Off the Menu: Deserves to be on Your Menu

A cookbook to consider adding to your kitchen is Marissa Guggiana’s new “Off the Menu: Staff Meals from America’s Top Restaurants.” The dishes featured aren’t the food the restaurant serves its patrons, instead, it’s the food made for the wait and kitchen staff, and served as the “family meal,” usually just before dinner service begins. […]

The Reality of Reality TV Stardom

We’ve all had the reality star fantasy. Sure, you’d need a suit of armor to defend yourself against any one of “The Real Housewives”—and there’s that nightmare about munching toddler-sized insects while waiting to be voted off the latest island on “Survivor.” Yet, deep down, we all think we could do it better. Maybe, as […]

Libertad: Thrilling New Nuevo-Latino Restaurant in Skokie

Here’s why I love my job: because every so often, I get to discover a new place that thrills me… even if it’s a 40-seater in an unexpected location.   Such is the case with Libertad, a Nuevo-Latino restaurant located in downtown Skokie. My advice? Run, do not walk – okay, drive quickly – to […]

Better or Bust: TeenSphere App

When teens have a question about eating disorders, drugs or bullying, we’d hope they’d come straight to an adult they trust (like their mothers!) for reliable information. But as Suzanne R. Harman, a psychotherapist in private practice who specializes in adolescents and a creator of TeenSphere, notes, “Adolescents are notoriously private about feelings and hesitate […]

4 Ways to Inspire Kids to Love Reading

Get your kids reading (and loving it) with these easy tips. 1. Turn Reading into an Adventure “Make books come alive and strengthen your children’s comprehension skills by turning stories into real world activities,” suggests Anna Piepmeyer, director of literacy programming at Open Books. Activities can be as easy as whipping up a batch of […]

Don Quixote Restores Young Lovers in Joffrey's World Premiere

Forget “Man of La Mancha.” The Joffrey Ballet has mounted a vividly re-imagined version of the epic story by Cervantes. In this colorful world premiere, Don Quixote remains an aging nobleman dreaming of chivalry, with a bumbling sidekick and a skinny horse. But he is also like Saint Valentine, rescuing a young woman from an […]

5 Ways to Reduce Your Pets’ Carbon Paw Print

We’ve heard about reducing our carbon footprint—but what about our pets’ paw print? Here a five ways from The Nature Conservancy to help your pet tread a little lighter: 1. Purchase Eco-Friendly Gifts Give your furry friends products made from recycled materials or sustainable fibers and with nontoxic ingredients. A hemp collar and matching leash […]

Hiring a Handyman: 6 Ways to Get the Job Done

Any job, big or small. That’s what the ad says. But how do you know if you’re getting quality work at the right price, not to mention protecting yourself if something goes wrong? 1. Know the Rules Be wary of any handyman who professes to do it all. Electricians and plumbers, as well as roofers, […]

Better or Bust? Noise-Cancelling Headphones

These headphones are well constructed, comfortable, sound great and are a solid value at their price-point. Audio-Technica’s ATH-ANC23 QuietPoint Active Noise-Cancelling In-Ear Headphones and ATH-ANC7b QuietPoint Active Noise-Cancelling On-Ear Headphones succeed in their claim of cancelling 90% of background noise in areas with air conditioning and crowd chatter. The earbuds come with 3 sets of […]

Fall Gardening Tips

Just because summer is over doesn’t mean it’s time to let your garden go. There are still many great things you can do in your garden throughout fall. Rearrange your garden – Early fall is a good time to rearrange your gardens. Take advantage of plant sales, and divide and transplant overgrown and underperforming perennials. […]