Are the Holidays Still Meaningful?

When the calendar year starts winding down to its logical conclusion, the holidays ensue. In some sense it’s too bad that Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas & New Year’s Day are such a mash-up crammed in ungainly fashion into just 33 days this year. Given the year we’ve had, we’ll take it. Knowing what’s coming up, let’s enjoy … Continued

No Time Like Now for an Estate Plan

 #1  Everyone has something in common—you can’t take it with you when you die. Besides planning for asset distribution, an estate plan can help you accomplish other important goals regarding financial planning, care of your family, and even the management of your business.  #2

SW Lake Holiday Gift Guide

For the third consecutive holiday season the team is delighted to bring another edition of the SW Lake Annual Gift Guide. This is a representative list from some of the best locally owned retailers in the area. Your support of family businesses is vital to the overall economic health of the region. We’ve worked with each of the shop owners…

December 2019 Around Town

Toys in Time for the Holidays An innovative new store has opened in Deer Park Town Center offering a variety of fun & educational toys for kids of all ages. The brainchild of Mauricio Romy, a local father of two young daughters, he and his wife, Angela, opened Happki across from AMC Theater (next door … Continued

Barrington Area Taste Fest Features Outstanding Local Foods, Wine, Brews

The Barrington Area Taste Fest recently provided foodies all around SW Lake Co. the opportunity to sample, savor, and salivate over many of our best local culinary and beverage providers. A great mix of local legends and upstart newcomers showcased an array of beverages and cuisine to meet the most exacting of tastes for special events. 

Celebrating a Major Milestone for Interior Designer Loren Reid Seaman

Any anniversary is a big deal; celebrating a local business' 31st anniversary is a major accomplishment. Family, friends and clients gathered recently in the showroom of LRS Interiors to applaud the achievements and longevity of Loren Reid Seaman, an extraordinary interior designer. Long known for providing clients with "Design Therapy," Loren even serenaded the crowd with a memorable … Continued

Breakfast or Lunch, It’s Always Time for Brunch Cafe

Brunch Cafe, a steadily-growing local restaurant chain, is very much a family business. Brothers Andy and Ted Zatos, Andy’s brother-in-law Peter Revel and cousin George Reveliotis are co-owners/operators, proud of their growing brand. They're convinced their laser-like focus on customers, serving creative versions of classic dishes quickly with friendly, attentive service in a welcoming space, keeps people coming back.

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Restoring Nature

On a brisk fall Saturday morning, a dozen Boy Scouts from Troop 93 of St. Peter United Church of Christ arrived at the Oak Ridge Marsh Nature Park in Lake Zurich for some volunteer work. The goal for the day was to ensure native plants would endure for years to come.

Ron Hawking, Bringing It His Way

"Let’s make sure we move the piano back exactly how it was when we came in; we want to be sure we’re good citizens,” said Ron Hawking, as we finished our interview and photo shoot at Barrington’s White House.

Gratitude Without Boundaries

In a nation of immigrants it's no surprise the importance that Thanksgiving Day holds. The bonds of family, friends, sharing, reflection and gratitude run deep across this land. 

Grateful… For It All.

These are crazy times. As TV sitcoms of dysfunctional families battle reality shows of dysfunctional families for eyeballs (both currently losing out to the dysfunctional Washington, D.C.), the decent folks of SW Lake Co. are all too ready for a breath of cool autumn air. Fortunately, we’re blessed with November, and its focus on the … Continued

November 2019 Around Town

The Hampton Social Opens Sixth U.S. Location in South Barrington “We are very excited to be opening our sixth U.S. location in The Arboretum of South Barrington and truly appreciate the community support,” said owner Brad Parker. “This is an ideal spot to introduce The Hampton Social’s lifestyle concept—a dining hotspot that evokes East Coast … Continued

“In Vino Veritas” Returns with Gravitas, Celebration, and Unforgettable Stories

"IN WINE THERE IS TRUTH." This recurring storytelling event threw down the truth in spades in its much-anticipated return from an 11-month hiatus while Host, Magician, Raconteur, and Tale-spinner Extraordinaire Will Tremont survived a serious bout with cancer. Will opened with a laughing-through-the-darkness ride through his recovery journey; talented open-mic-storytellers followed, closing with Megan Wells, noted Chicagoland actress and … Continued

Huge Crowd Enjoys After Hours With the Davenports

Lisa and Jack Davenport, owners of Davenport Family Funeral Homes in Lake Zurich, Barrington and Crystal Lake, are well known for their hospitality. A horde of business owners experienced the warmth and comfort of the Davenport’s Lake Zurich facility last month during another legendary Lake Zurich Chamber Business After Hours.

How to Be Your Best Self for the Holidays

When the holidays come we always want to be our best selves. As the invites roll in for parties whether you’re hosting or just a guest, now’s the time to think about a style that complements the season and looks great on you.

New Traditions for the Thanksgiving Table

It’s that time of year again—your candy-hangover from Halloween's subsided, and you have decadent-Thanksgiving-dinner on the brain. Imagine a spread of turkey...potatoes...gravy...stuffing...green bean casserole...and fabulous desserts. So, how bad can one night of overindulgence be for your waistline? It’s estimated many people consume over 3000 calories from their meal and an additional 1500 from appetizers and drinks. Shocked? Yeah, I was too.

Bahamas Bounce Back

In San Salvador a white cross marks the spot in the Bahamas where Christopher Columbus supposedly first landed in the New World. He didn't stay long, however, being intent on finding riches elsewhere.

Spooky Travel

Gruesome wars, mysterious witchcraft, infamous killers, eerie underground crypts, and horrific exorcisms: let Europe's dark past send chills up your spine as you uncover the legends that haunt the cities at night. Descend into dark catacombs with walls entirely made of human remains. Hear accounts of medieval methods of torture, body-snatchers, beheadings, vampires, and cannibals. The ghost stories and disturbing…

Three Years Strong

Fans of great food in-and-around Barrington (and many from farther away because it’s well worth the drive) have discovered over the past three years how freshtastic a genuine farm-to-table meal can taste.

Indulge the Obsession

We’re blessed to live in a food destination. People from across the country travel to our area to indulge their foodie obsessions. Some recent examples spring to mind. This summer while picking up a rental car in San Francisco the counter agent, noting that I was from the Chicago area, talked about fulfilling a bucket … Continued

October 2019 Around Town

Poke Burrito Deer Park Celebrates Opening with Ribbon Cutting Barrington’s Chamber and Deer Park officials recently gathered to celebrate the opening of Poke Burrito, 20530 Rand Rd., Ste. 442, in Deer Park Town Center. “Poke Burrito is a unique fusion restaurant that combines Japanese, Hawaiian and Asian food using the highest quality, fresh ingredients and … Continued

Street Dances Let Music Lovers Get Footloose

Street dances in Lake Zurich and Wauconda are community music celebrations held right downtown. In Wauconda's 20th annual event there were firefighter water fights, a bags tourney, bouncy house, a late rain that didn't ruin the party, and bands rocking both the newly-dubbed Wauvinia Stage and Main Stage. (Photos by John Kelly, Stephen Neilson & Sara Orgler.)

Perfect Pairings

Editor's Note: From the intimate and newly-expanded Zin GastroPub, owner Bob Kryscha shared some of his favorite wine and food pairings:

Chef Brings Delicious New Food Concept to Deer Park

Jimmy Chen took a long, circuitous journey to opening his new restaurant, Poke Burrito, in Deer Park Town Center this summer. Born in China, raised in Iowa and once a teenage helper in the kitchen of an uncle’s restaurant, Chen put in lots of time and invested plenty of sweat equity before striking out on his own. His Deer Park…

Suburban Suds Sensations

Tucked away in an obscure corner of downtown Mundelein is a homey taproom sporting beer made in the backroom by the husband and wife team of Greg and Brigitte Bosacki. Scattered around the u-shaped bar sit some regulars. A family is over in the corner making carryout pizza disappear. Outside between the front door and parking lot a couple is…

Be Alert for Opportunities When Preparing for College Costs

Summer is winding down, and the kids are back-to-school. When children are young, logistics for the new academic year may involve little more than a trip to buy school supplies. But to send kids (or grandkids) to college someday, be prepared to plan far ahead to meet the financial demands. And, as part of that planning, be on the lookout…

Fall Fashion Trends

Stretching summer into fall is an art well practiced by the warmth-loving faithful in beautiful SW Lake County, who are always looking for the best leads on transitioning into autumn in style. 

Stately Home Defines Style in Long Grove

Tucked away on a private two-acre lot at the end of a cul-de-sac, marked by stately brick pillars, is a lovely brick Georgian home that is synonymous with style in the Village of Long Grove.

Defining Style is a Personal Journey

Style is a big part of my life. It was an honor to be approached about being the Guest Publisher for the annual Style issue of SW Lake Lifestyle. I can honestly say in my work as an interior designer it’s a thrill every time I start a new project. The process of meeting new … Continued

What’s Your Style?

Refer to a dictionary for a definition of style and you’ll likely find something like this: “A distinctive appearance, typically determined by the principles according to which something is designed.”

September 2019 Around Town

Home Automation Expert Expands His Business In August, ECO Automated Designs, a leading home automation integrator serving the Chicagoland area, has agreed to assume select business assets of FortiFi Technologies, a Barrington-based home automation contractor. ECO was founded in 2015 and is owned and operated by Erick Olech. A Control4 premier dealer with a certified … Continued

Celebrating Business, Events, Friends and SW Lake Award Winners

We love celebrating good times across the area. Here’s a collection of photos from good folks we call friends and clients. Want to share your Good Times? Go to the Contact Us page at swlakelifestyle.com, submit high quality photos with a short description and give us your contact info in case we have a question or … Continued

Vibrant Culture Makes Peru a Stylish Destination

When invited on an educational journey to Peru, my mother and I weren’t sure what to expect. What we learned caused me to absolutely fall in love with the country. From the vibrant culture and delicious cuisine, to the country’s magnificent landscape and friendly people, Peru is a magical place.

Home Automation: Easier Than You’d Think, Better Than You’d Imagine

 SW Lake: What’s your experience in home automation?  Erick Olech: ECO Automated Designs was founded in 2015 to serve the home technology needs of Chicagoland families. We are a full-service company offering design, product sales, installation and system maintenance. We are a Control4 premier dealer, and never sub-contract work to other vendors. I got my start in 2003 at Tweeter…

63,000 and Counting

The scene was surprising: guests gathered under colorful tents while music played. Bright-shirted volunteers directed parking, served food, answered questions and kept smiling broadly. A minister offered a moving prayer. The guests of honor walked around with a spring in their step and were incredibly well behaved. They looked totally spiffed up and thoroughly enjoyed the non-stop parade of other…

Pet Advocate Opens Shop in Wauconda

Colleen Berg is a single mom of five now-grown children, and a grandma of a beautiful granddaughter (with another grandchild on the way). She’s been very active in animal rescue for more than 15 years, and is an untiring advocate for better pet health. A serial entrepreneur, she owns a pet bakery called Animal Crackers that concocts an amazing variety…

Now’s the Perfect Time for Kids and Pets

Back-to-School. It’s a phrase that can strike terror in the hearts of children and evoke sweet relief for parents. In this issue of SW Lake Lifestyle we’re focusing on the positive as we present a collection of stories on Kids and Pets. If a child has trouble seeing the black (or more likely white) board … Continued

August 2019 Around Town

Classical Viola Recital by Stephanie Block An “exceptionally talented” and “virtuosic performer,” Block is a first-year Viola Fellow at the New World Symphony and has performed as a soloist locally in Chicago and internationally, as well as an award-winning chamber musician. In the Barrington White House’s intimate ballroom, this Barrington native will perform works by Beethoven and Zimbalist alongside … Continued

Celebrating the Best of SW Lake

SW Lake Lifestyle enjoys working with a variety of clients who help subsidize the magazine by investing their hard-earned money in marketing campaigns with us. All summer we’ve visited winners of the 2019 Best of SW Lake Awards as selected by readers. In 2020 the awards program will be enhanced with new categories honoring entrepreneurs, not-for-profits, volunteers … Continued

Main Street Center Celebrates Grand Opening

Main Street Center, in the heart of Wauconda’s downtown, is a revitalized multipurpose building with offices, a future restaurant and its anchor tenant, Threads, an apparel boutique. To commemorate its Grand (Re)Opening a Sunset Celebration was enjoyed by friends, family, civic leaders and fellow local business owners.

Time for Back-to-School Eye Care

Excellence in school begins with your child’s vision. An annual eye health exam should be at the top of every family’s back-to-school checklist.

The Time to Adopt a Child is Now

I discovered something a few years ago that is both interesting and sad. I’m a professional photographer who for 10 years for the State of Illinois photographed children awaiting adoption. The photos were displayed in “The Heart Gallery of Illinois” to increase their chance for adoption. As an adoptive mom with a home full of four children, our family’s plate…

Teens Teaching Science to Young Children

Science For Future (SFF) is a nonprofit organization founded in 2012 in California by Snigdha Banda, a high school student who noticed that many elementary school students in low income areas were not receiving much in the way of science instruction. 

Nature’s Gym

It's summer and I’m excited to get out and enjoy all the amazing health benefits that come with warmer weather. Now is the perfect time to set fitness goals, try new outdoor opportunities and eat healthfully. Spending time outside with the changing sights and sounds reduces stress, improves mood, boosts energy and enhances cognitive function. Simply stated: nature’s gym makes us…

Summer Smorgasbord

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 … Continued

July 2019 Around Town

Adoptive Parenting Events Coming Up Let It Be Us, a Barrington-based not-for-profit, recruits foster and adoptive parents for waiting children. In Illinois there are 18,000+ children in foster care, many of whom never return home. The group hosts events where prospective parents can learn about the issues and become part of the solution. The charity, … Continued

New Work-Share Space Opens

Shoppers at the Lake Zurich Office Max were greeted earlier this year by workers busily remodeling the store to include Workonomy Hub, a co-working space suitable for area entrepreneurs, start-ups and anybody who normally works from home. This is the second Workonomy Hub in the US.

Farm Fresh Goods Now Available at Seasonal Markets

Summer's when the eating is good, especially when shopping any of the bountiful farmers markets in the area. A few of the best: Libertyville, 7am – 1pm, Thursdays at Cook Park; Barrington, 3-7 pm, Thursdays at 105 S. Park St.; Wauconda, 4-7 pm, Thursdays on Main Street Downtown, and Lake Zurich, 3-7 pm, Fridays at Paulus Park.

Summer Sammy

Visit Kooker’s in Lake Zurich (620 E. Route 22, 847.381.3309) for this awesome-anytime summer sandwich: the Avocado BLT Flatbread.