Getting Fresh

After some modest attempts at amateur gardening the past few years, managing not to kill a random pepper plant here and there (thankfully, while leaving my wife to design our lovely flower garden), I suddenly decided during the seemingly endless chill of last winter that if other determined folk could grow their own food, well … Continued

October 2018 Around Town

Chicken Farm Controversy, Part 1 An industrial-scaled chicken farm in unincorporated Lake County that generated concern among residents in a mostly residential area south of Highway 59 and Route 22 has been resolved, says Maria Peterson, candidate for Lake County Board (District 17). “People like me move to SW Lake Co. for lots of reasons, … Continued

Italy: It’s Foodie Heaven

One of my favorite travel destinations, one also extremely popular with our clients, is Italy! If you are a buona forchetta (one who loves food), then Italy is your destination, where it’s just as important to be passionate about food as it is to actually eat well.

Partners For Progress Host 14th Annual “Denim & Diamonds” Gala

Partners for Progress, a local not-for-profit organization providing specialized therapies (focused on hippotherapy: exercise via horseback riding), recently celebrated their successes improving the quality of life of over 200 children and adults with physical, mental and emotional disabilities at their annual fundraising gala at Canlan Sports Complex. The well-attended event enabled PFP to continue helping hundreds benefitting from … Continued

Tropical Vibe for Local Leaders

The only thing missing was a steel drum band when Sue Shimkus, owner of Lake Zurich Travel & Cruise, hosted a Business After Hours for a packed house of Lake Zurich Chamber members. Grass skirts, flowed shirts and flip-flops was the apparel of choice as revelers enjoyed an evening of networking fun beneath a setting … Continued

Authenticity is the Most Important Food Trend

Wandering into Neoteca in Barrington one early morning the founder of this Hough Street restaurant was nowhere to be found while a pot of beets simmered away on a stove.

Innovations in Kitchen Design Create Exciting Possibilities for Home Chefs

Some of the hottest trends getting home chefs excited these days are due to an array of new technological innovations offered from some of the top brands in kitchen appliances.

Home Cooking: A Passion

Food has been both my vocation and my passion. I’ve worked in corporate food service, at a juice bar, for a world renowned chocolatier, and I write a food blog (“Simple Fresh Yum.”) I love it all, but home cooking is my greatest pleasure. Around February of this year, I stumbled across a YouTube program, "Diane in Denmark,” that seemed…

Winter Is Coming

 Article Bonnie Conte | Photography Stephen Neilson  Avalon is open 7 days a week, at the upscale Deer Park Town Center.  We provide haircare, nailcare, skincare, massage therapy and make up artistry.  Inspiring our guests, we create looks that are customized to their natural beauty and lifestyle.  As the seasons change, we offer new options.  Fall 2018 is here and we…

Seven Easy Steps to Hosting a Successful Event

 Article Joy Jones | Photography Sherry Hagerman  With the change of season comes time for parties, galas and holiday gatherings. As the temperatures get cooler, the social scene heats up. If you are in a party-throwing mood, here’s a few simple steps to take for throwing a memorable event.  DEVELOP A BUDGET

Falling into Fall, SWL Style

Like beauty, style is in the eye of the beholder. The team at SW Lake Lifestyle consider ourselves incredibly lucky to have such generous companies in the area who know a thing or two about what’s going to be in style as the weather cools around here. Marcy Sparr and Annie Lang run a marvelous … Continued

Fitness is the Ultimate Fashion Statement

 Article Sean Lee | Photography Stephen Neilson  There's no trend hotter or accessory more coveted than a body in great shape. A fit body radiates confidence, strength and self-respect. It isn’t just about the clothes you wear, but the body that they drape and cover. The ideal body is NOT a skinny one, but a fit one. Fitness is not…

Fashion Shifts with the Season

 Article Marcy Sparr & Annie Lang | Photography Stephen Neilson  Fashion this fall is all about cozy chic. The trend is toward real clothes that are easy to wear, comfortable and totally in style. Look for effortless fashion that boasts plenty of flair with exciting trends in prints, details and textures.   For our photo shoot with the team from SW…

Award-Winning SW Lake Company Rocks “That 70’s Party”

Progressive Components, a Wauconda-based global supplier to the tooling and molding industry, enthusiastically celebrated their employee's achievements in retro-style at the "That 70's Party" extravaganza at The Original Sundance Saloon. Progressive, a recognized leader in employee engagement and retention, won top spot in "Best Places to Work" at the Plastics News Executive Forum this year after finishing … Continued

September 2018 Around Town

“Christmas in July” Helps Feed Those In Need The Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce (BACC) Women’s Biz Net (WBN) Council hosted a successful “Christmas in July” Food Pantry Drive that gathered food, household and personal care items to benefit local food pantries.  From canned and boxed goods to paper products and household supplies, the WBN … Continued

In Style: Fresh Foods

 Article and Photography Graham Blus  Summer calls for celebration, fresh meals and gathering with family - so we set off to explore some of our local farmers markets. Fresh veggies and fruits abound, while live music and food gives everybody something to do. Get out and enjoy the close-to-home produce and support your local farms!  Buffalo Grove: Sundays 8am-12:30pm, 951 McHenry Rd,…

Kids on the Farm

 Article Sara Blue  At the Montessori School of Long Grove, the classroom extends beyond four walls.  An important part of the curriculum in all levels includes “going out.”  Our elementary-aged children spent a week in May at The Country Experience – Amstutz Family Farm in Elizabeth, Illinois.   The Country Experience is a working farm, built for meaningful fun. The children…

Pets And The People They Keep

 Article Michael Beightol | Photography Stephen Neilson  A stroll through practically any neighborhood in SW Lake Co. reveals a common scene no matter if it’s on the tree-canopied lanes of Jewel Park in Barrington or along the broad streets of Hawthorn Woods: dogs are out walking their owners. Think about that. With rare exception a dog is in front, straining…

Why I’m In It for the Long Swim

 Article Doug McConnell | Photography Susan McConnell and Jake Cohen  I’ve been a swimmer all my life. At the University of Illinois I was a walk-on for the swim team. My college coach, Don Sammons, is perhaps the most genuinely upbeat person I have ever met, and the lessons he shared about goal setting, hard work and cherishing outcomes will…

Three Things We Like About The Buick Regal

 Article Michael Beightol | Photography Stephen Neilson  For Baby Boomers station wagons were de rigueur for the suburbs. My family had a succession of American-made iron for hauling the six of us around town or across the country.  Recently I had the good fortune to drive a Buick Regal TourX from Marquardt of Barrington. Here’s the top three reasons why…

Focusing on the Customer Experience

 Article Monica Zylinski  Focusing on the Customer Experience  “Necessity is the mother of invention” is true.  This applies to any kind of business created to solve a common problem. I had no idea that one day I would create an exterior cleaning company to address a problem for homeowners that I didn’t even know existed until I bought a home…

A Passion for Pets

 Article Kristin Wojcik, DVM | Photography Stephen Neilson  “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” This quote truly captures the spirit of Skycrest Animal Clinic. We treat your dear pets like our own, and strive to go above and beyond what’s expected.    

Don’t Let Your Investments Go On “Vacation”

 Article Provided by Mark Hornok  It’s vacation season! Americans spend a lot on their summer getaways – over $100B in 2017 per Travel and Leisure magazine. One part of your life should never take a break – your investments.  To keep them working efficiently for you, consider these suggestions:

Fly-by-Nighters Look to Scam Homeowners

 Article and Photography Michael Beightol  Fly-by-Nighters Look to Scam Homeowners  Remember spring’s never-ending rains? What felt like sub-tropical precipitation meant a lot of area homeowners were inundated with too much rain with no place for it to go. Constant rainfall and leaky roofs are the perfect environment for scam artists to operate.

Enjoy the Dog Days

With the delivery of this issue of SW Lake Lifestyle we’re officially in the Dog Days of Summer. Around here that means hot, swampy weather that slows everybody a step or two and drives the family pet to the shade of a backyard tree (or air conditioned house). Summer’s heat coincides with the year’s daybreak … Continued

August 2018 Around Town

Long Grove Bridge Being Repaired After Damaging Accident The historic Long Grove covered bridge, after sustaining serious damage by a truck driver who carelessly drove through the bridge despite multiple signs warning that his truck was too heavy and too tall, has just begun undergoing repairs.  As of this writing no new date has been … Continued

Barrington Uncorks A Spectacular Evening

When Barrington uncorks its 14th try at, well, anything: it's money in the bank that it'll be an experience worth taking a sip (or 20) of. Outstanding food from local providers was taken to the next level with a taste one of the more than 50 wines poured for Uncork Barrington's guests, all in support of multiple … Continued

Pavilion at Breezewald Park Features Sunsets

There’s a range of beer and wine, plus sunset views over the lake, at the new Pavilion at Breezewald Park in Lake Zurich. Built by the Public Works Department, and operated by The Scoreboard Bar & Grill across the street, Mayor Tom Poyton says the pavilion is an amenity that will bring folks downtown.

Summer Road Trip to Monroe County’s VINO FEST

 Article Michael Beightol  Tucked away in the southwest corner of Wisconsin, in the small burg of Tomah, plans are underway for an extraordinary weekend-long celebration: VINO FEST!  With a hard-to-get grant from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, and eager participation from winemakers drawn from across the Badger State, this first-of-its kind celebration is drawing rave notices from wine aficionadas looking forward…

July 2018 Around Town

BHS graduate receives Cragan Conservation Scholarship Karen Portillo (2nd from left in photo), 2018 graduate of Barrington High School, has been awarded the Joe Cragan Conservation Scholarship offered by Citizens for Conservation and funded by the Cragan family, worth $20,000. Portillo will attend the University of Illinois at Chicago and major in civil engineering, specializing in … Continued

Upside: Down Under

 Article Sue Shimkus  #1  Beautiful Scenery  From tropical rainforests in the North to endless deserts; from snow-capped mountains to the largest coral reef in the world; from stunning beaches to green valleys and large plains of red sands; Australia is a wild, untamed continent and you never have to travel far to experience breathtaking scenery.  #2  Unique Wildlife

The Curious Case of the Mistaken Fiddle

The dress was, obviously, white and gold.  Except to those equally certain it was, obviously, blue and black. I was reminded of that recent online meme as we fielded a few questions about our June issue, which featured on our cover one of the finest professional musicians in the area, Steve Gritman, fiddling up a … Continued

Barrington Chamber Celebrates Fashion & Honors Students

Annually the Barrington Chamber produces a mash-up event that showcases fashions from local merchants AND awards much-needed cash to high-achieving grads of chamber members. Honored this year with Lauren Brown Memorial Scholarships are Maggie Horak (Illinois); Jacob Horcher (Michigan); Mary Horcher (Illinois State); Sarah Messerschmidt (Valparaiso); Payton Muhs (Western Illinois); Tucker Priola (Wyoming); and Eleanore … Continued

Gary Lang Cheverolet

Gary Lang was awarded the prestigious Mark of Excellence award from Chevrolet as Gary Lang Chevrolet Buick celebrated their 35th Anniversary in business with a festive, multi-chamber event at their dealership last month. Many attendees including employees, friends, and chamber of commerce members won a variety of giveaways, and Lang thanked his team for a great 35 years.

Drink in the Sun

 Article and Photography Graham Blus  With summer in full swing, we decided to highlight some of the best outdoor patio spaces in the area. Whether you are in the mood for a meal, a light summer snack or a glass of something refreshing, these SW Lake County spots can satisfy those taste buds while you're soaking up the rays.   1. Neoteca 

Summer Steals

 Article Michael Beightol | Photography Stephen Neilson and LUXE  LUXE WEARHOUSE  Leave it to the style dream team of Marcy Sparr and Annie Lang, owners of LUXE Wearhouse, to come up with a collection of must-have summer fashion items. Their choices for SW Lake County ladies are bright, breezy, sunny and wonderfully affordable. All of these looks pair perfectly with…

Game On

Have Some Outdoor Fun this Summer with Lawn Games Perfect for any Get-Together, then Cool Off with a Couple Sweet Treats. Article Nicolette Martin Mölkky Throwing Game Dick’s Sporting Goods, $29.99 Playing Mölkky: In this Finnish throwing game, use a wooden pin (mölkky) to knock over wooden pins (skittles). Be the first to reach exactly 50 points to win! … Continued

Men of Distinction

 Article Michael Beightol | Photography Jake Cohen and Stephen Neilson  Mike Marr, Owner & Head Brewer of Buffalo Creek Brewery  Tell us about your business.

A Guy’s Gotta Have A Place to Hang

 Article Michael Beightol | Photography Michael Beightol & Stephen Neilson  Guys need a place to hang out. It's essential to our character. Everybody needs a safe space to just be themselves.  

A Walk in the Woods

 Article Jake Cohen | Photography Jake and Laura Cohen  It's important for me to take my kids outside.  I believe this teaches them to appreciate life's simple graces. 

Urban River Getaway

 Article Michael Beightol | Photography Allendorfer Family  Isabella Allendorfer described her goals for designing a second home just up the road as a place that would be “chic, slick and glamorous.” What she and her husband, Brian (a fifth-generation residential & commercial contractor) achieved was much more: it’s an urban river getaway for their family to spend quality time together.…

Local Man Goes Hollywood

 Article Michael Beightol  “Yeah, it’s definitely a ‘dramedy,’” Perlman says. The absurdist nature of Andover’s central premise raises question after question. It’s storytelling made for the independent film market with fun performances by Jonathan Silverman (“Breakfast at Bernies”), Scout Taylor-Compton (“Halloween-2007”), Angela Kinsey (NBC’s “The Office”) and Richard Kind, a Second City alum.  Scott Perlman answered the phone on the…

June 2018 Around Town

PGA Women’s Championship This Month at Kemper Lakes Looking to see championship caliber golf this summer? Look no further than Kemper Lakes Golf Club in Kildeer for the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, June 26 – July 1. See up-close-and-personal big-name players that include Danielle Kang (2017 winner),  Brooke Henderson, Chella Choi, Lexi Thompson and Inbee … Continued

It Started Way Back Last Year

The process for publishing this monthly magazine actually began last year. That’s when our team put together the themes for every issue. That’s followed up with meetings – quarterly and monthly – to plot the actual progress for what your SW Lake Lifestyle Editor, Stephen Neilson, calls “making a magazine.” There’s setting assignments, checking with … Continued

Long Grove Beer Fest

The Long Grove Beer Fest brought craft beer lovers from near and far. The warm weather created a perfect setting for live music, delicious food and quality locally-made beer. Mike Marr, founder and chief brewer at Buffalo Creek Brewing in Long Grove, curated a broad range of beers from across the region to an appreciative … Continued

Avalon Fashion Show Raises Funds for Clean Water

Bonnie Conte, owner of Deer Park’s Avalon Salon & Spa, is well known for supporting good causes. A passion of hers is clean water so she recently banded together area fashion and jewelry boutiques, recruited runway models and provided hair and make-up to raise funds for the Great Lakes Water Alliance. Bonnie’s granddaughters strolled the … Continued

Dude Food

Whether You’re Cooking for One or Cooking for Many, These Easy Dishes are Sure to Impress Anyone Gathered at Your Kitchen Table Article Nicolette Martin FRIED CHICKEN SANDWICH WITH JALAPEÑO SLAW   INGREDIENTS (SANDWICH)   1 cup all-purpose flour   1/2 teaspoon ground paprika   1/2 teaspoon garlic powder   Cayenne pepper, to taste   … Continued

Girlfriends on the Go

 Article Sue Shimkus  Thinking of an unforgettable girlfriend getaway but don’t know where to start? Here are some ideas to get you packing and enjoying the pampering and togetherness that traveling with your women friends and family provides.  

Women of Distinction

 Article Michael Beightol | Photography Stephen Neilson  The TV Star  Nancy Loo (WGN-TV)

May 2018 Around Town

Paxem Celebrates 15 years in Business Paxem is celebrating 15 years of business this May! Paxem offers a wide range of moving-related services from moving your belongings to helping you sell items on consignment. The Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce and the Palatine Chamber of Commerce will be joining together for a fun few hours … Continued