Pay attention also
to the area your garden is in. Is there enough sunlight? Some vegetables need
more sun than others. Tomatoes need at least 8 hours a day. Cucumbers and
peppers don’t quite need as much.
vegetables appropriately. Each tomato plant needs about 2 square feet of space,
peppers about a foot and a half. Support each plant according to its’ growing
habit. Tomatoes can be caged or tied to a stake. Cucumbers do well crawling up
a trellis. You can plant in clusters of three or four cucumber plants and train
them to go up the trellis. Peppers do well tied to a stake. They will stand on
their own until the peppers grow but often will fall over with the weight of
If you are
a beginner start out with two or three different vegetables. Good starters are
tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers. These
usually are easy to grow and don’t get too crazy. A caution on zucchini, it
tends to really take off and you often end up with waaay more than you planned.
Grow what you like to eat. Lettuce does well in cooler weather. Pick often to encourage
more growth, spinach likewise. Depending on your soil type radishes and carrots
are fun to grow. Soil around Chicago is very clay like so a short variety
is appropriate. Well tilled soil is necessary for success with all vegetables,
especially root types.
small and have fun. Gardening is one of the best things for relaxation and it
has a calming influence after a long day at work. If you have a lot of stress
go out and dig in the dirt or pull some weeds.
KATHLEEN WEAVER-ZECH & DEAN'S TEAM
Pre-paid wireless has become very popular lately since people are trying to save money where they can. You can see the ads on TV and hear them on the radio. What's most interesting is that these programs are for people who have a good idea of how much time will be spent on their phones. What is most difficult to track is how much data you will use.
Verizon is now offering a new plan called AllSet. This plan allows customers to use a prepaid phone for $45 per month which includes unlimited talk, text and 500MB of data. If you want or need more than 500MB of data, you can spend between $5 and $20 to get 500MB to 3GB of additional data. The extra data is available for an additional 90 days. The benefit of this service is that you are able to add on what you need while still paying less than what you would normally pay for a contract plan. The drawback on the program is that you are limited to the 3G network.
AT&T also has the prepaid GoPhone plan. You have several options available. The one most similar to Verizon costs $60 per month and includes unlimited talk, text and 2GB of data. You can purchase 1GB of data for $10 and the additional bandwidth is available until the 30th day of your plan. Once again you are getting service at a reduced cost. The difference from Verizon is that this is the smart phone plan and so uses the smart phone network and is not limited to 3G.
Regardless of the plan you choose, you want to make sure you read the fine print on any program so that you get what you need exactly.
CATHY MALLERS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO
It is that time of year again when March blows in with an abundance of
celebrations beginning with Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday and plenty of
Cajun and Creole cuisine being offered around town along with music
and festivities planned for this weekend leading up to Fat Tuesday, March
up, there is The
World’s Largest Indoor Bar Crawl Presents Mardi Gras Crawl
this Saturday from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Navy
(600 East Grand Avenue) in the Streeterville neighborhood. Billed as
the worlds' largest indoor bar crawl, your ticket includes entry
into the Mardi Gras Crawl, two drink tickets, live music, drink
specials, mask face painting, games, raffles,
prizes and more! Best part? You never have to go outside!!! Please note there are no walk-up tickets available so you need to
purchase them online in advance.
other Chicago area establishments will be taking part in the
celebration of Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday as well and include the
(1638 West Belmont Avenue) in the Lakeview neighborhood will feature
drink and menu specials with an Abita Sampling on Tuesday (March 4th)
at 8:00 p.m.
(358 West Ontario Street) in the River North neighborhood features a
series of Mardi Gras events in their "Bourbon Street Lounge"
through March 4th.
Bar & Dining Company
(216 West Ohio Street) in the River North neighborhood not only
features drink and menu specials but will also feature live New
Orleans Jazz music from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on March 4th.
(1372 West Grand Avenue) in the West Loop neighborhood offers a festive
Mardi Gras celebration culminating with traditional and festive New
Orleans Jazz by a five piece live band.
will also be celebrating two benefits this weekend for the Special
Olympics Athletes in Illinois and the Special Olympics
Annual Special Olympics YPB Bar Crawl
will be held on Saturday from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. beginning at
(3443 North Southport Avenue) in the Lakeview neighborhood and continues
the crawl to seven other Southport establishments. Price of
participating includes a wristband and t-shirt to enjoy specials at
the eight participating crawl bars as well as offering some great raffle
Annual Chicago Polar Plunge
will be held on Sunday (10:00 a.m.) at North
(1600 North Lake Shore Drive) in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. Participants brave enough to plunge (knee high, waist high, full
plunge) into the icy waters of Lake Michigan will receive a free
t-shirt, the opportunity to win prizes in several categories that
include best costumes, top fundraisers and others, but most of all,
they will receive a warm
towel upon exiting the water! Afterwards, it is time for food and
beverages at the "Melt Down Party" being held in the North Avenue
Beach boathouse!!! By the way, word has it that Rahm Emanuel,
Chicago’s Mayor, and Jimmy Fallon, host of the Tonight Show, will be
participants in Sunday’s plunge. Will they be taking the "full
March Celebration Will You Be Blown Into?
SUE MOSS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO
Get ready to jam out to Kashmir, Stairway to Heaven and Whole Lotta Love! Check out this awesome Led Zeppelin tribute band, Tributosaurus. Saturday 2/28 at 8:00 p.m. for $40 to $50 per person at the Copernicus Center located at 5216 West Lawrence Avenue. This event partially benefits Youth Guidance. Please call 773-777-8898 for more information.
Director Todd Sklar debuts his latest comedic movie, Awful Nice, featuring the hilarious mishaps of two brothers as they travel to Branson, MO to renovate and sell their recently deceased fathers’ home. Tuesday 3/4 at 6:00 p.m. for $10 per person at the Landmark Century Centre Cinema located at 2828 North Clark Street. Please call 773-509-4949 for more information.
How fast can you eat three pounds of crayfish? Get in the spirit of Fat Tuesday with this crayfish eating contest! Everyone receives a complimentary t-shirt, winner receives $100 bar gift certificate, second receives a gift basket and third receives a cooler with Abita beer. Tuesday 3/4 at 6:00 p.m. for $20 per person at Cactus Bar & Grill located at 404 South Wells Street. This event benefits the New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity. Please call 312-922-3830 for more information.
Celebrate Chicago's Golden Soul with the Black Ensemble Theatre as they perform the music of Major Lance, Jerry Butler, Gene Chandler, the Chi-Lites, Barbara Acklin, Tyrone Davis and many more. Starting Saturday 3/1 at 8:00 p.m. and Wednesday 3/5 and Thursday 3/6 at 7:30 p.m. through 3/29 for $45 to $65 per person at the Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center located at 4450 North Clark Street. Please call 773-769-4451 for more information.
Is it time for spring yet? The Friends of the Oak Park Conservatory are hosting its annual Spring Open House and KidsFest. The years' theme is creepy crawly critters! Sunday 3/2 at 10:00 a.m. at the Oak Park Conservatory located at 615 Garfield Street. This event is FREE! Please call 708-725-2400 for more information.
CATHY MALLERS & DEAN’S TEAM CHICAGO
Painting is an inexpensive and easy way to brighten up and change the look of a room. Do not be intimidated! Modern paints go on easy with relatively easy cleanup. Most paints now are VOC free (VOC stands for volatile organic compounds). These compounds are not healthy, especially for children and pregnant women. The new VOC free paints are also less smelly than the old paints.
For most applications, a semi gloss latex paint is sufficient. Paints come in different gloss levels from flat to high gloss. Flat paint type is good for use on ceilings where no gloss is desirable. Look for washable paints in high traffic areas. Colors are, of course, an individual preference. Blues and greens are very calming and good for bedrooms. If you are daring and want to try a bold color, it is better to keep it to one wall as an accent. Most paint stores will sell small containers. Buy in a few different colors. Paint looks very different dried and on the wall in different lighting situations. Paint store can also match colors. Bring in a swatch of cloth or whatever you want to match. Just remember the sample card color might look very different on the wall.
Cutting in is most important for a clean even look. Use blue painters tape to keep a clean edge. Use a 2-1/2 inch angled brush to paint the entire outside border of the wall. Do not overfill the brush and use slow even strokes. Then use a roller to fill in the rest. Roll in an up and down stroke slightly overlapping. Use a drop cloth when painting. No matter how neat you think you are, paint drops will fall. Stay away from the cheapest drop cloths; they are little more than saran wrap. Go for a medium thickness that you will not mind throwing out.
I use disposable rollers in a medium nap. They are relatively inexpensive and it is easier to throw them out than wash. It is preferable to spend more for a good natural bristle brush. A good brush is an investment and need to be thoroughly washed with a mild soap until all traces of paint are gone. Hang by the handle with bristles down to air dry.
Many home improvement centers offer free painting classes. They get into different texture and other techniques for a special look. Experiment and have fun trying a new look for a room in your house!
KATHLEEN WEAVER-ZECH & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO
If you've been using the Facebook email technology as your main email, it's time to create a new email address to use. Back in November 2010, Facebook launched its email feature hoping that users would utilize the one inbox approach. Their blog post announcement stated that, "It seems wrong that an email message from your best friend gets sandwiched between a bill and a bank statement."
This service never really caught on at the level that Facebook wanted. It may be partly due to how the email was delivered and showcased. The email was not as robust as what most users would expect. Things like adding a CC or BCC to an email was not a feature nor was a Subject Line. Also, if you received messages those were prioritized over any email you received. The biggest issue was that the email feature was rarely updated.
The news today is that your email is now on auto-forward to the primary email on your account. You have the option to turn this off in your settings. You can also add an additional email - you know the one where you have all your junk mail sent - and choose that as your primary email. This way you will never get any notifications from Facebook.
We are one week closer to spring but, around Chicago, it
appears as if the cold and snow will not give up its grip anytime
soon! So we are just going to go about our weekend business in true
Chicago fashion with these fun upcoming events.
If you have not previously attended the 9th
Annual Polar Adventure Days, this is your last chance - for this year anyway! Head on over to Northerly Island (1521 South Linn White Drive) on
the Near South Side this Saturday at noon for a day that
includes exploring Northerly Island to meet and greet with some of
the live animals, watch some dog sledding demonstrations with huskies
from the Free Spirit Siberian Rescue, take part in many winter
activities, listen to some live entertainment, partake in creating
nature-inspired arts and crafts and much more! And, if you are one
of the first 500 people to get there, FREE hot cocoa for you!!!
Calling all dog lovers and I know there are many of you out there! The International
Kennel Club Cluster of Dog Shows takes place
this Saturday and Sunday (8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.) at McCormick Place
Lakeside Building (2301 South Lake Shore Drive) in the South Loop. Known as one of the largest all breed benched dog shows in the
country, this event not only draws top dogs from across the U.S. and
Canada to compete for prizes but also draws approximately 100,000
spectators who will be able to find breeds of all kinds, talk to the
breeders themselves and even get to pet the dogs! There also are
many other special events planned which include special obedience
demonstrations, agility, dog fashion shows, the coveted title of
“Best in Show,” a Kid Zone as well as many vendors, over 160
booths, offering a wide variety of dog-related products! WOOF!!!
Maritime Festival is being held this Saturday
at the Chicago History Museum (1601 North Clark Street) in the
Lincoln Park neighborhood with daytime activities taking place from
10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and an evening concert from 7:00 p.m. to
10:30 p.m. This festival features a myriad of seminars, workshops
and concerts relating to maritime history, battles at sea, shipwreck
diving, weather forecasting, model ships, commercial shipping,
canoes, kayaks, maritime music and art and much more along with
activities for the younger sailors such as model boat building and
“How To Be An Underwater Detective!”
Lastly, the Heat
It Up! Chili Cook-Off and Festival fundraiser
event benefits the Glenwood Sunday Market is this Sunday
from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Mayne Stage (1328 West Morse
Avenue) in the Rogers Park neighborhood. This family friendly event
filled with awesome fun features a chili cook-off, a cash bar, a
prize wheel and much more! Calling all chili fans!!!
Will the Cold and Snow Grip You This Weekend?
SUE MOSS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO
Sauganash, Chicago - Announcing a PRICE REDUCTION on 6101 North Kilpatrick Avenue, a 2,788 sq. ft., 3.5 bath, 4 bedroom, 2 story Colonial with a completely finished lower level. NOW MLS $927,400 - A Must See!
Awards season is in full swing! Check out Chicago’s biggest musical night at the 33rd Annual Chicago Music Awards. More than forty different genres of music will be featured along with special live performances. Sunday 2/23 at 6:00 p.m. for $33 per person for general admission and $75 per person for VIP at the Copernicus Center located at 5216 West Lawrence Avenue. Please call 312-427-0266 for more information.
Think you know your beers? Check out the monthly Beer Academy taught by a Goose Island brew master, this month featuring stouts and porters. Ticket includes beer samples and food is available for purchase. Wednesday 2/26 at 6:30 p.m. for $20 per person at Goose Island Brewpub located at 1800 North Clybourn Avenue. Please call 312-915-0071 for more information.
Is there a serial killer on the loose at the Field Museum or is it the curse of Ahtchu? Tap into your inner Sherlock Holmes and get to the bottom of this whodunit at the Watson Adventures’ Field of Screams Murder Mystery Scavenger Hunt. Saturday 2/22 at 1:30 p.m. for $33 per person (include general admission) at the Field Museum located at 1400 South Lake Shore Drive. For adults only. Please call 877-946-4868 for more information.
Sipping on gin and juice, laid back, dancing to the sounds of great jazz at this 1920s Gatsby-inspired gala, Gin and Generosity, the 34th Annual Evening of Hope. Saturday 2/22 at 6:30 p.m. for $350 per person at the Four Seasons located at 120 East Delaware Place. This event benefits the Boys Hope Girls Hope Scholars. Please call 847-920-2783 for more information.
What if you had a unique skill but it was unseen to others? Celebrated Chicago clown Dean Evans brings this story of a young boy to life through aerial acrobatic performances and live music in The Magical Exploding Boy and the Invisible Circus. Friday 2/21 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday 2/22 at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday 2/23 at 3:00 p.m. through 3/23 for $15-$20 per person at the Actors Gymnasium located at 927 Noyes Street. Please call 847-328-2795 for more information.
CATHY MALLERS & DEAN’S TEAM CHICAGO
winter has definitely been what my dear Grandmother called a "character
builder". We have been so involved with taking care of the outside of the house
that the inside often gets neglected. I
noticed this weekend that my houseplants were looking a little droopy. I then
thought of when was the last time I watered and couldn't remember! Actually, under watering is much less of a
threat than over watering. Plants slow down their growth in the winter with
less sun and cooler house temps. Watering every third week is usually
sufficient. Every other watering fertilize half strength with an all purpose
is definitely needed during the winter months for you as well as your plants.
If you are blessed with steam or hot water heat, lucky you! You can set a
container of water on the radiator for added moisture. Many of us with forced
air heat have humidifiers on the furnace that do help but are really not
enough. I supplement with tabletop humidifiers. Move plants away from registers
to conserve moisture. Spray bottles of water can also give plants much needed
moisture while washing leaves of dust.
plants a little further from windows. They do need the light especially in winter
but it can be 7 or 8 degrees cooler by the window, not good for most plants. In
any event make sure no leaves are touching the window which can freeze leaves
of more delicate plants.
With a little care
our houseplants will make it through the winter and be ready for the warmer
spring temperatures and increased sunlight.
KATHLEEN WEAVER-ZECH & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO
I don't know if you remember the original BlackBerry. In its day, it was considered the gold standard of PDA's. I guess that dates me a little but my point is that they have always had amazing and cutting-edge technology while still flying under the proverbial radar.
This past Thursday, BlackBerry announced an update to its BBM chat app for both Android and iOS platforms. This service used to only be available to BlackBerry users and has now crossed over to all devices. According to Jeff Orr, senior practice director with ABI Research, "This really shows that BBM is a messaging platform rather than just a marketing tool or gimmick the company is using to get more device sales. BlackBerry has showing that it's very responsive to the needs of the market - it continues to update and innovate on the platform."
BlackBerry Messenger is considered a mix between social media and texting. As an individual you can join a channel which is similar to a community space. Think Google Groups on your mobile device. Businesses and individuals create their own channels so it allows you to connect only with people who have the same interests as you.
BlackBerry continues to keep competitive by also integrating BBM Voice (similar to Viber), one-click file and/or photo sharing, Dropbox integration and location sharing. As a benefit to users, your text (or instant) messages are tracked so you know when they have been delivered and read. The one-click sharing is great especially since you can send up to a 6MB file. Like the commercial shows, location sharing is great because if you are running late, you can let others know where you are.
Use BBM to not only engage others but also invite your friends and family so you can share information privately and really interact with the people you want.
CATHY MALLERS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO
that Chicagoans will be seeing a lot of red this weekend! (NO, the St. Louis Cardinals
aren’t in town this weekend – not yet!!)
though Valentine’s Day is officially celebrated on February 14th, in
true Chicago tradition, it will spill over into the weekend with none other
than the Cupid
Undie Run on Saturday at John Barleycorn (3524 N. Clark Street) in the Wrigleyville
neighborhood. Hundreds of stripped-down runners will take it to the streets in
celebration of their fundraising efforts benefitting the Children’s Tumor Foundation! A pre-party kicks-off at 12:00 p.m.
with the run following at 2:00 p.m. then back to the bar for more fun until
Navy Pier (600 E. Grand Avenue) in the Streeterville
neighborhood offers the following events this weekend:
Valentine’s Weekend Brunch Cruises takes place on Saturday (Odyssey – 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. or 6:00
p.m.-10:00 p.m. and Spirit of Chicago
– 11:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m. or 6:30 p.m.-10:00 p.m.) with a complimentary glass of
champagne or mimosa, a rose and more! Not to mention the amazing views of the
Chinese New Year Lantern Celebration takes place in the Crystal Gardens on Sunday from 12:00
p.m. to 3:00 p.m. in celebration of the Year of the Horse featuring dance,
music, martial arts, crafts and a marketplace! This event kicks-off the 4th
annual cultural tribute of “Neighborhoods of the World” over the course of 8
weeks representing Chicago’s diverse ethnic communities.
The 2014 Chicago Auto Show wraps up
this Monday, February 17th, with “Family Day” at McCormick Place (2301 S. Lake Shore
Drive) in the South Loop. The Chicago Auto Show is the largest auto show in
North America since its inception in 1901 and continues to feature a complete
range of domestic and imported passenger cars, trucks and SUVs, plus concept or
experimental cars with nearly 1,000 different vehicles on display this year. But
there’s more! Attendees also can see numerous accessories and auto-related exhibits,
project, antique and collector cars, competition vehicles as well as special
appearances and events that include:
Sponge Bob (Sat, 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.), Former Bear James “Big Cat”
Williams (Sat, 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.), Toyota Auto Show Giveaway – Grand Prize
Event (Sun, 1:00 p.m.-1:10 p.m.), Former Blackhawks Forward Jamal Mayers (Sun,
4:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.), Radio Disney Road Crew (Mon, 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. &
3:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m.) and Child Safety Seat Presentations (Mon, 1:00 p.m.-3:00
p.m.) and much, much more!
Finally, RedEye’s Winter Games Hockey Viewing Party
takes place at the West End Bar &
Grill (1326 W. Madison Street) on the Near West Side Sunday at 11:00 a.m.
for those of you who are going through Chicago Blackhawks withdrawal! Here’s your
opportunity to get out of the house and watch our beloved Blackhawks Jonathan
Toews, Duncan Keith and Patrick Sharp of Team Canada face-off against Finland
in the Olympics!!
Will You See Red?
SUE MOSS & DEAN'S
Put on your dancing shoes for this fun family outing! Portage Park is hosting their annual Valentine’s Day dance with music by the Horner Park Jazz Band. Friday 2/14 at 7:00 p.m. for $5 per person at Portage Park located at 4100 North Long Avenue. Please call 773-685-7235 for more information.
"That day, she was amazed to discover that when he was saying 'as you wish', what he meant was 'I love you'. And even more amazing was the day she realized she truly loved him back." The Princess Bride is one of the greatest romantic comedies ever to come to the big screen! Pre-movie entertainment includes a costume contest. Friday 2/14 at 6:00 and 9:00 p.m. for $12 per person at the Music Box Theatre located at 3733 North Southport Avenue. Please call 773-871-6604 for more information.
So many amazing cars, so little time! Check out the last weekend of the 106th annual Chicago Auto Show. Every day until Monday 2/17 from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. (except 2/17, only until 8:00 p.m.) for $12 per adult and $6 per child and senior at McCormick Place located at 2301 South Lake Shore Drive. Please call 312-791-7500 for more information.
Want to dance sexy with your special Valentine? Learn the basics of salsa and rumba, sip sparkling wine and be entertained with a dancing demonstration after your lesson. Friday 2/14 at 6:30 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. for $85 per couple at the Ballroom Dance Chicago located at 4043 North Ravenswood Avenue. Please call 312-504-5866 for more information.
Through storytelling and song, meet five famous African American women who changed our America for the better: Phillis Wheatley, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Crispus Attucks’ wife and Gwendolyn Brooks. Tuesday 2/18 at 7:00 p.m. at the Naperville Public Library, 95th Street Branch located at 3015 Cedar Glade Drive. This event is FREE! Please call 630-961-4100 for more information.
CATHY MALLERS & DEAN’S TEAM CHICAGO
Even if we do not realize it, often we have more than one surface outside that requires snow removal. It is helpful to know the difference in safe snow removal recommendations for each. Paving is very expensive so make sure to take care of it!
With concrete driveways and sidewalks, calcium chloride rather than rock salt is your best bet. Rock salt can be corrosive to the rebar that reinforces the concrete. It dissolves and seeps underneath causing damage. Always follow the directions when using any ice melting product. Some new chemical ice melters do more with less. Be very sparing with salt on new concrete.
Asphalt driveways may become somewhat brittle as they age. Chunks of asphalt can be broken off easily with aggressive shoveling. It is good practice to not shovel or blow the snow right down to the surface, leave half an inch or so. It is important to keep asphalt driveways well maintained. Seal every 3-5 years and repair rough and broken spots.
Brick or paver walkways can be especially fragile during a year of so much snow and cold as we have experienced in Chicago. It is best to stick with plastic and other non metal shovels. Metal shovels and snow blowers can damage these sometimes uneven surfaces.
This winter, I have been using an old standby - table salt. It is gentler than and often just as effective as chemicals. Especially on those few sunny days, it is very effective. I also use table salt for our wooden stairs.
KATHLEEN WEAVER-ZECH & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO