THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year -- Christmas is less than two weeks away! Whether you’re all set (bring it on) or haven’t even started yet (OMG), this weekend is for you!!

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Andersonville, Logan Square, Evanston

Bucktown and Wicker Park: It might be getting colder, but you can still check out the indoor session of the Wicker Park Farmer’s Market! Held at The Robey Hall, this indoor market is the first Saturday of every month.

Restaurant Review – Southport Grocery

This week took me back to a favorite: Southport Grocery. This cafe and grocery store is so charming (and so tasty!), it definitely warrants a revisit. The atmosphere is warm and cozy, with a small number of oak tables, booths, and high tops. Running the center of the restaurant are wire shelves packed with delicious grocery goodies. They offer a wide variety of artisan foods, focused on local suppliers.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips - Start the New Year on the Right Path

Many people start the new year with “Resolutions”. Many involve losing weight, eating better, or spending less money. Most of these good intentions tend to be forgotten before the end of January. Most resolutions fail because there is no plan.

What Affects Your Home Insurance?

Research suggests that about 1 in 20 homeowners will make an insurance claim each year. So while it may seem that your monthly home insurance expenses aren’t worthwhile, the chances of needing your insurance are higher than you might think.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – GUESS WHO’S COMING TO TOWN!

Guess who’s coming to town? Looks like Santa Claus will be here this weekend but won’t be delivering any gifts, yet!

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lincoln Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, Chicago Loop, Lincoln Square, Oak Park

Lincoln Park: What better way to get into the holiday spirit than with a party that ALSO gives back? It’s time for the Santa Claws Toy Drive on Saturday, December 21 from 5 to 8 pm. At the Tonic Room (2447 N Halsted), you can drink White Claws, take a photo with Santa, listen to music provided by The Bloodshot DJs, and more.

Restaurant Review – Carol's Pub

This week took me to a Chicago institution: Carol’s Pub. Carol’s was established in 1972 and closed in September of 2016. This North Side dive bar was a popular spot for cheap beer, great food, and live country music for decades prior to its closing.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips - Know Your Pet Expenses

So you want to bring a pet into the family. Be aware that you are taking on a big responsibility to care for that pet for their lifetime. In return, they will give you more joy than you can imagine. In 2016, $66.8 billion was spent on domesticated pets.

Thinking About Buying Soon? Make Sure Your Credit Is In Order

There’s no more important time to work on your credit score than when you’re about to apply for a mortgage. Improving your credit can save you a ton of money—we’re talking about thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – OFFICIALLY IN HOLIDAY MODE!

Now that another Thanksgiving is behind us, the city of Chicago is officially in holiday mode bringing weekends packed with fun and holiday cheer!

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Edgewater, Logan Square, Evanston

Lakeview: The Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus presents their Annual Holiday Show! There are three performances: December 6 (8 pm at the Athenauem), December 7 (8 pm at North Shore Center), and December 8 (3 pm at the Beverly Arts Center).

Restaurant Review – The Marq

I don’t often find myself in The Loop for dinner, but this week called for a Friday date night. We took ourselves to The Marq, located at 60 W Adams St. We called ahead and made a reservation. When we got there, there was a fair number of empty tables, so I’m not sure we needed it.

Things You Should Not Throw in the Trash

Most of us fall into the habit of disposing of all of our household items when they’ve broken, expired, or simply are no longer useful.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips - How to Prioritize Your Priorities

We have always been told “When you have many tasks to do, prioritize!” We dutifully write down everything we need to do, making a daunting list that we look at wondering “How am I going to get all this done?” It happens with our home life as well as work.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO- Turkey Time!

Thanksgiving is inching closer! Are you thrilled about turkey time? Or are you more excited that this weekend marks a month until Christmas? Either way, we’ve got a mix of Thanksgiving and Christmas activities for you this weekend!

5 Hot Home Trends

When selling a home, it is incredibly important to consider who you are selling to and what they are looking for. Fixr recently surveyed influencers in the industry to discover who's in the market to buy and what home features are most attractive to them.

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Chicago Loop, Lincoln Square, Oak Park

Bucktown and Wicker Park: Wicker Park Garden Club and Wicker Park Advisory Council are kicking off the holiday season by inviting you to decorate Wicker Park’s Historic Gurgoyle Fountain! This Saturday, November 23 from 8 am to 4:30 pm, you get to participate in decorating a Chicago landmark.

Restaurant Review – George Street Pub

This week took me to a neighborhood spot: George Street Pub. This was an ideal spot for an impromptu Wednesday date night! The atmosphere is very low key and relaxed. There’s a large wooden bar with ample seating and tables scattered throughout the restaurant.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips - Plan Ahead Thanksgiving

Having guests over for Thanksgiving can be very stressful, often leaving the cook spending the day in the kitchen unable to enjoy his or her guests. With a little planning, this can be avoided. So many traditional Thanksgiving dishes lend themselves to preparation ahead of time- as much as three days or more if you freeze them.

5 Simple Steps For A Better Home Appraisal

If you’re looking to refinance your home or possibly sell, you’ll need a killer appraisal. A bank will not refinance a home for more than it is worth, and a potential buyer will not pay more than the recognized value of the home.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Still the Fall Season – Still November!

Yes, it’s still the fall season and you haven’t missed Thanksgiving! So let’s see what this third weekend in November has in store for us. After all, we deserve a milder weekend- especially after the arctic temps of this past week!!

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lincoln Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, River North, Edgewater, Evanston

Lincoln Park: Join Emerald City Theatre for a BEARY special benefit and performance of Corduroy! On Sunday, November 24 from 9 to 11:30 am, you and your kiddos will see a performance of Corduroy; enjoy sweet and savory pastries; sip on drinks from a coffee, tea, and hot chocolate bar; do crafts and activities; and participate in a meet and greet with the cast.

Restaurant Review – La Crosta Pizzeria

This week took me to a fantastic new spot: La Crosta Pizzeria! This charming spot is located at 2360 N Lincoln Ave and was perfect for a Friday night out with friends. It has a lovely, warm atmosphere. Small two and four-top tables are scattered about the restaurant, there’s a lovely long bar, and soft lights hang above each table.

Prep Your Budget For Buying A Home

Choosing to enter the home buying process is likely the largest financial decision you will make in your lifetime, so it is not one that should be taken lightly.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips - Thanksgiving Countdown

So you’ve decided to host Thanksgiving this year! Are you in panic mode yet? If this is your first time hosting the big dinner, don’t worry. With a bit of planning, you can pull off Thanksgiving with minimum work and worry.

Top Tips For Decorating With Area Rugs

Looking for a fun way to bring an additional pop of color or design to a room with minimal time or money investment? Consider trying out an amazing area rug! Check out these tips for revamping your space with this fun decor piece.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Season of Thanks Includes Veteran’s Day Weekend!

As we continue our journey towards Thanksgiving during this season of thanks, this weekend offers a variety of fun, exciting, and festive fall events to enjoy! It also includes Veteran’s Day (Monday) for an extended weekend (for most of us)!!

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lincoln Square, Logan Square, Oak Park

Lakeview: It’s not too early to think about Christmas! The Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce presents its Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony on Tuesday, December 3 at 6:30 pm. There will be complimentary hot drinks, a live ice carving demonstration, music from a live caroling quartet, photos with Santa, and more.

Restaurant Review – Sweet Virginia's Kitchen

If you’ve been following this review, you already know that breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. I was thrilled to try a new breakfast place this week! Sweet Virginia’s Kitchen is located at 5131 N Damen Ave. You’re greeted by a large sign that says “We Feed You Like Family”.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips - Immerse Yourself in the Forest

Those of us who love the outdoors know the stress relieving properties of spending several hours outdoors. Now, actual forest therapy is being practiced all around the world with amazing benefits to both mind and body.

4 Things You Need To Know About Making An Offer

You’ve narrowed down your wish list, viewed many homes, and finally found your perfect fit. Time to take the leap and make an offer! This can be both incredibly intimidating and exponentially exciting.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – On the Road to Thanksgiving!

One down and two to go! Now that October and Halloween are behind us, it’s time to focus on November and Thanksgiving. Come join us as we travel down the road to Thanksgiving with these weekend events!!

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, River North, Chicago Loop, Evanston

Bucktown and Wicker Park: It’s time for the 11th Annual Charitable Chili Cook-Off! This Saturday, November 2, from 5-8 pm, head to Arts of Life with your friends and family for this annual community building event.

What You Should Know About Using Home Equity

One of the huge benefits of owning property is the home equity you can build. But with equity comes the temptation to dip into it if a large expense or possible investment arises.

Restaurant Review – Michael's Pizzeria

This week took me to “A Neighborhood Tradition”- Michael’s Pizzeria! Michael’s is totally unassuming, with a casual sports bar atmosphere. There’s a large central bar and smaller tables and high-tops scattered about the restaurant.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips - Fall Outside Jobs

Oh boy! Snow has been forecast for the Chicagoland area soon. While the weather is still palatable, get some work done outside. Number one: start the snowblower. If it needs maintenance, get it to the repairman now!

Hidden Fees To Be Aware Of When Purchasing A Home

Purchasing a home is arguably one of the biggest financial decisions you will make in your lifetime. As you start your hunt, don't forget there will be other costs associated with your purchase then the price of the home.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Enjoying an All-Hallows’ Eve Weekend!

Chicagoans will be enjoying a spooky, trick-or-treating, howlin’ good time this All-Hallows’ Eve weekend, including Halloween this coming Thursday!

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lincoln Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, Andersonville, Lincoln Square, Oak Park

Lincoln Park: NEWCITY is hosting “The Great Pumpkin Pup and Kid Festival” on Saturday, October 26 from 2 to 5 pm. There will be costume contests for kids and pups alike, Boo Bingo in the Pumpkin Spice Garden, trick-or-treating, and spooky prizes.

Restaurant Review – Cafe Tola

When I moved here from Texas, I knew I had to find a spot for breakfast tacos. And then I found Cafe Tola! Cafe Tola is a counter-serve restaurant serving up coffee, empanadas, tacos, burritos, and more. I went to their location at Addison and Ashland. The exterior is adorable, with bright purple paint and twinkle lights above the patio.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips -- How to Stop Procrastinating!

Do you wish you could get better at not putting things off? We are all guilty of it at some point in our lives. When does that big project get done? The night before of course!

Create The Home Office Of Your Dreams

Whether you work full-time at home or occasionally need to conduct business in the evenings or on the weekends, a home office a great way to utilize an extra room.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Pre-Halloween Celebrations Continue!

With so many Halloween events taking place in Chicago, no wonder Chicagoans must celebrate all month long! And this weekend is no exception!!

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Chicago Loop, River North, Evanston

Bucktown and Wicker Park: Get in the Halloween spirit with a free pumpkin carving event at Remedy! It’s Weird Wednesday: Annual Pumpkin Carving Party on Wednesday October 23. There are two sessions: one at 7 pm and one at 11 pm. There is no cover, but it is a 21 and up event.

Restaurant Review – Brown Bag Seafood Co.

I love seafood, but it can be so expensive to order when eating out! This week took me to an awesome, affordable, counter-serve seafood restaurant: Brown Bag Seafood Co. The atmosphere is just delightful, with bright blue accents, industrial light fixtures, and light maple tables.

5 Fall Design Ideas That Will Boost Your Creativity

As homeowners pull out Halloween decorations, however, they often take the opportunity to look around their homes and make some more permanent changes.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Have a Safe and Fun Halloween

Much of Halloween safety is just common sense but it’s always a good idea to do a quick review. Twice as many children are hit by motor vehicles on Halloween than any other night of the year. Please do try to pay more attention when driving on Halloween.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Let the Pre-Halloween Celebrations Begin!

Now that the fall season is in full swing around here, it’s time for Chicagoans to begin their pre-Halloween celebrations!

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lincoln Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, Lincoln Square, Logan Square, Oak Park

Lincoln Park: It’s time for Spooktacular 2019! The 11th Annual Clark Street Spooktacular is a fabulous Halloween event for all ages. On Saturday October 27 from 1 to 4 pm, participating businesses on Clark Street from Armitage to Diversey will transform into trick-or-treat spots featuring candy and surprises for the whole family!

Restaurant Review – Northside Bar & Grill

On a rainy, chilly Chicago evening, you’ve got to find a cozy and inviting spot for dinner. And find one we did: Northside Bar & Grill in Wicker Park. The atmosphere is wonderful, with lush green plants, a fireplace, high ceilings, cozy couch seating, dark wood tables; the list goes on and on.

Remodeling Mistakes You Should Avoid

Remodeling your home? If so, there’s some planning required on your part before you dive into whatever project you’re working on. Keep in mind that while certain things you do will help the project in a positive way, there are also things that you might do that could totally sabotage your efforts.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Easy Ways To Be Environmentally Conscious Every Day

We all know we should be more aware of the things we do to harm the environment. Sometimes, I say to myself “This is such a huge global issue… what can I really do to help?” As it turns out, there are easy things we can do every day to lessen our footprint on the earth.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Diving into the World of Autumn Fests!

It’s a great weekend to dive into the wonderful world of autumn and all its harvest fun at the following fests!

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Chicago Loop, River North, Oak Park

Lakeview: Get ready for a 1920s themed Halloween party! TopAct Events presents an evening full of secrets, surprise, and murder! Come to Room 13, Old Chicago Inn’s very own Prohibition era-inspired speakeasy, for a classic 1920s interactive murder mystery party.

Restaurant Review – Pho's Spicier Thai

With the weather getting cooler, it’s the perfect time for comfort food! For me, that almost always means Asian food. I love a big plate of noodles or a spicy soup when the weather is cold. This week took me to Pho’s Spicier Thai in Lakeview.

How to Boost Your Chances of Getting Approved For A Mortgage

Roughly 8% of all mortgage applications are denied by lenders. But as challenging as it can be to get approved for a mortgage, it’s not impossible, as long as you’ve got all your ducks in a row. Here are a handful of reasons why borrowers are denied mortgages, and what can be done to offset them.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Tips for a Cleaner House Every Day

Have you been in houses that amaze you with how clean and uncluttered they are? You think, “They must have cleaning help” or “They must use all their time cleaning and straightening!”

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Celebrating the Fall Season!

While it’s difficult to let go of the summer festival season (especially knowing winter lies ahead!) Chicagoans continue to celebrate their weekends with fall activities!

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Edgewater, Andersonville, Evanston

Bucktown and Wicker Park: Is there any better pairing than pizza and beer? Get ready for a boozy trip through Pizzatown this Saturday, September 28! Emporium Wicker Park presents the Chicago Pizza Crawl at 2 pm. They’re bringing together the best bars, restaurants, and pizzerias for the cheesiest crawl of the year.

Restaurant Review – Horse Thief Hollow

This weekend took me just outside of the city to Beverly! I was attending the Beverly Art Walk and needed to grab a bite to eat. My friends and I passed a charming brewery called Horse Thief Hollow and knew we’d found our spot.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Save Money on Your Grocery Budget

In our modern world, everything seems to be getting more expensive. We all need to pay more attention to where our money is best spent when stocking up the house. Unlike even 10 years ago, now we have many different sources for our fresh food and other household items.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Sending Off Another Summer!

Whether we like it or not, autumn officially begins this coming Monday. However, that leaves us one final weekend to send off another summer in grand style and begin embracing fall!!

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lincoln Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, Lincoln Square, Logan Square, Oak Park

Lincoln Park: With this cool fall weather, it’s the perfect time for a run! The Great Pink Run is on Saturday October 5 at Diversey Harbor. There’s something for everyone with a 10K Challenge, a 5K Fun Run, Jog, or Walk. The race proceeds will go towards continuing to research a cure for breast cancer.

Should You Paint or Stain Your Kitchen Cabinets For an Easy Upgrade?

If you’re looking to change or update the look of your kitchen on a budget, simply changing the face of your cabinets can work wonders. Not only is this a cost-effective option, it can completely alter the look and feel of your kitchen.

Restaurant Review – Mixed Greens

I am always on the search for a new healthy restaurant! This week took me to Mixed Greens, a self proclaimed salad joint in River North. It is definitely geared towards quick lunches, with counter service and a small number of tables inside. There is a lovely small patio with flower boxes and twinkle lights, which is where we chose to sit.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Are You Creating More Work For Yourself?

Sometimes we make our lives harder when we do certain things. We think we are being more efficient or moving more quickly, but often we end up making a cleaning job not very clean at all. Or worse yet, we make things unsanitary.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Summer Not Over Yet!

Even though we’ve experienced some cooler temps recently, summer is not over yet! However fall is quickly approaching, so get in as much summer as you can with these outdoor weekend events!!

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, River North, Edgewater, Evanston

Bucktown and Wicker Park: To celebrate their 5th anniversary, Dove’s Luncheonette is hosting Dove’s After Dark! From 10 pm to 2 am on Friday September 13, this all-day diner morphs into a late night destination. There will be low lighting, discounted specials, craft cocktails, snacks, and more.

Restaurant Review – Fin Sushi

The weather was absolutely gorgeous in Chicago this past weekend! I knew I had to find a patio for an outdoor meal. Walking through Ravenswood on Saturday evening, I happened upon Fin Sushi. They have a lovely, inviting outdoor patio, with twinkle lights, colored umbrellas, and ample seating.

Types of Inspections a Property May Need Besides the Typical Home Inspection

A home inspection is one of the most common contingencies to be included in a real estate contract. Even if a home is only a couple of years old, anything can happen, which is why it’s important to take the opportunity to have the home inspected before your purchase agreement goes firm.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Fall Yard Clean-Up

Temperatures are definitely getting fall-like! It’s my favorite time of year. Let’s start in the garden. Just because it’s getting cool outside doesn’t mean growing edibles is over. You can still plant greens, lettuces, and kale.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – What will this cool, Chicago weekend bring you??

The weather is getting cooler, but the fun isn’t stopping here in Chicago! Need plans for this weekend? We’ve got you covered! There’s a variety of indoor, outdoor, family-friendly, fun- check it out below!

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Chicago Loop, Lincoln Square, Oak Park

Lakeview: Mark your calendars for Music Box of Horrors 2019! From Saturday October 19 to Sunday October 20, the Music Box Theatre hosts a 24-hour fright fest with the most terrifying, heart-racing movies you’ll ever see!

Restaurant Review – Bourgeois Pig

It’s back! This week marks the return of our regularly scheduled Restaurant Review. We hope you enjoyed the Summer Series- it sure was fun for us to see all the fun things Chicago has to offer during the summer!

Affordable Ways To Enhance Your Bathroom On A Budget

Accessories can never be underestimated, no matter what room you're using them in. You can easily create a luxe look by sprinkling your bathroom with opulent accessories such as candles, perfume bottles, soap dispensers, and others to make your bathroom look fit for royalty.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Safe Paint Disposal

I’m trying to downsize and I was looking in my basement, wondering what I can do with all the partially empty cans. I usually do well calculating how much paint I will need and don’t have too much leftover. However, I still have many cans to get rid of. A note: oil-based paint is considered a hazardous waste and needs to be taken to a special facility.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Labor Day Weekend Means Summer’s Last Hurrah!

Not only are Chicagoans celebrating an extended weekend with the Labor Day holiday upon us but also summer’s last hurrah as the kids head back to school! Come join us!!

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, River North, Andersonville, Evanston

Bucktown and Wicker Park: Take yourself on a foodie tour with the Wicker Park and Old Polonia Neighborhood Food Tour! You’ll explore the past and present of the people, food, and architecture of these vibrant and changing neighborhoods. The Chicago Detours food tour means that beyond just eating, you are going to really learn.

Summer Series - Run While It's Cool

As the weather starts to cool down, it’s the perfect time to get outside and run! This week’s Summer Series features some awesome fall runs here in Chicago.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Tomato Preserving

Most everyone has more tomatoes than they know what to do with now. We eat them everyday with cottage cheese, as a fresh mozzarella caprese salad, or just with salt and pepper. But when the counters are full, it’s time to preserve this awesome flavor for later in the year when the snow flies.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Another Summer Weekend Packed with Choices!

Are you ready for another Chicago summer weekend packed with a variety of events to choose from? Well then, let’s get going!

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Chicago Loop, Lincoln Square, Oak Park

Lakeview: This year is the 15th Anniversary of the Lakeview East Festival of the Arts! On Saturday September 14 and Sunday September 15, this incredible festival showcases over 150 juried artists featuring paintings, sculpture, photography, furniture, jewelry, and more. There are also live demonstrations, entertainment stages with live music, family activities, and a garden oasis.

4 Ways to Give Your Home A Fresh New Look

Perhaps the easiest and most cost-effective way to give your home a fresh new look is to simply give the walls a fresh coat of paint. Newly painted walls can give a home a new and updated look, which can go a long way.

Summer Series - Rooftop and Patio Edition

The weather in Chicago is glorious right now! With daytime temps in the 70s and nighttime temps in the 60s, it’s the perfect time to enjoy a meal outside. Here’s some rooftops and patios you should check out!

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Installing Sod

As we get to the end of August and the beginning of September, the temperatures will moderate a bit. Of course we will have the occasional hot days, but for the most part it will be cooler. That is the perfect time to plant sod. It will have time to get established before the ground freezes and will flourish in the cooler temperatures.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Air, Water, or Land – It’s Your Choice!

With some kids going back to school next week, is summer over?? Not just yet- as the city has lined up events by air, water, or land for your weekend enjoyment! It’s your choice!!

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lincoln Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, Old Town, Edgewater, Evanston

Lincoln Park: Join Vin Chicago for a Sneak Preview Tasting! On September 4 from 6:30 to 8 pm at the Elston location, Vin will pop the corks on over 30 wines from their latest newsletter. You can experience the majority of their new wines in just one night and get your hands on your favorites!

Summer Series - Festivals Galore!

You already know that Chicago has a vast array of festivals during the summer! But this week’s Summer Series features a few you might not have heard of before

What You Need To Know About Home Warranty Plans

Many purchases that you make come with the option to buy a warranty in the event that the product is damaged, such as small appliances and electronics. This helps cover the cost of repair should they break down so you're not paying out of pocket.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Hot and Dry Weather

I don’t know if we are officially in a drought, but around Chicagoland and the Midwest we are definitely in a dry spell. This combined with temperatures hovering around the high 80s is a recipe for lawn and garden stress. Here are a few things to stop doing and a few things that will help!

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Summer Still Hanging Around!

It’s hard to believe that kids are getting ready to go back to school. Didn’t summer just get here? Not to worry though- summer is still hanging around this weekend!

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Chicago Loop, River North, Oak Park

Lakeview: Celebrate the Year of Chicago Theatre with the Paulina Plaza Theatre Pop-Up! On Saturday August 24 from 2-5 pm, catch performances from local theatre companies throughout the afternoon for free. The participating theatres are The Point Theatre Project, Shakespeare’s Motley Crew, The Neighborhood, Storytown Improv, and Eclectic Full Contact Theatre.

This week’s Summer Series is a hodgepodge of summer fun!

First up is the Lincolnshire Art Festival. On Saturday August 10 and Sunday August 11 from 10 am to 5 pm, the festival will celebrate its 22nd year. Over 100 juried artists will be in attendance offering fine arts and crafts in a variety of mediums and price points. The festival features live music on the music stage, great food, activities for kids including an art scavenger hunt and spin art, and much more.

Top Tips For House Hunting Online

Hunting for a new home online is a great place to start your search, but it should not be your end all be all. Good listing agents are excellent at highlighting the best features of the home, but keep in mind there may be more than meets the eye.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Back to School Time!

Wow, summer really went by fast! It seems like just a few weeks ago it was Fourth of July. While the schools in Chicago don’t start until after Labor Day, most of the suburban schools will be starting in the next few weeks.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – No Shortage of Summer Fun Around Here!

WOW! What a weekend Chicago has planned for us!! There’s no shortage of summer fun around here as we welcome in the month of August.

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Lincoln Square, Logan Square, Evanston

Bucktown and Wicker Park: If you’re a foodie, you’ve got to check this event out! Sidewalk of Chicago presents a three hour Food and History walking tour of Wicker Park! The tour is featured every Sunday starting August 11 at 11 am. You’ll visit specialty food stores, ethnic eateries, and discover both well-known and well-kept secrets.

Summer Series - Fitness Edition

With such beautiful weather, there’s no better time to get outside and move! This week’s Summer Series features three fantastic fitness events.

Finding The Right Mattress

You’ve got more options than ever when mattress shopping these days with no shortage of brick-and-mortar and online-only retailers to choose from.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Relieve Stress with Proper Breathing

Several studies have shown that stress is almost a national epidemic. Whether it is work, family, or money problems we all seem to be under more stress than ever. That coupled with the thought that we need to be doing something every moment of the day doesn’t leave any time for rest and de-stressing.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Summer Keeps on Rockin’!

The scorching heat of last weekend has decided to take a break! So our summer here in Chicago just keeps on rockin’ with the following weekend festivals!

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park, River North, Andersonville, Oak Park

Lakeview: The Lakeview Chamber of Commerce presents a special summer series- Concerts on the Curb! Each Wednesday evening on Marshfield between School and Roscoe, you can enjoy the sounds of talented Chicago musicians while celebrating Lakeview businesses and community. From 5:30 to 8:30 pm, attendees can enjoy live music, local food, craft beer, and family friendly activities.

Summer Series - Dancing in the Streets

Put your dancing shoes on and get ready for Chicago Brewing District’s Dancing in the Streets! On Saturday August 3 and Sunday August 4, from 12-10 pm, this classic Chicago street festival will hit the city. Dancing in the Streets is the brain child of On Tour Brewing Company founder Mark Legenza.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – West Nile Protection 2

It’s that time of year: West Nile Virus has been detected in some mosquitos in the Chicagoland area. West Nile virus (WNV) is the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the continental United States. About 1 in 5 people who are infected develop a fever and other symptoms like body aches. It resembles the flu.

Dispelling Refinancing Myths

"Refinancing" is a scary word for many people, but that shouldn’t be the case for you. For many homeowners, refinancing can not only lower your monthly payments and help with your monthly budget, but it can save you thousands of dollars in the long run.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – PLANNING TO BE A SCORCHER!

Look out folks -- we’re going to get scorched this weekend! So as you’re out and about enjoying all the festivities, be sure to stay hydrated and covered up with light, loosely fitting clothes. After all, you don’t want to be mistaken for an over-grilled sausage!!

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Chicago Loop, Lincoln Square, Evanston

Bucktown and Wicker Park: If you’re looking to show off your skills, you’ve got to check out the Monthly Open Mic Night at Volumes Book Cafe. On the first Wednesday of every month, they have an Open Mic Series. Poetry and prose are both welcome and they kindly ask that you limit your selections to 5 minutes.

Summer Series - Millennium Park Summer Music Series

Summer is the perfect time to get out and enjoy some live music! And what’s a more beautiful venue than Millennium Park? This week, we’re telling you all about the Millennium Park Summer Music Series!

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Beat the Heat

I had a feeling that our long cold spring would lead to a hot summer and it has arrived with a vengeance. There was literally no break between having the heat on to starting the air conditioner. One week heat, the next air. Here are a few tips to save energy and money this summer- and keep you cooler too!

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – A Blazin’ Hot Time!

This second weekend of July brings Chicagoans a blazin’ hot time – both festival and temp-wise! In fact, there are so many festivals and events taking place this weekend, I can’t cover them all- so here’s a link to view them!!

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Bucktown and Wicker Park, River North, Logan Square, Oak Park

Lincoln Park: It’s almost time for Taste of Lincoln Avenue! This is the 36th year and the event is bigger and better than ever. On Saturday July 27 and Sunday July 28 from 12 to 10 pm, Lincoln Avenue between Fullerton and Wrightwood will be taken over by this fantastic fest. Over 100 food, arts/crafts, and other vendors will be featured.

Summer Series - Burger Night

Do you love burgers? This week’s Summer Series is for you! Every Tuesday night between June and August, Publican Quality Meats hosts Burger Night. This weekly series is from 5:30 to 9 pm. Each week, two Chicago chefs compete for the “Best Burger” title, each creating a specialty burger. The winner is crowned by decree of most burgers sold.

5 Negotiating Tactics That Can Hurt A Sale

Negotiation is a subtle art in real estate, but skilled negotiators can usually find some common ground that satisfies all parties. On the other hand, using the wrong negotiation tactics can sink a deal pretty quickly.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – July Chores Around the Yard

We have had a crazy spring and summer this year here in Chicagoland. Spring was practically nonexistent with extremely cold temperatures with a lot of rain. Then summer appeared with a vengeance. We went from 50 to 90 degrees within 10 days. Since we planted so late, everything is just getting established. Now it’s time to assess everything in the yard.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Fourth of July Continues into Weekend!

The Fourth of July may be behind us but here in Chicago the celebrations continue all weekend long! West Fest Chicago is an annual street festival in the West Town neighborhood this Saturday and Sunday (12:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.) on Chicago Avenue between Damen Avenue and Wood Street. The festival features neighborhood retailers and restaurants, artisans, crafters, two stages of cutting-edge music with one stage featuring bands and one with DJ sets, and more

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Chicago Loop, Lincoln Square, Evanston

Bucktown and Wicker Park: The Bristol will have a special BBQ menu until July 7! It’s Bristol, Beers, and BBQ week! This week is in partnership with Kitchen Possible. All proceeds will benefit this local organization which empowers kids through cooking in underserved Chicago neighborhoods.

Summer Series - Rooftopalooza

Meet People Chicago is hosting a fantastic summer bash. Rooftopalooza is here! This summer celebration is three rooftop themed events celebrating three different summer events. The parties take place on three different dates at three different locations. Confused yet? Don’t worry, I’ll explain!

8 Must-Have Tools For Every Homeowner

From replacing cabinet doors, to burned-out light bulbs, to everything in between, all sorts of scenarios will sneak up on a regular basis in your home that will require your handiwork. Even things like hanging a picture on the wall or measuring rooms for furniture require some type of tool to get the job done.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Don’t Get Burned Out

With all the technology we have today, it is hard to turn off. Smart phones, tablets, and computers make it easy to stay in touch with work and allow us to work virtually anywhere. While this can be advantageous for people who like to work from home, it can often lead to overwork and burnout.

Short Sale And Foreclosure: What Sets Them Apart?

As unfortunate as it can be when homeowners fall behind on mortgage payments and must face the possibility of losing their homes, short sales and foreclosures provide them options for moving on financially.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Showing Our Colors with Pride!

Chicagoans will be showing their colors with pride this weekend in support of the city’s LGBTQ+ community and June Pride Month. Join in the various Pride celebrations or have a more casual, quiet weekend! There’s always something for everyone!!

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Edgewater, Andersonville, Oak Park

Lakeview: Spend an evening celebrating pride in the Rainbow Room! This Saturday June 29 from 7 to 10 pm, come dressed in your favorite 70s, 80s, or 90s attire and dance the night away! There will be featured appetizers, a DJ spinning tunes all night, you can BYOB, and get a complimentary Rainbow Cocktail while they last.

Summer Series- Old Town Restaurant Walk

Mark your calendars for the first ever Old Town Restaurant Walk. On Wednesday July 17 from 6 to 8 pm, celebrate the incredible food scene in the Old Town neighborhood. You can choose from three different routes, sampling tastes from from your favorite neighborhood restaurants.

4 Ways To Eat Organic Food On A Budget

Organic food usually tastes better, and is better for you, but it can also be very expensive compared to non-organic products. Organic food can cost nearly 50 percent more, thanks to the extra labor required to produce it and consumers’ demand exceeding supply.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Making a Budget

With many of us living a more or less cashless life, it’s easy for our spending to get out of hand. It’s a good idea to know where your money is really going. Every month, you need to add up all your expenses; plus budget for saving, paying down debt, and emergencies. I used to just have a bill paying schedule, but I’ve discovered I need to be more involved in knowing where my money is going. Do remember that each month is different, so you need to do your budget monthly.

Priority Tasks For Your Move In

Moving into a new home is an exciting time, and you’re probably daydreaming about decor and paint schemes and new furniture. But before you get into the fun stuff, there are some basics you should cover first.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – I’M HERE!

Believe it or not, it’s “officially” summer as of this Friday. Now I can’t guarantee that we’ll have any summer weather around here, but I can guarantee a weekend packed with fun summer activities!

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Chicago Loop, Lincoln Square, Evanston

Bucktown and Wicker Park: Mark your calendars for Wicker Park Fest! This is one of Chicago’s most anticipated summer festivals. From July 26-28, you’ll enjoy 3 days of fun and music! This festival reflects Wicker Park’s rich musical heritage, vibrant nightlife, and acclaimed restaurants. You can see over 50 bands on 4 stages, eat great local food, participate in arts and crafts, take your kiddos to a kids’ area, and shop at retail vendors.

Summer Series- Outdoor Aquatic Centers

The weather in Chicago isn’t quite cooperating yet, but soon it will be true summer! When the sun is shining, what better way to spend a day than at an outdoor aquatic center? We’ve got the skinny on the best family-friendly aquatic centers in the Chicagoland area- we promise they’re worth the drive!

5 Criteria For Pricing A Home

When you put your home up for sale, one of the best ways to determine the asking price is to look at comparable sales. There’s rarely a perfect apples-to-apples comparison, so a pricing decision often relies on comparisons to several recent sales in the area.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Processed Foods and Your Microbiome

We all know what highly processed foods are. Just look at the ingredient label on most snacks and prepared foods. The list of ingredients is long and confusing. That’s a hint right there. The more ingredients, the worse for you it is. The ingredients, whether naturally derived from food (like modified starch) or synthesized in laboratories, make these foods very palatable.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Celebrating Dads This Father’s Day!

This Sunday is Father’s Day already! And in true Chicago-style, this weekend’s events were planned with Dads in mind. Let the celebrating begin!! There’s no better way to celebrate Dad this Father’s Day weekend than with world-class ribs at the 21st annual Ribfest Chicago on Saturday and Sunday (12:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.) in the North Center neighborhood at 4000 N. Lincoln Avenue (Lincoln/Damen/Irving Park).

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lincoln Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, River North, Logan Square, Oak Park

Lincoln Park: Make your reservations now for Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba’s Paella Cooking Demo! On June 18 from 6 to 8 pm, you’ll enjoy an interactive how-to demonstration with Executive Chef Eric Jorgenson. There will also be a delicious five course dinner with pinxtos, tapas, paella, and dessert- all paired with Spanish wines.

Summer Series- Festa Pasta Vino

This Father’s Day weekend, take dad to celebrate in a totally new way! Onesti Entertainment presents: Oakley Festa Pasta Vino- Italian Block Party 2019! This weekend is ALL about the food, featuring a plethora of tasty treats from Chicago’s best and most authentic Italian restaurants. The festival is on Friday June 14 from 5 to 11 pm, Saturday June 15 from 12 pm to 11 pm, and Sunday June 16 from 12 to 9 pm.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Random Cleaning Tips

Run lemon rind slivers through the garbage disposal then run cold water. This really freshens and cleans greasy insides. Here’s another citrus tip! Add a cut up lemon, lime, or orange to 1 cup water in a large glass bowl. Add a ¼ cup vinegar and place in microwave. Boil the water and let sit for several minutes. Wipe clean.

Consider This: When To Refinance

Refinancing your mortgage is something most homeowners consider at least once throughout the lifespan of their home loan. It allows you to pay off your previous loan by applying for a new one that has better financial advantages. While there are many good reasons to refinance, here are five common ones.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Summer Festivals Kicking It Up A Notch!

You can’t beat summer in Chicago! Although it would be nice to have some steady summer weather around here. But weather aside, this June weekend is kicking it up a notch with the following summer festivals and then some!!

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Chicago Loop, Edgewater, Evanston

Bucktown and Wicker Park: Get ready for Ra Ra Ra at the Hideout Theatre! Ra Ra Ra is a podcast for everyone who is ready for a divine awakening, anyone that has felt disconnected from a sense of purpose, a sense of connection to life, anyone ready to bask in laughter, to allow themselves to feel rage.

Summer Series - Pop-Up Art Party

Join ACTIVATE for a pop-up art party that will kick your summer into high gear! ACTIVATE is an annual series of pop-up arts programs launched in 2014 by Chicago Loop Alliance. They transform alleys and other unexpected locations into creative exhibition stations.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – The Right Way to Vacuum

Many people have all hardwood floors these days, but some of us still have the majority of our floors carpeted. We’ve all been vacuuming since we were young and we don’t think much about how we are doing it. Here are a few tips to increase your proficiency, make your rugs stay cleaner, and last longer.

These 6 Things Can Cause Water Damage in Your Home

Water might be a necessity in life, but it can also wreak havoc in your home when it's not properly contained. Water can cause mold, mildew, and major damage to surfaces in your home. It can even compromise the integrity of your home's structure.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – City’s Neighborhoods Taking It to the Streets!

As Chicagoans welcome in June on a weekend, the city’s neighborhoods are taking it to the streets for this summer festival season!

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park, River North, Lincoln Square, Oak Park

Lakeview: Do you love Turner Classic Movies? So does the Annoyance Theatre! Join them for Improvised Turner Classic Movies on Thursday evenings at 9:30 pm. The show opens on June 20 and runs every Thursday until July 18.

Summer Series- Friday Night Flights

Welcome to our new Summer Series! If you’ve been following us for a while, you know that we usually feature a Restaurant Review on Wednesdays. From now until Labor Day, we’ll be featuring a weekly Summer Series.

What's the Purpose of a Building Permit When Renovating Your Home?

Improving your home is a great way to not only improve its aesthetics and functionality, but it's also an effective way to add value. Certain projects can bring in a high ROI, adding more value to your property compared to what you spend on the actual project itself.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Start a Garden

I like to talk about beginning gardening this time of year. In the Chicago area, we will be planting the garden soon as the threat of frost is all but over. We are in zone 5 so our planting date is May 15, but I’ve had to cover plants too many times to plant that early. So that’s the first thing to do: find out your zone and frost date.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Celebrating Memorial Day Weekend 2019!

Memorial Day Weekend 2019 has finally arrived! It’s the unofficial start of Chicago’s summer season as neighborhood celebrations take over the streets with music and food festivals popping up every weekend. Come join us!!

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Chicago Loop, Andersonville, Evanston

Bucktown and Wicker Park: Get down to the Dean Theatre for the Reddy Freddy Films Sci-fi Showcase! This Friday May 25, for just $7, the evening will include synthy beeps and boops from musical guests, space-themed short films, and the complete premiere of Dustin Puehler’s The Depression Trilogy.

Restaurant Review – Julius Meinl

I love a new coffee shop! Especially one that has delicious food. This week took me to Julius Meinl, a quaint coffee shop in the heart of Southport Corridor. The cafe has a large outdoor patio, ample indoor seating, and a relaxed vibe. The space is open and has a very easy going atmosphere, perfect for a solo brunch on a Tuesday.

What Are the Different Liens That Can Be Found on Title?

There are plenty of terms to agree to when you sign a real estate contract to purchase a home. But one thing you likely would never agree to take over are liens on title. Unfortunately, liens can derail real estate deals and cause headaches for both buyers and sellers.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Picking Perennials for Your Landscape

I’ve noticed many garden centers have perennials on sale now. Perennials are great for bringing color and interest to your landscape with minimal upkeep. Follow the planting instructions and you'll be rewarded with many years of beautiful flowers and foliage.

Turning An Ordinary Bedroom Into A Luxurious Bedroom

For most of us, our bedroom is little more than a place to sleep and relax. However, just because it’s always been that way doesn’t mean that we have to settle for drab and dreary.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – MOVING ON TO SUMMER!

Enough already! It’s time to move on to summer with its myriad of outdoor festivities and warmer temps. And this weekend promises to do just that- at least with the festivities! Who knows what mother nature will do?

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park, River North, Edgewater, Oak Park

Lakeview: Mark your calendars now for Namaste Rose Monthly Yoga at wineHouse! The first Saturday of every month, there will be an all-levels yoga class at this boutique wine shop. This all-levels vinyasa-style yoga class is designed to energize, detox and restore; it will both support and challenge beginners and experts alike.

Restaurant Review – Gideon Welles

Gastropubs are all the rage right now and I am absolutely on board. I love the relaxed atmosphere of a pub, with a slightly upscale menu, great craft beer, and delicious cocktails. This week took me to Gideon Welles, located at 4500 Lincoln Avenue, in the heart of the Lincoln Square neighborhood.

Which Down Payment Strategy Is Right For You?

You’ve most likely heard the rule: Save for a 20-percent down payment before you buy a home. The logic behind saving 20 percent is solid, as it shows that you have the financial discipline and stability to save for a long-term goal. It also helps you get favorable rates from lenders.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Growing Microgreens at Home

I often talk about gardening in my weekly blog, but I realize that some people don’t really have the space, not even a balcony. Microgreens only need a sunny windowsill to grow! In this small space, they’ll produce enough greens to augment your salads and make a great garnish for many dishes. They are very nutritious- and it’s great fun to grow them too!

How To Become A Morning Person

Ever wish you could become one of those rare morning people? The ones that wake with a start, feeling refreshed and energized. The ones that get in that morning workout or wrap up some work before many of us even hit the snooze button for the first time. Here are five tips to help you achieve that early bird status!

This Weekend In Chicago- Celebrating Moms!

The weather may not be as warm as we’d like, but this weekend is still extra special! It’s Mother’s Day Weekend! We’ve got the best activities to help you celebrate Mom in style- Chicago style, that is!

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Lincoln Square, Logan Square, Evanston

Bucktown and Wicker Park: Kick off rooftop season with the Terrace Kickoff Party at WhirlyBall! On Wednesday May 15 from 5 to 8 pm, you’ll enjoy games of ping pong, giant Connect 4, Jenga, and bags; passed appetizers; and a refreshing Virtue Cider tasting.

Restaurant Review – Roti Modern Mediterranean

I LOVE Mediterranean food! Generally, it’s cheap and healthy; two things I’m always on the lookout for. This week took me to Roti Modern Mediterranean, a fast casual restaurant with locations all over the US; in DC, the greater Chicagoland area, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, Texas, and Virginia. I went to the location in Lincoln Park.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Tips for Spring Jobs

You might want to get a few jobs around the house done before the real heat sets in. Even inside jobs seem more fun when you can throw open the windows and enjoy the spring weather! Water plants early in the day before the summer heat.

What To Negotiate When Buying A Home

Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned veteran, the negotiation part of the transaction can be a little daunting and stressful. However, it is necessary to ensure you are getting the best possible deal for your money. So, what should you negotiate when buying a home?

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – It’s Time for a Fiesta and Summer’s Kickoff!

Wow, what a weekend we have in store for us! Not only are Cinco de Mayo and the Kentucky Derby on the same weekend, but Chicagoans are also kicking off summer!!

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park, River North, Chicago Loop, Oak Park

Lakeview: The Retrospect Vintage Modern Fashion Market takes place from May 2 to May 5. The market features beautifully preserved clothing for women, men, and children from the 1890s to 1990s. The event kicks off Thursday, May 2 with a showing of Funny Face at the Music Box Theatre at 7 pm.

Restaurant Review – Jerry’s Sandwiches

I absolutely love finding new favorite restaurants. This week, I found what is sure to be a staple in my monthly restaurant rotation: Jerry’s Sandwiches. Jerry’s boasts making “Curious, Thoughtful Sandwiches Since 2002”. Well sign me up! Jerry’s has two locations, one in Andersonville and one in Lincoln Square.

4 Repairs To Make Before You List Your Home

When you’re getting ready to list your home, it’s of the upmost importance to ensure you are showing it in the best light. Taking time to highlight its strengths and fix up some of its possible weaknesses can make a big difference in how fast it sells. Here are our top five recommended repairs to make before selling your home.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Lawn Turn Around

So you bought a new house and the lawn looks like it’s been neglected for years. It’s full of weeds with no good grass in sight. Your first thought might be to call the landscaper and have them replace the old lawn with new sod. This is a great idea- if you have a few thousand dollars laying around.

IS IT TIME TO UPSIZE YOUR HOME?

Unfortunately, our homes don’t always grow with us. What may have initially worked fine for a single person, a young couple’s starter home, or a family with a newborn can quickly become too small as families expand and multiple generations live under one roof.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Spring-Like Temps Taking a Dip!

After enjoying warm, spring-like temps this past Easter weekend, we would be so lucky to have them again this weekend. That’s not going to happen though! However, there’s still a great lineup of activities to keep us in a spring frame of mind— despite temps taking a dip!!

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Lincoln Square, Andersonville, Evanston

Bucktown and Wicker Park: Club Lucky is hosting their 29th Annual Mother’s Day Brunch! From 10 am to 2:30 pm on Sunday May 12, they will have a 29 item buffet. The buffet will feature well-known Club Lucky classics including fried calamari, chicken marsala, chicken vesuvio, along with scrambled eggs, a vegetable frittata, applewood smoked bacon, French toast, and more.

Restaurant Review – Fork

Brunch was the name of the game this week! I visited Fork, a gorgeous farm to table restaurant nestled in the Lincoln Square neighborhood. The space is beautiful; with exposed brick walls, long velvet drapes, and lovely teakwood tabletops.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Sump Pump Maintenance

April showers bring May flowers, so the saying goes. If you live around Chicago, it can bring snow too! But along with that comes the dreaded basement flooding. “No problem!”, you say. “I have a sump pump, so I’m protected! It even has a back-up battery in case of a power outage.”

Create An Evacuation Plan For Your Pets

An evacuation plan is a necessity for every home, especially if you live in an area where fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, flooding, and other disasters are a possibility.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Keeping the Kids Busy this Easter Weekend!

Easter Sunday is this weekend and there are plenty of indoor and outdoor activities to keep the kids busy! Here are just a few of the family-friendly events happening in Chicago and the suburbs throughout the weekend!!

EASY LANDSCAPING DIY PROJECTS

Ever get the itch to do a DIY project? Whenever we do, our favorites involve getting outdoors and mixing up our landscaping features. Whether it's as simple as installing some lighting or a little more time-consuming like re-plotting plants, a fresh look for the lawn always gives your home a fresh look as well. Here are our top five easy landscaping projects!

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Old Town, Edgewater, Oak Park

Lincoln Park: From owning your own business to climbing the corporate ladder, you’ll find inspiration and practical professional advice at Sharing Success: Women in Business! This panel and networking event will be held on Wednesday April 24 from 8-10 am at the Greenhouse Theater Center and is open to anyone interested in boosting their career.

Restaurant Review – DS Tequila Co.

Weekends are for brunching- and this weekend…. I brunched! I went to DS Tequila Co., located in Boystown at 3352 N. Halsted. We had a group of 15 people, so I made a reservation in advance. We were seated at a long table in the greenhouse, glass enclosed patio. The patio is heated during the winter, which was perfect for a chilly April Saturday.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Caring For Your Wood Floors

Wood floors need special attention that’s not necessary for vinyl or ceramic. Most hardwood floors are protected with a polyurethane finish that can become dull and damaged from improper cleaning. First: no steam cleaning! Save this for other hard surfaces like ceramic.

Should You Test For Radon in Your Home?

Imagine something dangerous lurking in your home that you can't see, smell, touch, or taste. That's what radon gas is, and it can be hazardous to your health and that of your family. But it's virtually impossible to detect without the proper tools.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – TIME TO HOP TO IT!

It’s that time of year again when Chicagoans hop to it with a variety of pre-Easter festivities! Brooklyn Boulders Chicago (100 S. Morgan St.) in the West Loop is hosting their BKB Kids – Eggstravaganza this Saturday (9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.). This event is open to kids ages 5-12 (adult supervision required) and is a vertical egg hunt.

Should Sellers Bother Staging a Vacant Home?

There's a lot to do when it comes to getting a home ready for sale, and staging it is one of them. Obviously, a home that's properly furnished with pieces that are appropriate for the size of all rooms and decorated with tasteful accessories and neutral colors will show a lot better than a home that looks disheveled.

Restaurant Review – Atwood Restaurant

Having a friend in town is the perfect excuse to find a…

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Spring Air Conditioner Maintenance

Now is a great time to check out your air conditioner. If you do need a repair, you’ll have ample time to find a professional before really hot weather arrives when finding someone could take much longer and cost you BIG Bucks! This is the first item on your list: schedule your HVAC professional for your yearly clean and check-up.

Are You Subject to Paying Capital Gains Taxes When You Sell Your Home?

There are so many perks to homeownership, including certain tax breaks. For instance, if you own a home, you may be eligible to deduct interest expenses on up to $750,000 of mortgage debt, which can save you some cash come tax time.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – TIME FOR EASTER YET?

We have a bit of a lull in Chicago this weekend as we await the arrival of Easter and all its fun activities. No worries though, as the following events will help us bide our time until then!

How to Ensure a Vacation Home Purchase is a Good Investment

If you've been thinking about investing in real estate and buying a property to rent out over the long haul, you might want to consider a somewhat unique investment opportunity: vacation rentals. In fact, renting out vacation properties has become all the rage lately thanks to sites like Airbnb, VRBO, and HomeAway.

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lincoln Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, River North, Logan Square, Oak Park

Lincoln Park: The Chicago Cabaret Professionals present “Cabaret Goes to the Movies” at Victory Gardens Theatre on Monday April 29 at 7:30 pm. Chicago’s most popular concert and cabaret singers will present your favorite and most iconic tunes from the movies, including hits like Over the Rainbow, Ol Man River, High Hopes, and even a Bohemian Rhapsody salute.

Restaurant Review – Dylan's Tavern

I rarely find myself eating in The Loop, but this week was an exception! I went to Dylan’s Tavern and Grill, located at 118 South Clinton, near Union Station. The atmosphere is relaxed and casual and the interior is beautifully decorated, with a large wooden bar and mahogany tables. The menu is sizable, but not overwhelming.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Cleaner Dishes With a Cleaner Dishwasher

People don’t think about cleaning appliances that clean things; like clothes washers and dishwashers. However these workhorses deal with the grimiest of the grimy and need special attention to ensure they function properly and have a longer life. I’ve written about clothes washers previously and today I’ll focus on dishwashers.

Should You Buy the Best House in the Neighborhood?

A gorgeous house in a great neighborhood is definitely something that will catch buyers' attention. And the best house on the block will certainly stand out from the rest. But is purchasing the best house in the neighborhood a sound investment? It's safe to say that many buyers want a home that's move-in ready.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – WHERE IS SPRING?

This weekend, the door is closing on another March here in Chicago. However we haven’t seen, or really felt, much of spring since its arrival on the 20th. So until then, perhaps some of these events will get you into a spring frame of mind!

These Home Improvements Could Hurt Your Home's Value When You Sell

Every seller wants to snag the highest possible price for their home when they sell, which is why certain measures should be taken to prep a home and craft a solid listing for buyers to see. And one of the recommended things that sellers should consider is making improvements that will help garner more attention from buyers.

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Chicago Loop, Andersonville, Evanston

Bucktown and Wicker Park: Pork & Mindy’s and Easel Art Studio are teaming up for a children’s art class! Bring your kiddos for an afternoon of painting and get creative, all while munching on complimentary treats. Participants will be painting a “Candy BLT” masterpiece. Guests are welcome to order from Pork & Mindy's full family-friendly menu, too.

Restaurant Review – Monk's Pub

I love a good old fashioned pub- especially when they have delicious food! This week took me to Monk’s Pub, located at 205 W. Lake St. in the Loop. We came in on a Friday night around 6:30 and it was packed! The after work crowd was bustling and the restaurant was full of energy. We had to wait for about 30 minutes, so if you’re in a rush, I’d suggest coming a little later or on a weeknight.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Dust Bunnies and What They’re Made Of

For those of us with allergies, dust bunnies can be very irritating. They’re often made up of insect fecal matter, mold, and fungal spores. But they can also contain scary things like lawn chemicals and heavy metals like lead and arsenic!

Should You Refinance Your Home?

If you own a home and have some equity built up in it, you may have the opportunity to refinance your current mortgage. And there may be some good reasons why may want to consider refinancing, depending on your situation.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – WINTER FADES AS SPRING ARRIVES!

According to the calendar, spring has arrived. But Chicagoans know all too well that winter fades slowly around here. Hopefully this weekend’s spring activities will help us shed our winter blues!

Short-Term or Long-Term Amortization Periods: Which One is Best For a Mortgage?

There are a number of factors to consider when choosing a particular mortgage product. While the interest rate and fees associated with a home loan are certainly important factors to consider, so is the amortization period.

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lincoln Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, River North, Lincoln Square, Oak Park

Lincoln Park: Spring has almost sprung here in Chicago! Mark your calendars for the Chicago Wine Fest on Saturday, April 27 at the Lincoln Park Zoo. You’ll experience an elevated wine tasting experience, great food, and live musical performances. There are three separate sessions to choose from: noon, 3:30 pm, or 7 pm. VIP tickets include early access, which means more time to sample delicious wines and chat with representatives.

Restaurant Review – Rojo Gusano

I’m always in search of the next great taco! If you’ve been reading this review for any length of time, you know that I LOVE tacos. And this week, I found some great tacos. Rojo Gusano is located in Ravenswood, at 4217 N Ravenswood Ave. The atmosphere is immediately welcoming, with gorgeous hanging planters, rustic wood tables, cozy couches with colored throw pillows, and warm lighting.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Spring House Check

Now with hints of warmer weather coming, we can get outside and see how the house survived the long winter. Before you know it, summer will be here and many other things will take up your time; so take advantage of the time you have now!

8 Best Paint Colors For Your Front Door

Curb appeal speaks volumes. It not only creates a welcoming vibe to your home, but it also plays a key role in its value, too. Given this, it's important to keep up with your home's curb appeal and spruce it up if need be.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – WE’RE GOING IRISH!

From pub crawls to parades, there’s nothing quite like St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago! In fact, we’re all going Irish for the weekend!! For over 40 years the Chicago Journeymen Plumbers have turned the Chicago River an emerald green, kicking off the city’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

6 Ways to Boost Security in Your Condo, Even Without a Concierge

All homeowners want to take measures to make sure their homes are secure and that all occupants within their homes are kept safe at all times. When it comes to condos, there is usually an added level of security in the form of a locked main entrance, security cameras, or 24-hour concierge.

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Chicago Loop, Logan Square, Evanston

Lakeview: Looking for a great way to spend a weekend day with your kiddos? Emerald City Theatre is concluding it’s 2018-2019 season with the Chicago premiere of “Corduroy”, based on the classic book by Don Freeman. A small bear’s quest for a missing button leads to the friendship of a lifetime!

Restaurant Review – Cafe Orchid

Do you have a restaurant that you’ve walked by a thousand times but have never been to? I sure do! And this week I finally went to mine. Cafe Orchid is an unassuming Turkish restaurant, located at the corner of Lincoln and Addison. We went in around 2 o’clock on a Friday afternoon and there were just a few tables.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Early Spring Yard Clean-Up

This winter has seemed never ending, but is finally showing signs of relenting. There are more animals out and about (mostly skunks) but the hawk has been seen feeding on a stray pigeon or two. This is usually a good sign that spring is just around the corner.

How Do Appraisers Determine the Value of a Home?

Sellers are obviously interested in knowing the value of their homes so they can figure out roughly how much they can potentially sell for. But buyers also want to know the value of homes they're interested in and may put an offer on, as it will help them determine an appropriate and competitive offer.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – AWAITING SPRING & THE GREAT OUTDOORS!

Awaiting the arrival of spring and the great outdoors can be a daunting task here in Chicago. But this weekend in March not only brings us Daylight Saving Time on Sunday, it also brings us a little tease of what’s to come!

What is "Virtual Staging" All About?

There are a handful of important steps that should be taken when you list your home for sale, and staging is one of them.

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Lincoln Square, Andersonville, Oak Park

Bucktown and Wicker Park: Urbanbelly and Wicker Park neighbor One Strange Bird are teaming up for a children’s art class! One Strange Bird is an event space and art studio on Division Street that offers unique apparel, accessories and gifts from local and national designers.

Restaurant Review – Kai Sushi

I was majorly craving sushi this week! Luckily I happen to live around the corner from a sushi restaurant. Kai Sushi is located at 3819 N Southport. The restaurant is very intimate, with just a handful of tables and booths. There is a gorgeous sushi bar at the back of the space, lit with hanging industrial fixtures. Of course, they have beautiful fresh fish displayed in a glass case. The menu is small, but packed with delicious options.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Food Safety at Home

I recently heard a public service ad about food safety. I’m sure we think we’re as safe as can be when we shop for, clean, and prepare food for our families; but it’s a good idea to periodically give ourselves a quick lesson. Food safety is divided into 4 categories: clean, separate, cook, and chill.

Do You Know How Much Your Home is Worth?

Every homeowner wonders exactly how much their home is worth at some point, whether they're planning to sell or not.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – MARDI GRAS TIME – CHICAGO-STYLE!

I just got back from spending 8 days in NOLA and now it’s Mardi Gras time – Chicago-style that is! Here’s a quick low-down of this weekend’s Mardi Gras events. Are you ready for one of the wildest pub crawls of the year?

How to Get a Mortgage When You're Self-Employed

Getting a mortgage is a real financial feat, especially with the stringent mortgage lending criteria that borrowers have to meet these days.

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Chicago Loop, Gold Coast, Evanston

Lincoln Park: Celebrate your St. Patty’s day right with the original “You Can’t Drink All Day If You Don’t Start in the Morning” party! For 23 years, this green and gold clad party has christened the Irish morn with a Massive Breakfast Buffet and plenty o booze. At the buffet, you’ll find scrambled eggs with herbs, corned beef hash potatoes with spices, biscuits and gravy, fruit trays, Bloody Mary’s, Screwdrivers, and Green Beer.

Restaurant Review – Parson's Chicken and Fish

I’m a fried chicken junkie- so when I heard that Parson’s Chicken and Fish opened a new Lincoln Park location, I had to go! Located at 2435 N Halsted St., the new spot is adorable. It has a huge outdoor patio, which is sure to be very popular come summertime. The tables feel like a dressed up picnic spot, with white shiplap benches and maple tabletops.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has been used for many, many years. It is purported to have many health benefits. ACV contains 17 amino acids as well as potassium, manganese, and phosphorous. It also contains B1, B6, and B12. The malic acid in ACV is attributed to cleaning clogged arteries, lymph nodes, and organ tissues; detoxifying the whole body and reducing inflammation. It can bring out-of-whack cholesterol levels back into a normal range.

Open House Etiquette For Buyers

If you're actively in search of a new home or are just mulling over the idea of making a home purchase, open houses present an ideal opportunity to visit homes that have recently been listed on the market.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - IT’S A WONDERFUL, WINTERY WEEKEND!

We have a wonderful, wintery weekend ahead of us here in Chicago! Check out all our cool (and cold!) city has to offer: Get your kiddos excited about science with Science Night Out! You can enjoy an evening out while your kids learn in a hands-on environment at The Laboratory. Each Science Night Out includes a pizza dinner too!

Tips For Investing in Student Housing

When it comes to investing in real estate, location is everything.

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lakeview, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lincoln Park, River North, Lincoln Square, Oak Park

Lakeview: The Chicago Composers’ Big Band is showcasing their take on the Billboard Hot 100! The concert is on Wednesday February 27 at 8:30 pm. Each piece in the program is an arrangement of a tune that has been #1 on the Billboard Charts.

Restaurant Review – Poke Burrito

I’m always in search of healthy, cheap, and most importantly, delicious food! This week took me to Poke Burrito in North Center, located at 4301 N Lincoln Ave. Poke Burrito has two other locations in the city, one in the South Loop and one in Oak Park. They boast fresh, healthy, ingredients that allow you to customize your meal.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Planning Your Summer Garden (While the Snow is Still Around?!)

Yes, I know it’s still February and it’s cold and dreary. Here in the Chicago area, we have been in a snowy, cold pattern. It snows anywhere from 2-6 inches, then we have a few really cold days. We might get a nice day in there somewhere, but then the pattern just repeats.

Open House Etiquette For Sellers

Open houses provide sellers with a great opportunity to showcase their home to the general public in hopes of finding a willing buyer to put in an offer.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – LOOK OUT – LOVE MAY BE IN THE AIR!

A little birdie told me there’s a good chance love may be in the air this weekend in Chicago! Here’s why: This Saturday (12:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.) be a part of Cupid’s Undie Run taking place at Sluggers Sports Bar (3540 N. Clark St.) in the Wrigleyville neighborhood. Brave the cold for a “brief,” mile(ish) fun run that takes place in the middle of a BIG party!

INFOGRAPHIC: 10 Most Affordable Places to Rent in the US

Rent doesn't come cheap in many centers across the US, particularly in places like LA, San Francisco, and New York City where rent is well over the $2,000 mark.

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Chicago Loop, Edgewater, Evanston

Bucktown and Wicker Park: Join Chicago Detours on March 22 for “Badass Women in Chicago History”, a second annual storytelling event celebrating Women’s History Month. Chicago Detours is committed to bringing people to explore stories and places they wouldn’t otherwise know. The characters presented are Chicago heroines on the peripheries of history.

Restaurant Review – Scofflaw

This week took me to a new neighborhood! Logan Square is full of adorable (and delicious!) restaurants. I found myself at Scofflaw, a gin-focused cocktail bar. In addition to cocktails, they also serve small plates that “go well beyond bar food”, as their website states.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Clothes Dryer Tips and Dangers

Upwards of 17,000 fires annually are caused by washers and dryers. More than 90% of these are dryer related. With a few simple steps, you can minimize and avoid dryer fire danger. Keep an ABC fire extinguisher in the laundry room and make sure it is operational.

8 Things Buyers Should Know About Buying a Fixer-Upper

While many buyers tend to look for turn-key homes that they can just drop their belongings in and not have to worry about any extra work, others like the idea of having the opportunity to fix up the home as they see fit while adding extra value to it.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Another Fun-Packed Weekend for Us All!

No big thaw or polar vortex planned for this weekend! However, it’s still winter in Chicago with another fun-packed weekend for us all! The city is celebrating the Chinese New Year by ringing in the “Year of the Pig” with a variety of cultural, musical and culinary events.

Condo Requirements For FHA Loan Approval

Plenty of homebuyer hopefuls turn to condos as a way to get into the real estate market, and for good reason.

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lincoln Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, River North, Andersonville, Oak Park

Lincoln Park: Celebrate local flavors at Chicago’s indoor neighborhood food festival: Savor Lincoln Park! On Wednesday, February 20 from 6-9 pm, you’ll enjoy great food and great views at Theatre on the Lake. Participating restaurants include Blue Door Farm Stand, Broken English Taco Pub, Oyster Bah, Geja’s Cafe, Nothing Bundt Cakes, and more.

Restaurant Review – Jin Thai

I absolutely love Asian food. This week took me to a new spot (well, new to me!): Jin Thai. Jin Thai is located at 5458 N Broadway, in the heart of Edgewater. I loved the space immediately. The dark wood furniture, industrial light fixtures, and brightly colored cushions simultaneously feel upscale and cozy. The restaurant is small, but has large, gorgeous windows, offering most tables a view outside.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Habits of People with Well-Kept Houses

Keeping a clean house doesn’t need to take all day- or sap all your energy! Check out these habits learned by people that have tidy and well-kept houses. There are a few things you can do every day to keep your house looking ship shape. They won’t take long and once you create a habit, it will get even quicker.

Buying and Selling at the Same Time? Follow These Tips

If moving is on the horizon for you sometime soon, then you've got plenty of decisions to make. And one of these important decisions is whether to sell or buy first.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – THE BIG THAW!

The weekend is finally here! Chicagoans will be celebrating “The Big Thaw” in more ways than one!! It is only fitting that after this past week’s polar vortex, Groundhog Day will be celebrated this Saturday with two events! First up is the 7th annual Groundhog Celebration at The Leigh Gallery (3306 N. Halsted St.) in the Lakeview neighborhood from 12:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

What Exactly Do Your Condo Fees Cover?

Condo living is pretty popular among buyers who are looking for something more affordable than traditional freehold homes.

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Chicago Loop, Lincoln Square, Evanston

Bucktown and Wicker Park: Join HealthSource of Wicker Park at Easy Bar for a morning of Sip and Savasana! Renee Krystek will teach a one hour vinyasa yoga flow and then the first round is on HealthSource! Bring your own yoga mat and they’ll supply the rest! The class is Monday February 11 at 7 pm and tickets are just $5.

Restaurant Review – Fahlstrom's Fresh Fish Market

This week took me to a Chicago staple: Fahlstrom’s Fresh Fish Market. Fahlstrom’s is a unique experience from start to finish. On the right hand side of the restaurant is a fresh fish market, offering 16-18 varieties of fresh fish each day.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Severe Cold Weather Tips

Here in the Midwest, we’re used to very cold weather but it’s still important to think about what we need to do and take care of during an extremely cold spell.

6 Tips to Choosing the Best Mortgage Lender

The purchase price of the home you agree to buy will obviously have a direct impact on your mortgage payment.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Plenty of Warmth Despite Arctic Blast!

Well, we’ll be closing out the last weekend of January 2019 with an arctic blast! Not to worry though, there’s plenty of warmth coming your way!!

How to Snag a Low-Interest Rate on Your Mortgage

Out of all debt payments that you may have on the books, a mortgage payment will likely be one of your biggest.

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lincoln Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, Edgewater, Logan Square, Oak Park

Lincoln Park: Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to learn how to whip up a three-course dinner for your loved ones! Mark your calendars for A Feast for Sore Eyes: Valentine’s Day Three Course Dinner Class with Green City Market.

Restaurant Review – Pockets

I’m always on the lookout for a healthy (and cheap!) restaurant. This week, I hit the jackpot with Pockets. Pockets website says "we specialize in providing customers with a large assortment of fresh, healthy ingredients… we hope to work our best to please the community and create a healthy option for all."

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Battling Dry Indoor Air

Those of us with forced air furnaces are confronted every winter with dry air. Every time the furnace runs, it sucks out any moisture in the air. Dry air is responsible for many ailments from dry skin, aggravated allergies, and bloody noses to colds and the flu. Here are a few ways to naturally bring moisture into your home this winter.

9 Things NOT To Do When Staging Your Home For Sale

If you want your home to stand out from the crowd and entice buyers to put in an offer, you'd be well advised to have it staged.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – SUMMER FUN IN THE MIDDLE OF WINTER!

It’s a snowy weekend forecast here in Chicago! Another typical, winter weekend in January. Not for Chicagoans though! We’ll be taking in some baseball and heading to the beach. Come join us!!

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Chicago Loop, Lincoln Square, Evanston

Lakeview: Start your New Year right with a calming Meditation Workshop at the Japanese Culture Center. The workshop is this Saturday, January 19 from 12-2 pm. Zazen, the practice of meditation is a transformative process that aims to deepen our connection to the mind and body. With regular practice, meditation and breath training can significantly reduce stress, improve mental clarity, and cultivate a well-grounded state of awareness.

8 Tips for Finding the Right Real Estate Agent

There are plenty of real estate agents out there, which can make choosing just one seem like a daunting task.

Restaurant Review – Lena Brava

This week took me to a swankier spot than usual! I found myself at Lena Brava, one of Rick Bayless’s restaurants. Rick Bayless is an American chef who specializes in traditional Mexican cuisine with a modern flair. We booked our reservation months ago, but had a coveted 7:30 pm slot on Saturday evening.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Downsizing

At the end of this month, I will be turning 60. My husband and I have decided to move closer to our grandchildren. It’s not a long distance move by any means (only 40 minutes away) but we are moving into a decidedly smaller house. We’re going from a two story, four-bedroom bungalow to a small one-story ranch.

8 Tips to Baby-Proofing Your Home

Babies are innocent, but they still manage to get themselves into trouble when they become mobile.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – IS IT VACATION TIME YET?

After completing a full week of work, I bet most Chicagoans are ready for a vacation! As usual, the city has us covered this weekend! Here’s two great shows to get us started!!

INFOGRAPHIC: Expected Trends For Buyers and Sellers in 2019

In 2019, many buyers may be priced out of the market with rising prices and mortgage rates, though there will be more inventory and less competition.

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Gold Coast, Edgewater, Oak Park

Bucktown and Wicker Park: Craft hand-lettered valentines for your loved ones this Valentine’s season! Hand-lettering guru Cristina Vanko presents a workshop as par of 826CHI’s Fresh Ink Community Series! Held on Saturday February 2 from 2-3:30 pm, this workshop for adults and teens of all experience levels will explore different hand lettering techniques.

Restaurant Review – Millie's Supper Club

“Family, friendly, fun, big portions, comfort foods, doggie bags, great cocktails, comfortable, woodsy atmosphere… all adjectives that can be used to describe real supper clubs. They are happy places where people go to gather with family or friends and that is our plan for Millie’s Supper Club.”

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Get Out the Blue Dawn

Original Blue Dawn dishwashing liquid is a great biodegradable grease cutter and works for so many cleaning jobs around the house. Remember all these tips are using original Blue Dawn. It’s the one with the cute duck on the label— it’s used for cleaning wildlife after oil spills as it’s gentle and effective.

7 Advantages of Living in a 55+ Community

When you reach a certain age, your needs and tastes may be different than what they may have been in your younger years, and that includes your housing arrangement.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Temps May Dip, But City Heats Up!

In case you haven’t noticed, winter is upon us! As usual, Chicagoans never let a little cold cramp their style! In fact when the temperature dips, the city heats up with outdoor activities, dining deals, free events, and more! Here’s what’s up this first weekend of 2019!!

How to Sell Your Home During the Off Season

The holiday season can be a bit of a challenge for sellers considering all the vacations that families tend to take while the kids are off school.

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lincoln Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, River North, Lincoln Square, Evanston

Lincoln Park: 2019 promises to be an exciting year! Learn more about what’s happening at the local level directly from the source! 2nd Ward Alderman Brian Hopkins, 32nd Ward Alderman Scott Waguespack, and 43rd Ward Alderman Michele Smith will be hosting a panel discussion on Tuesday, January 22 from 8 am to 10 am.

Restaurant Review – Dante's Pizzeria

Sometimes, you just have to have pizza. This week took me to Dante’s Pizzeria in Ravenswood, located at 1964 W Lawrence Ave. Dante’s is totally unassuming from the outside, located in a small strip right off the intersection of Damen and Lawrence.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Post Holiday Letdown

All the parties are over and every present has been opened and marveled over. Houseguests are gone and the last leftovers eaten. A fun time was had by all; so why are some of us so depressed? Some of us spent too much money, so our bank accounts are wanting.

Are You Ready to Go From Renting to Buying?

Making the leap from "renter" to "homeowner" status is a big deal, for obvious reasons.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Closing Out Another Year!

Not only is it the last weekend of December but it’s also the last one of 2018! And here in Chicago, we’ll be closing out another year in grand style with a variety of festivities!!

Mortgage Versus Rent: What's the Real Difference?

Whether you rent or own, you still have monthly expenses to pay in exchange for a place to live.

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Chicago Loop, Andersonville, Portage Park

Lakeview: Haven’t solidified your New Year’s Eve plans yet? Ring in 2019 at ComedySportz Theatre! There are 3 shows- at 5 pm, 7 pm, and 10 pm. General admission tickets are $35. Tickets include the 90-minute show, a countdown to midnight (for London at the 5 pm show, Reykjavik at the 7 pm show, and Chicago at the 10 pm show), a champagne toast, a fabulous photo booth, and candy!

Restaurant Review – Pasta Al Gusto

This week took me to the most charming lunch spot, Pasta Al Gusto. Located at 3737 N Southport Avenue, this gem is tucked right next to the popular Music Box Theatre. We came in at about 2:30 on a Sunday afternoon for a late lunch. They have an awesome lunch special- just $8.99 for your choice of a salad, panini, or pasta dish.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Change Your Life in this New Year

New Year’s Eve is coming next week. Everyone will be in a rush to decide what their “New Year’s Resolutions” will be. For many people, that means getting a gym membership. But they usually give up before January ends. Salad bar business and veggie sales skyrocket. Steps are counted on the Christmas Fitbits.

9 Surprising Things That Can Affect Your Credit Score

Thinking of applying for a mortgage any time soon?

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – ALL SET – BRING ON CHRISTMAS!

All set in Chicago – bring on Christmas! Well, most of us are set. But for those who aren’t and need to do their holiday shopping this last weekend before Christmas – good luck!! The rest of us will kick back and enjoy some holiday entertainment!!!

7 Ways to Improve Your Credit Score Before Buying a Home

When it comes to buying a house and getting a mortgage, you need to be in healthy financial shape.

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lincoln Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, River North, Lincoln Square, Oak Park

Lincoln Park: Celebrate your New Year’s in style at the J. Parker rooftop! Enjoy panoramic views of Lake Michigan and the downtown Chicago skyline. This year’s theme is Purple Rain- so get ready to party like it’s 1999! Tickets are $125 and include a premium open bar from 9 pm to 1 am, passed appetizers, desserts, late night snacks, a midnight champagne toast, and 80s and 90s jams spun by DJ Kareem!

Restaurant Review – Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits

This week took me to a whole new brunch experience: Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits. We came in on a Saturday morning (afternoon?) around 12 pm. The atmosphere is immediately welcoming, with a large exposed kitchen, full sized couches, tables set into a cozy window nook, and large communal dining tables.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Use Your Fireplace Safely This Winter

Having a fireplace is awesome in the winter! It can make any room cozy and warm. But there is so much more to do than throw some logs in and light them up. Fireplaces can cause fires and fill the entire house with smoke.

7 Hazards in a Home For Buyers to Look Out For

Buying a home always comes with inherent risks.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – HOLIDAY FESTIVITIES FOR ALL TO ENJOY!

Don’t look now, but the holidays are fast approaching! As usual, they’ll be here and gone before you know it. So during this hectic season take some time for yourself, family, and friends to enjoy the holiday festivities around town!!

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Edgewater, Chicago Loop, Evanston

Bucktown and Wicker Park: It’s time to make your New Year’s Eve plans! Join TUKO Cantina for a rockin’ NYE party! There will be a hosted bar from 8 to 9 pm, DJs spinning tunes, complimentary party favors, and delicious tacos by Executive Chef Chris de la Cueva! Early bird tickets are just $20 and general admission tickets are $25.

INFOGRAPHIC: 15 Easiest House Plants to Care For

Houseplants are one of those things that breathe life into a home and add a natural element of decor.