Celebrating the Best of SW Lake Lifestyle

We are so happy to present the winning companies in the Third Annual Best of SW Lake Awards. This program honors an esteemed group of local businesses who are deemed by readers, customers, clients, patients and local families as the very best for what they do.

Is February the Cruelest Month?

What is it about February? Plenty. All the debts of the holidays come due; too many calories and bills to pay. Mother Nature, in addition to still depriving us of much needed sunlight, can still have a few diabolical tricks up her sleeve. Lingering snow piles turn into foreboding, grit-encrusted humps in parking lots and … Continued

February 2019 Around Town

Style Optique Opens in The Arboretum of South Barrington Local businesspersons recently celebrated the opening of Style Optique, 100 W. Higgins Rd., Ste. E30 in South Barrington, an optical boutique offering comprehensive eye exams, contact lens fittings, the latest lens technologies, and high-quality frames from independent lines. “Our team strives to provide the best eye care experience … Continued

Chili On Fire in LZ: These Guys Put It Out

The Lake Zurich Chamber sponsored the annual Firehouse Chili Cook-Off with the Lake Zurich Fire Department, and the department was en fuego with their tasty varieties of firehouse chili. Firefighter/Paramedic Jason Henricksen's chili was voted the winner, only after the crowd took repeated taste-tests of the many chilis on hand "just to be sure". And of … Continued

Good Times Abound in SW Lake County

It's a cornucopia of good times these days in SW Lake Co. and neighboring environs! From new business openings, to anniversaries celebrated, to classes attended and skills developed, to the promise of getting out and enjoying winter while we've got it, our cameras are out there capturing all this local goodness to share with you.

Romantic Santorini

Plan your Romantic Getaway to the Historic Island in the Aegean Sea Article Nicolette Martin Stay: Sun Rocks Boutique Hotel Sun Rocks Boutique Hotel is considered one of Santorini’s most romantic hotels. The elegant couples-only cliffside hideaway—named a Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice 2018 award winner—features luxe, minimalist rooms and suites carved into the side … Continued

Britain: Take the Cobblestones Less Traveled

You may fancy seeing the smashing sights in London, but you can experience the undiscovered places telling the true stories of Britain’s green hills and seaside cliffs. Beyond London there are winding paths and windswept moors ready to be discovered. Learn of legends and lore from bustling squares to peaceful pastures, from classic castles to quaint cottages, and crashing waves…

SW Lake Lifestyle Readers Party at Windy City Bulls

SW Lake Lifestyle in partnership with the Windy City Bulls hosted a free dinner and Bulls game, complete with raffle giveaways including apparel, game tickets, and much more. After experiencing the suite life a big crowd of SW Lake Lifestyle invitees got an up-close-and-personal, front-row seat experience watching the Windy City Bulls battle the LA Lakers' G-League club. Sitting court side,…

The Road to Rich’s

Talking Competition, Family and Life with a CrossFit Legend Article Nicolette Martin | Photography Paul Versluis About 80 miles east of Nashville, among the winding roads of Putnam County, Tennessee, between a brick house and an old red barn, there’s a gravel road. It’s easy to miss in the expanse of rolling hills that, in … Continued

Three Secrets to Making 2019 Your Healthiest

I was 19 years old, fit, healthy and invincible. Until I wasn't. Modern medicine couldn't help me. My family couldn't help me.

Resolutions? Meh…

Let’s see a show of hands: Who agrees New Year’s resolutions are, well, just a little a little goofy? There are book store shelves full of books on losing weight, exercising more, getting healthy, eating better, saving more (spending less) and communicating better. Self-help gurus fill the airwaves (and auditoriums at big-ticket prices) offering all … Continued

January 2019 Around Town

Montessori School of Long Grove Receives Reaccreditation The Montessori School of Long Grove, founded in 1975, has earned reaccreditation through 2025 by the American Montessori Society. Recognition by this national organization is another example of the school’s ongoing commitment to school quality and improvement. The Montessori School of Long Grove believes strongly that a students’ … Continued

Having Fun While Raising Funds for Pediatric Cancer Research

The staff and clients of Restoration Fitness recently celebrated their significant fundraising efforts for the Jeffrey Pride Foundation. The Pushups for Charity event topped $19,000, doubling their efforts in 2017. In the check presentation shown here, receiving the donation from Restoration Fitness’ Sean Lee (3rd from right) are Kathy Murphy, Jan Fijal, Dr. Phil Fijal, … Continued

Feels Like A Million Miles Away

When we moved to Long Grove we knew the location was perfect. Nationally ranked schools are just minutes away. Shopping is very close by. The charm of Long Grove’s historic downtown is just down the road, as is a Metra rail station and access to major highways. Yet, when entering our neighborhood, and especially coming down our driveway, it feels…

The Future Looks Bright

Publisher’s Note: 15 years ago when Sandra Frampton, a broker with @Properties, launched her career as a Realtor her goal was to help families in the community buy and sell homes. She sought to differentiate herself by being well-educated in the business while offering the highest possible level of customer service. Over time, Sandra realized that she could do more…

ECO Automated Designs Holds Open House

Eco Automated Designs recently hosted an open house at their Mundelein facility showcasing their many home automation solutions connecting the technology in our homes into complete, easy-to-use experiences. Owner Erick Oleck demonstrated how with one touch homeowners can dim the lights, turn up the heat, lock doors, view security cameras, enjoy entertainment systems, and more. For … Continued

What’s Hot for Travel in 2019

World travel is expected to continue expanding and evolving in 2019.  Where and how you travel is a social marker that identifies you and connects you to the world. 

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):

3 Books and a Dirty Chai Tea Latte

 The Alchemist  Paulo Coelho  BarnesAndNoble.com   $13.04

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

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.

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.

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…

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,…

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…

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…

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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…

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

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…

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