Putting together our July 2019 SW Lake Lifestyle reminded me yet again what a splendid smorgasbord of life experiences is served up hot and steaming, without fail, in beautiful SW Lake County.

It was way too much fun being the photographer fly-on-the-wall guest at the equipment fitting session to kick off the newest season for the Lake Zurich Flames, a fine local youth football and cheerleading organization. Kids of all shapes, sizes, ages, and (yes) genders waited (im)patiently in line to try on pads, uniforms, and more. The obvious attention and focus on safety was apparent, and reassuring. Displayed prominently on the check-in table were a couple of helmets that exhaustive safety testing had proven not up to the task of another season and were, well, honorably discharged from duty. Adult coaches and older league players assisted the new kids in finding the right gear for a perfect and safe fit. Several sisters and younger siblings tagged along to help schlep the newly acquired treasures, and I did notice one young lady who wasn’t just carrying someone else’s gear but getting fitted for her own: Layne Nordstrom, the program’s first female player (who was just joined by a new gal who signed up for the new season). You can see Layne on this month’s cover, helmet and gear in hand. 

Other warm-weather treats in this month’s issue include a delicious Avocado BLT Flatbread sandwich courtesy of Karen and Jerry Swidergal of Kooker’s in Lake Zurich; the opening celebration of a new shared-space workspace, Workonomy; a quick guide to days and times for some of the best Farmers Markets in SW Lake Co.; some great tips by Sean Lee of Resurrection Fitness on getting outside in “nature’s gym” to stay fit; how Paul and Tammy at MSO are plugged in and charged up to let you try the latest in stylish, sporty electric bikes by Pedego; tips on how to make your own safe, natural bug repellents at home; and an engaging, informative inside scoop by Regina Hope, LZ Flames supporter and mother of three, on the topic “Why My Sons Play Football.”

See you Around Town,


Stephen Neilson

Editor and Chief Photographer


ON THE COVER:  Layne Nordstrom, gearing up for her next season playing with the Lake Zurich Flames. 

PHOTOGRAPHER: Stephen Neilson