3 Books and a Dirty Chai Tea Latte

 The Alchemist  Paulo Coelho  BarnesAndNoble.com   $13.04

Thinking About Year-End Investment Moves

We’ve still got a little time left in 2018, but it’s not too soon to start thinking about some year-end investment moves that might benefit you. Here are a few possibilities (although not all will apply to your situation):

Gratitude Matters

I’ve always been a huge fan of the year-end Holiday mania.  Even when it drives me right to and past the brink of exhaustion, to the point of yelling at the Thanksgiving turkey “Baste THIS, buddy!”,  or wondering how similar driving a snowplow down village streets is to those fun times in my youth at … Continued

December 2018 Around Town

Threads Boutique Celebrates 5th Anniversary; Main Street Center Plans Announced Threads Boutique recently celebrated its 5th Anniversary with a festive party that creatively leveraged the new space being updated in the 118 S Main Street building at the heart of Wauconda’s historic downtown, soon to be rebranded as “Main Street Center”. During the festivities, it … Continued

Tasting as Good as it Looks

Annually the biggest feedbag around is the Great Barrington Tastefest, a smorgasbord of fabulous food and drink sponsored by the BACC and this year, hosted by the Onion Pub & Brewery in Lake Barrington. The 2018 edition featured more than 25 local restaurants, breweries, wine & spirits purveyors, bakeries and caterers. Everybody went home happy … Continued

Winter is Coming… So Get Out and Play

Wilmot Mountain, up Route 12, is a place where generations of Lake County families have enjoyed the very best of winter.

Couple Launches Clubby New Men’s Grooming Services in Deer Park

A new men’s grooming salon has opened in Deer Park, launched by Kelly and Frank Difino of Long Grove. The Gent’s Place has the look and feel of a club, more than just another barber shop. Publisher Michael Beightol interviewed Kelly recently to share their story.

Be Festive and Party Ready

When the calendar flips to December, we know it’s end-of-the-year crunch time. Holiday decorating can seem daunting, but doesn’t have to be, with a little thought and planning. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or are just looking to welcome winter with some festivity, decorating your home for the holidays should be fun and satisfying. By applying a few simple tips,…

Caring Women’s Connection

Caring Women’s Connection (CWC) is a 501[C]3 not-for-profit organization that began as a social group in 1958. Since that time, we have expanded our membership to the surrounding area and updated the mission to building connections with its members, the community, and charities they support, and to raise money through fundraising events and donations to help charitable organizations serving women and…

NOT Home for the Holidays

As November calls us to reflect upon what we’re grateful for, we reached out to those whose work we too often take for granted: our local First Responders, who dedicate their careers to running into the face of danger to keep us safe. While we celebrate being home for the holidays, in many cases they’re not able to be, as…

Gratitude Matters

That little nip in the air triggers the certainty that fall is winding down and winter is coming. This is the time to tap the pause button before the frenzy of the holidays takes over.  We thought it appropriate in this issue to pay our due to the first responders here in SW Lake Co. … Continued

Grateful for Local Treasures

    As holidays and colder weather approach, we’re making a point to stop by and enjoy some of our favorite local treasures: great places to stop and shop, grab a bite, savor a sip, take a hike, choose a special gift, and more.  We explored Barrington’s elegant White House, warmed with Cook Street Coffee, and gnoshed Ambrosia’s delicious pastries. We…

November 2018 Around Town

Queen Bs Improv – Family Holiday Show The Queen Bs are an all-female improv group from the Chicago suburbs. They use audience suggestions to create scenes on the spot. Prepare to laugh, giggle, chortle and guffaw your way through this holiday-themed show. It’s a night of comedy you won’t want to miss! This event features … Continued

Wauconda Cruise Nights Bring the Muscle to Main Street

Now in its fifth year, Wauconda Cruise Nights have proven to be a family-friendly way to spend a Tuesday evening. Even two weather-prompted reschedules didn’t dampen the enthusiasm this season, as the small-town Main Street charm provided a perfect setting with its range of restaurants, boutiques, and lots of great spots to "shop local" for … Continued

Shop Local on Black Friday

On the day after Thanksgiving (Black Friday) news reports are filled with stories about crazed shoppers competing for deals. We’ve all seen the pictures, read the stories under screaming headlines and seen the broadcasts.

Arranging Flowers the Joy Jones Way

Long Grove Coffee Co. was transformed into a flower shop as Joy Jones of Joy Jones Planning & Design Co. recently held a flower arranging workshop for an enthusiastic group of 20 women. Hosted by Ethel Robey-Berger, manager of Long Grove Coffee, Joy walked her guests through the steps to create stunning centerpieces. Learn more … Continued

Travel Tips For Holidays

With the holidays just around the corner, we've got helpful advice for keeping in the holiday spirit while braving the airports.

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

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.

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

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

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…

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…

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…

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

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

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,…

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…

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:

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.    

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.

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

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

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.

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

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…

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