Root, Root, Root for the Home Team

It's Homecoming season, and when better to get your garb an upgrade to root for the home team in style? Threads fans recently cheered on the High School Homecoming parade in Wauconda (Go Bulldogs!) in an array of sportstastic gear supporting teams known and loved in SW Lake territory, and showed they've got the spirit to take one (home) for…

Classic Fashion With A Twist

LUXE Wearhouse is spacious, stylish, comfortable, and full of light, with inviting seating areas and meticulously arranged, attractive displays of clothing and accessories. Marcy, Annie and Ashley took time to model some of their fall lineup for SW Lake Lifestyle.

Windy City Bulls Celebrate Season Opening with SW Lake

SW Lake Lifestyle and the Windy City Bulls gave a group of readers a chance of a lifetime to help kick-off the team’s preseason.
Joined by Bob Love, legendary Bulls player and NBA great, and his wife, Rachel Dixon, the evening’s activities included food, drink and introductions to the team’s front office, including Team President Brad Seymour. 
To cap off the…

You’re So Far Away

To my big sister, My earliest memory of you is Britney Spears. Remember how obsessed we were? You used to dress me up in this purple velvet jumpsuit we had lying around our basement, and you would choreograph dances for me to “...Baby One More Time” and “Oops!... I Did it Again.”

Mind over Muscle: How to Create Success, Happiness, Freedom and the Life You Deserve

This saved me. My family. My business. My sanity. And it may just save you, too. 
Despite my advocacy for the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of exercise and healthy eating I was depressed. Day after day I poured every ounce of my soul into helping my clients achieve better health and wellness. But when it came to my life…

“Millenials” in Good Position to Invest for the Future

If you were born anywhere from 1982 to 2001, or within a few years of this range, you are considered a “Millennial.” As a member of this group, you share many things—cultural references, familiarity with technology, attitudes toward work and family—with others your age. And if you’re one of the “older” Millennials, you and your peers have something else in…

Spotlight on STAR Charities

STAR Charities is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) charitable organization founded in 2003 by Progressive Components, a company based in Wauconda that develops and distributes mold components for the production tooling industry worldwide. The STAR acronym stands for “Sharing Time and Resources”, and the organization actively does just that, sponsoring and co-sponsoring a range of special events each year to raise money…

Long Grove Community Church Bridges the Centuries

Just a stone’s throw beyond the Historic Long Grove Covered Bridge, the Long Grove Community Church’s original sanctuary stands tall and proud as the oldest church building in Lake County still hosting regular worship services (usually the first Sunday of each month). Built in 1848 and meticulously renovated in the early 2000’s, the sanctuary is a classic model of elegant…

Express Yourself

Fun back-to-school looks to copy—without getting in trouble!

Cave: IN!

American Garage Floor Systems (AGFS) is giving the phrase “man cave” a whole new meaning. With AGFS's expertise, folks all over SW Lake county can enjoy a brand new custom look that transforms their garage from mundane car-closets into a magnificent man-space.

Teaching the Earliest Learners

When Nancy Moya started as a business major in college, little did she know that she would eventually go on to spend 30 years in the early childhood education field. She has invested her last two and a half years helping children learn and grow as center director at Tutor Time in Lake Zurich. “The reason I like early childhood…

Keeping the Glow of Summer Alive

Summer fun: the double-edged sword of feel-goods and disappointment. The memories created with the nice weather, vacations and time with family and friends give us a euphoric high that slowly turns into feeling stressed, overwhelmed and somewhat depressed with the horrendous thought of getting back into the routine. We’ve all been there. And what’s even more interesting is that we…

It’s Their Summer, Too

When heading out on a family vacation or squeezing in a visit to the day spa, you plan to enjoy the best experience possible. Why not expect the same first class experience for the furry members of your family? When choosing the best home-away-from-home for your beloved pets, consider these key tips to ensure your peace of mind while away:

Racine County 
Delivers Fun Getaways

Whether it's a fun family weekend or a couples' weekday escape, beautiful Racine County, Wis., is easy to find and hard to leave.


As my oldest daughter embarks on her journey as a licensed driver, I am thinking about the risks of distracted driving. While there have always been distractions while driving – music, GPS, eating & drinking and personal grooming (sigh) – accidents caused by distracted driving have increased substantially. Even though vehicles have many more safety features (multiple air bags, crumple…

Presenting the BEST of SW Lake

The following pages reveal the top businesses in 24 different categories as selected by you, the readers of SW Lake Lifestyle. The balloting time and again produced some very tight races with several categories being decided by the narrowest of margins, so we’ve acknowledged the runners-up and honorable mentions in each category as well. Let us know any additional categories…

The Magician of Lake Zurich

Magic happens when Tim Siefert creates custom designs at Timothy Grant Jewelry in Lake Zurich. His efforts, however, start long before he folds his lean frame onto a stool at the ancient workbench that was built by his father long ago.

Discover the Hidden Havens of Thailand 

Thailand is known for its unparalleled blazing-blue water and pristine beaches, freckled with rocky islands and hemmed by emerald jungle. Yet this Southeast Asian country teems with undiscovered hidden corners. Here is an “Off the beaten track” exploration of three regions all too often overlooked by travelers.

What Moms Really Want

SW Lake Lifestyle contributors huddled up and put together a list of local must-haves for anyone shopping for Mom this year... whether she's looking for stylish attire, accessories, jewelry across the spectrum from tres affordable to custom designed, to the most dependable (not to mention stylish) rides to move the family forward, just check out the following pages to make…

Where There’s Smoke

He flashed four blades at me right off the bat… and that was just to say hello. Jeff Creswell, the new chef at Lindy’s Landing in Wauconda, is so enthusiastic about creating a great dining experience that he wears a bold tattoo of the razor sharp tools-of-his-trade on his arm.

Function and Finesse: the Art of Remodeling

Remodeling a house – or even redecorating a small room – can seem like a daunting process. Ask around. You’ll hear stories, good and bad. You’ll see photos, good and bad. You’ll get referrals, good and bad. How do you know who to choose? How do you know what to do? Decisions must be made about design, function and budget.…

It’s a Family Affair on Pepper Road in Lake Barrington

In an unassuming industrial park, just past a print shop and across from a pet store, there's a pair of family-run businesses that are remarkable in so many ways. The older company specializes in glass, designing and installing beautiful creations including doors, tub and shower enclosures, mirrors, windows, table tops and wall partitions for both family homes and commercial businesses.

Leave Roof Cleaning to an Expert

Roof cleaning is possibly the single most-ignored maintenance item on the typical homeowner's punch list. Not only does a roof cleaning dramatically improve the curb appeal of a home, but it could literally save tens of thousands of dollars in expense from premature roof replacement due to shingle failure.

Modern Home Gadgets

“There’s no place like home,” and, there’s really no place like home when it comes to 2017 technology. With the modernization of technology and automation of homes, who wants to leave? We’ve compiled a list of some of the coolest modern “home” gadgets you won’t know what you ever did without. Mevo: We have countless ways to document our lives—social…

Historic Long Grove Rebounds… Again

If you’ve driven through historic downtown Long Grove recently you may have noticed an uptick in activity, as this irresistibly quaint little burg once again shakes off the dust to break new ground. 

First settled in the 1840’s, this intersection of two Indian trails became a commerce center for area farmers. By 1900 it featured two corner stores, a creamery,…

Helping the Road Warrior in All of Us

In the shadow of the downtown water tower, at the busiest corner on Wauconda's Main Street, stands an unassuming business that has been operating nearly 40 years. “I’m lucky, I’ve got the best location around,” says Mark Wolfe, owner of John’s Complete Auto Service. “We’re right where a lot of people in the area pass by either because they are…

The Body is a Team Player

Board Certification is a credential that many often understandably confuse with licensing. Licensing and board certification are completely different processes. Physicians must become licensed to practice medicine in the U.S., but not all physicians are board certified.

SW Lake Relaunch & Holiday Party

SW Lake Lifestyle hosted a Holiday party, also celebrating the reboot of the magazine with its new ownership and local staff. Publisher Michael Beightol, Editor and Lead Photographer Stephen Neilson and Writer Margo Pelak welcomed a host of local business owners and workers at Side Lot Brewery, where guests quaffed local brews, caught up on the local news, and foraged…

Innovative Primrose School Teaches Character Development in Young Children

It is a typical afternoon in suburban Chicago when 19-month old Emily Hart sees her parents through the classroom window and realizes that it’s time to leave her friends and teachers at Primrose School in Long Grove. She’s spent the day there, and she begins to pout as she clings to her father and mother, Erik and Keri Hart of…

“King’s Manor” theatre group hosts 25th Reunion show

One of Chicago’s most popular dinner theaters from the late 1970s through mid-1990s was the medieval-themed King’s Manor: a bold, bawdy musical-comedy review. It was unique entertainment — a six-course banquet-style meal (no silverware allowed) with freeflowing beer and wine, served by beautiful singing Wenches.

2017 Trends in 
SW Lake

To kick off the new year, SW Lake gathered our first annual Trendspotter Team to give us a taste of what's up and coming locally – and speaking of which way the wind's blowing, we lead with the latest in engaging local family entertainment: the Windy City Bulls.

Classic BBQ with a Twist Rocks Lake Zurich

Is the art of well-prepared BBQ close to your heart (and your taste buds)? Do you love the eighties and old-school classic rock? If so, check out Rock ’N Ribs in Lake Zurich. This pristine little gem is tucked away next to Lake Zurich Travel & Cruise at 463 Rand Road (southwest corner of Route 12 and Route 22).
This is…

New Year, New Fitness Resolutions

‘Tis the season for vowing to lose a few extra holiday pounds, or perhaps pursuing that ripped six-pack you’ve always wanted – and that means getting to the gym more often, or dusting off that home treadmill and weight machine.

Holiday Gift Guide

#1 BBQ lovers will appreciate a bottle of sauce from Rock 'n Ribs, 463 S. Rand Rd., Lake Zurich. Just $5, it's the perfect stocking stuffer for anybody liking locally sourced products. Chef Alice Banach makes her sauce sweet and peppery with a whole lot of attitude.

Creatures of the Night

Maybe you’ve seen them around SW Lake County. Up on the stage, playing star again at places like Main Street Outfitters, Middleton’s on Main or Strawberry Moon (Wauconda), Broken Oar (Port Barrington), Chessie’s (Barrington), Onion Pub (Lake Barrington) and Copper Fiddle (Lake Zurich).

Santa’s Gift Bag

Winter is settling in and the holidays are nearing. Shopping malls can get mind-numbingly crowded, and the stress becomes overwhelming. This holiday consider shopping at local, small businesses. Not only are they more of an enjoyable experience, they also offer unique gifts that show how much you care. There are so many shops with a wide variety so you can…

Being Grateful for All that is Good

Gratitude means different things to different people, but there are common themes for which we all should be grateful: family, friends, good health, good fortune, work and being in a position to help others. A collection of SW Lakers share their thoughts this month on gratitude, and in so doing, perhaps, reflect some of the same thoughts for all of…

Do You Love Where You Live?

I love living here for a variety of reasons, starting with the warmth of our neighbors and the fact that Lake County has it all. From family activities to local amenities, and businesses along with natural beauty, Lake County is the place I call home. It’s the best of all worlds—combining friendly community with the convenience you get from big-city…

Make Wine an Important Part of Your Holiday Table

The holidays are a great time to explore new wine varietals, and with so many to choose from, selecting one that hosts and their guests will enjoy can be a challenge. Thanksgiving presents one of the best opportunities of the year to pair wine with an abundance of food.

La Malinche: Here To Stay

If the newly-opened La Malinche Bar and Grill strikes a familiar note, it is with good reason. This family-owned Mexican restaurant has moved to its permanent home on Rand Road after the owners previously operated a restaurant on Liberty Street for six years.

All-Inclusive Resorts: Changing and Innovating

The all-inclusive resort was introduced more than 50 years ago. When they originally debuted, most were known for mediocre buffet food, watered down drinks and hidden charges. Thankfully, times have changed as resorts have innovated.

It Started With a Vision

Pete Wodarz had a vision. While a student studying architecture, intent on building structures destined to stand for generations, he saw something else. His interests were evolving to a never-ending palette of colors, shapes and sizes that change with the seasons, move in the breeze and provide respite from a busy world.

It Takes a Village to Raise a Millennial Entrepreneur

SWL: Who mentors you? Graham Blus: My dad. He backed my idea and we have worked together to bring it to life. Beyond him, there have been other people who influenced me to think out of the box. I've had teachers along the way who have encouraged me creatively, which has helped me to have an open mind and think…

Showing A Home With Pets

When selling your house it can feel like you're in a zoo with all the showings and open houses bringing potential buyers parading through your home. Keeping your home in tip-top shape at all times can be daunting, but adding kids and pets to the equation can make it seem impossible. These tips will help you with handling your pets…

Sheepdogs and Whisky

I’ve long wished to visit Scotland, to experience the culture and to see up close the ruggedly beautiful countryside and volcanic mountains such as Ben Nevis and Glen Coe. Oh yes, and to sample the whisky. Last fall my wife and I took a weeklong group tour of Scotland, and it was a low-stress, easy way to get acquainted with…

Healthy Lifestyle

Improving health and fitness is a journey not a destination. We all have to create our own route, and mine has never been a straight path. I was a beginner as well as an athlete and everything in between. My imperfections and struggles have become my strength and my passion is helping people get started. I hope my tidbits of…

Creating the Perfect Garden

Planting a garden is a good move if you want to ramp up curb appeal, have fresh vegetables, or enjoy your landscape. More buyers want move-in-ready houses, meaning they don't want to have to plant a garden themselves.

Cruising the Carribean

Are the soothing waves of the turquoise waters, white sand beaches and sunny skies of the Caribbean calling to you? A Caribbean cruise presents a unique vacation by land and sea, packing all the excitement of two kinds of vacations into one. Choose from simple, luxurious, or all the bells and whistles of new mega-ships. With a selection of cruises…

Reaching New Heights

For the last few years when driving on Route 22 in Lake Barrington, it was clear something big was taking place at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital. Recently, the hospital's major addition and renovation project were completed, revealing the importance of creating an atmosphere of healing for patients, visitors and staff.

Exploring the World Together

Summer is here, and that means family experiences packed with adventure, flavor and fun. Whether you have grown kids, teenagers, small kids, adult families or multigenerational family travel in mind, here are a few questions we’ve been asked recently and some of our recommendations for the perfect vacation—anywhere in the world!