Three Days in Austin

Thinking about a three-day holiday in 2020? Consider Austin, Texas, the fastest-growing metropolis in the U.S. (population two-million-plus). Austin constantly changes while retaining an all-ages hipster vibe and a compactness perfectly suited for a weekend.

January Re-Set

2020 is here and it's time to create a newer healthy and fit you, but how does that actually happen? While the effort to adopt a New Year’s resolution has good intent, self-improvement urges tend to fade in a matter of weeks. This leads to a cycle of failed attempts year-after-year, and the belief that success isn’t even possible.

Rejuvenation is Trending in Master Bath Suites

An upgraded master bath suite is a must-have for local homeowners remodeling in 2020, says North Barrington’s Brian Allendorfer, fifth-generation owner of Brian Allendorfer Company.

Here’s to Second Chances

Before the surgery Tom Poynton says his health was generally good. “A year earlier we spent more than two weeks hiking and climbing national parks in Utah and southern Colorado, including the north rim of the Grand Canyon and even up to the top of Angel’s Landing at Zion National Park.” He always believed that a health crisis happens to…

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…

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.

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. 

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 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.

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.

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…

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. 

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.”

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…

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 Sammy

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

Get Up and Really Go with an Electric Bike

When Paul Wheatland moved back to SW Lake County a few years ago he was ready to pursue two of his passions: music and an outdoor lifestyle. When he and his partner, Tammy, purchased Main Street Outfitter (MSO) in Wauconda, a bike shop & pub, he satisfied both pursuits.

Why My Sons Play Football

I’m a girl’s girl who grew up dancing. I gravitated to team dancing where our hard work was more than just individual achievement. Doing my part was necessary to be successful.

Guys Who Make Stuff

SW Lake Co. features many creative men, many of whom make really interesting stuff. Meet five of our favorites here.

A Perfect Father’s Day Gift: A Golf Getaway

Planning the perfect golf trip can be difficult. It takes much research and experience to know where to play, when to play, where to stay and how to get there.

Dads & Grads Will Love This

 Wear it Like JFK  In 1937 when still a student John F. Kennedy met Albert Fouquet in France. He was captivated by Fouquet’s hand-crafted scent and ordered eight bottles and “one for Bob” (his brother, Robert F. Kennedy). In addition to this cologne, The Gent’s Place offers great haircuts and grooming services for men.  $115

Role Models In Our Midst

 Sam Oliver   President  Non-Profit Consulting

Long Grove Beauty is Quiet, Relaxing and Homey

Sometimes it’s good to be the Builder…especially when building your own home while developing a new neighborhood in SW Lake County. 

Women-Launched Businesses On the Rise

Claire Slattery Executive Director Lake Zurich Area Chamber of Commerce Have you seen an increase year-over-year in women launching new businesses? Between 40-50% of our member companies are women-owned businesses. The number of women who have joined the Chamber either as owners or as lead representatives of their organization quadrupled from 2017 to 2018. Is it possible to characterize by…

A New Take on Gray

When someone says a color is “neutral” do you immediately think of a white or a nondescript beige? Neutral does not have to mean plain. Benjamin Moore’s color of the year for 2019 is Metropolitan AF-690. The color is a not-too-light, nor-too-dark gray with a hint of silver underneath. While many neutral colors wash out in bright light, Metropolitan is…

Sparking Joy by Letting Go

Next time you’re looking to make your home lighter and brighter forget about going to a hardware store to decide between incandescent, fluorescent, halogen or LEDs. Let me plug you in here: Talk to Kristyn Ivey.

History in the (RE)Making

The Throwaway Age is over. While some might see a 1940s structure from a bygone era as just another old building, an energetic Wauconda couple sees it as the cornerstone of an ever-more lively downtown.

Eco-Friendly Investment Options

Your values are important to you – and so are your investments. And you don’t have to keep these two parts of your life separate if you pursue sustainable investing.

Travel Green

As travelers reach the far corners of the world, they are faced with the responsibility to preserve the fragile environments they visit. This idea of traveling responsibly is called Eco-tourism, conscientious travel to protect the environment and nourish its cultures. Here are some guidelines to help make the right decisions to positively affect the world you visit:

New Zealand: Seeing is Believing

Incredible New Zealand is an absolute bucket-list adventure. From the moment we landed in Auckland, I knew this amazing destination was something special. The country’s largest city offers everything from world-class food and wine to beautiful beaches and islands, designer shopping and outdoor adventures.

Outdoor Spaces Enhance A Home’s Value & Comfort

 Top of page call-out quote:  Blade Runners Services is a Lake Zurich landscape design firm dedicated to offering premium customer care and exceptional landscaping management, design and construction for local families.  With more than two decades of experience in the landscaping business, our team has worked hard to give customers the confidence that each job is completed correctly and within…

Winning More Than Medals

The team of three is poised, each intently watching the prior team finish a routine. It has taken months of training, two days of driving and hours of preparation to get ready for this show and they want to know what the competition is like. Then as the announcer’s voice booms calling them to the arena, the team tenses. It’s…

This Must be the Place

For most of us, the largest investment we’ll ever make is buying our home.

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.

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,…

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.

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…

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.