5 Features That Can Help Your Home Sell Faster

There are a number of features in your home that you should think about if you’re planning on selling in the near future. There could be some areas in your home that might not be that appealing to a homebuyer and could deter them from making an offer knowing that there will be upgrade costs they’ll need to make after the purchase.

Making these upgrades will most likely cost less compared to the loss you could take on the final sale price of your home. Buyers generally know what they want and are willing to pay for these features.

Here are 5 features that homebuyers are currently looking for:

OPEN-CONCEPT FLOOR PLAN

Younger homebuyers prefer an open floor plan with minimal walls making a home feel more spacious. Rather than separating common rooms with walls, open-concept floor plans feature a large common area by combining areas such as a living room and kitchen into a single space.

Open floor plans are brighter, more functional, and are more conducive to interaction with your family and friends by eliminating the need for everyone to be in the same room.

ENERGY EFFICIENT APPLIANCES

Homebuyers are increasingly expecting homes to have energy efficient appliances to cut the cost of their monthly utility bills. Older stoves, refrigerators, washer and dryers can use up a lot of energy which is why making the switch to energy-efficient models makes sense.

You can save a few hundred bucks at the end of the year by opting for appliances that use less energy to complete the same tasks as their non-energy-efficient counterparts. Knowing that your home is easy on the environment and affordable to operate is a huge feature that buyers look for.

UPDATED KITCHEN

Kitchen’s have always been a major selling point as there’s nothing quite like walking into a beautiful kitchen equipped with updated appliances, surfaces, and features. Kitchen remodels will always remain on the list when it comes to the largest ROI.

Cutting-edge appliances, beautiful surfaces, and lots of storage are some of the features homebuyers are looking for. Don’t forget about that top-of-the-line gas range as it will make your kitchen that much more appealing!

PRIVATE PATIO

Having a private patio in your backyard is another great feature than can help sell your home as it adds a living space to your outdoor area. You can add a patio to your outdoor space no matter how big or small. 

Buyers really enjoy walking out to a beautiful private patio in the backyard. Younger generations in particular have come to expect this feature. It serves as a great place to entertain or just enjoy the outdoors with your family.

GARAGE STORAGE

Garages aren’t just for storing vehicles – they’re also hugely depended on by homeowners to store things. This is especially true for young couples with growing families. In addition to the basement, the garage tends to be depended on to store all those big items, like strollers, bikes, patio chairs, boxes of old toys, and other things that you’d rather not lug up the stairs from the basement.

Additional storage in the garage allows homeowners to ensure that the inside of their homes is not cluttered and much more organized. After all, the less stuff you have in the house, the less organizing and tidying up is necessary.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Wrapping Up the End of Pride Month!

Chicagoans will be wrapping up the end of Pride Month this last weekend in June with a host of Chicago Pride celebrations and other events as another month of weekends comes to an end as well!

More than a dozen performers take to Grant Park (337 E. Randolph St.) in The Loop for the two-day Pride in the Park festival on Saturday (2 p.m. – 10 p.m.) and Sunday (3 p.m. – 10 p.m.). This celebration of Pride Month, the city’s LGBTQ+ community is excited to feature two stages with top international and local musical talent; performers and activist speakers; and a wide variety of food, drinks, merchandise vendors, and more!  Plus, there are plenty of pre- and after party events taking place as well!!

Navy Pier’s annual day-long celebration of LGBTQ+ culture, Navy Pier Pride returns this Saturday (12 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.) to Navy Pier (600 E. Grand Ave.) in the Streeterville neighborhood. Besides celebrating diversity, inclusivity, and support for the LGBTQ+ community, this free event features festivities that include live music, dancing, storytelling, and more for the entire family to enjoy all day and night!

Following a two-year hiatus, the 51st annual Chicago Pride Parade returns to the streets of Chicago’s Uptown and Lakeview neighborhoods on Sunday stepping off at Noon from Montrose Avenue and Broadway Street. Since this parade typically attracts over one million attendees, it would be wise to plan on staking out your spot along the parade route as early as you can! Also, bar and restaurant celebrations follow the parade and continue throughout the night in Boystown!!

This weekend is the last one for the Taste of Chicago pop-ups that returned this year to three Chicago neighborhoods. The Taste of Chicago Little Village will be featured on Saturday (12 p.m. – 8 p.m.) at Ortiz De Dominguez School (3000 S. Lawndale Ave.) in the Little Village neighborhood.  This pop-up features an exciting array of local and citywide food vendors showcasing the diversity of Chicago’s culinary scene.  Not only will attendees’ taste everything from authentic Mexican desserts to Auntie Vee’s mac & cheese, and more, but also enjoy a full lineup of free musical performances!  It’s an event not to be missed!!

Returning to the Logan Square neighborhood and celebrating its 12th year, the Logan Square Arts Fest takes place this Saturday and Sunday (12 p.m. – 10 p.m.) at Logan Square Monument Park (2579 N. Milwaukee Ave.). This year’s event features two stages of live music, food and drinks from neighborhood restaurants, and locally produced beer and cocktails for a one-of-a-kind experience in one of the most iconic green spaces in Chicago! And it all takes place on the first official weekend of summer!!

From June through September this year, dozens of movies will screen in parks all over Chicago as part of the city’s annual Movies in the Parks program.  From recent blockbusters to classics, you’re sure to find something good to watch for free beneath the stars this summer.  Screenings typically begin at 8:30 p.m. each evening.  Here’s this weekend’s choices:

Saturday
“Spider-Man – No Way Home” – Pulaski Park (1419 W. Blackhawk St.) – West Town


“Encanto” – Unity Park (2636 N. Kimball Ave.) – Logan Square


“Legally Blonde” – Bartelme Park (115 S. Sangamon St.) – Near West Side

Sue Moss and Dean’s Team Chicago

Neighborhood News – Take PRIDE in Lincoln Square,  Lincoln Park, Streeterville, Logan Square, Northalsted

It’s here! It’s finally here! Pride Month in Chicago goes out with a flourish, with neighborhood events, festivals, festivities, and after a Covid-related hiatus, the return of Chicago’s Pride Parade!

Farmer’s Market Pride For a pre-Friday lift, the Lincoln Square Evening Farmer’s Market, on Lincoln and Leland Avenues from 3pm-7pm, is a treat just waiting to happen. Adjacent to CTA Brown Line – Western ‘L’ Station, the market connects local farmers, artisans, and food purveyors to the Northside of Chicago. Thursday marketers include Aleka’s Kitchen, Edgewater Candles, Fons Empanadas, and Joe’s Blues. For a complete list of Thursday vendors, click here.

Pride at the Zoo On Thursday, June 23, Pride Weekend gets underway at Lincoln Park Zoo, North Cannon Drive and West Fullerton, at 6:30pm for Adults Night Out: Pride Party! This 18+ event is a chance to explore Lincoln Park Zoo after the gates close. In recognition of Pride Month, this evening features Drag Queen Bingo, a DJ featuring LGBTQIA+ artists, animal chats from the Lincoln Park Zoo team, and free rides on the AT&T Endangered Species Carousel. Cash bars and plenty of food for purchase! Tickets are $40 per person, and can be found by clicking here.

Take pride in Theater! A newmusical comedy is premiering at Navy Pier’s Chicago Shakespeare Theater, 800 E. Grand Avenue, through Sunday, July 24. ItCameFromOuterSpace was adapted from the ‘50s cult classic sci-fi film! The story goes, according to the website, “Amateur astronomer John Putnam encounters an alien spaceship in the desert and becomes the laughingstock of his small town—until the extraterrestrial visitors make their presence known and he must convince the gathering mob that they have come in peace. A clever musical score and creative physical humor puts a new spin on Ray Bradbury’s flying saucer tale, examining society’s fear of outsiders as it simultaneously embraces the wonder of what lies just beyond the stars.” Tickets are $50-60, and can be purchased by clicking here 

Take pride in Art (and Music!) While not officially a Pride event, The Logan Square Arts Festival returns to 3150 W. Logan Boulevard (‘The Square’) after a two-year hiatus Friday, June 24 to Sunday, June 26. The festival features, according to the website, two stages of live music, food, drinks, and a renewed focus oon”creating a one-of-kind experience in one of the most iconic green spaces in Chicago,” celebrating the diversity and vitality of  neighborhood. Hours are Friday, 5pm -10pm, and Saturday and Sunday, noon-10pm. For more information, click here.

Navy Pier PrideCome to Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Avenue, on Saturday, June 25, from 12pm– 11:30pm for a day-long, family-friendly celebration of storytelling, music, dance,  diversity, inclusivity and support for the LGBTQIA+ community. Festivities include live music, educational programs, performances from local LGBTQIA+ artists, on-site resources from community partners and more. Free. For more information, click here.

More Pride in Music C’mon over to Grant Park, 337 E. Randolph Drive on Saturday, June 25 and Sunday, June 26 from 1pm-10pm for Pride In The Park, and groove along to the pulsating beat of the annual outdoor music festival featuring LGBTQ+ performers, artists, and vendors! Headliners include the Chainsmokers, Swedish DJ Alesso, Daya, Rebecca Black, and so many more! Tickets are $75-$210; Free for kids 10 years old and under, with a paying adult. For tickets, click here.

Movies in the ParkHead to Logan Square’s Unity Park, 2636 N. Kimball Avenue, on Saturday, June 25, at 8:30pm (dusk) for a free showing of Disney’s Oscar-winning Encanto. More moviesthroughoutthecity’s beautiful parks! For a complete list of Chicago Park District’s Movies in the Park, click here 

The 51st annual Chicago Pride Parade marches through the city’s Northalsted (Boystown) neighborhood starting at noon on Sunday, June 26, at Montrose Avenue and Broadway. The parade features a rainbow of lively, colorful characters, as well as musicians, area businesses, politicians, and lots of floats! The parade marches south, ending near the intersection of Diversey Parkway and Sheridan Road in Lincoln Park. Free. For more information, click here.

Alison Moran-Powers and Dean’s Team Chicago

Restaurant Review – Family-friendly, calorie-conscious Pastore + Brunch in Lincoln Square

Swimsuit season has officially arrived! Happy second day of Summer, everyone. There are many reasons we like Lincoln Square’s Pastore + Brunch, including the quality of the ingredients, the innovative, Mexican-inspired breakfast, lunch and brunch options, and healthy selections. And in swimsuit season, you can keep track of every calorie you consume at Pastore + Brunch.

Yes, calorie counts on each item come with the menu. 

Take, for example, their signature brunch items. For a mere 348 calories, the Mexican Molletesbolillo rolls smothered with warm refried beans and melty Chihuahua cheese. And you can top them with their self-described “fresh, zesty” pico de gallo. Or their 1100-calorie Mexican-inspired Chicken and Mini Waffles, featuring a fresh, made to order, juicy chicken breast, which has been marinated in their special sauce (a house recipe,) accompanied with “a little waffles,” with your choice of ranch, honey mustard, or Buffalo dipping sauce. For just 447 calories (149 per slice,) you can indulge in their Lincoln Square Stuffed French Toast with three pieces of your choice of strawberries, Nutella, or sweet Ricotta cheese, which are topped with berries sauce, roasted marshmallow, and chocolate Pockys.

Their Lincoln Ave Frittata has thin slices of prosciutto, fresh wild mushrooms, roasted onions, roasted tomatoes and parmesan cheese on top for 470 calories, and their Mix Mex Frittata pairs chorizo, fresh pico de gallo, fire roasted poblano peppers, melted Chihuahua cheese on top for 520 calories.

Their appetizers are equally inspired. A favorite is the Mexican Street Corn, which comes covered with Hellmann’s mayonnaise, chile tajin and cotija cheese, and our choice of ‘on the cob’ or ‘plate’. All for a mere 240 calories! 

Another calorie bargain and specialty of the house is the P+B Burger. How is it possible that ahalf-pound of charbroiled cooked meat, pastor meat, grilled pineapple, grilled onions, and Chihuahua cheese, and waffle fries can clock in at 370 calories? 

Their signature P+B Tacos are served on double house-made corn tortillas (gluten-free). They note that all tacos and baos are available as a lettuce wrap, with your choice of lettuce and tomato, or cilantro and onions. Pastore + Brunch Fish Tacos come with red cabbage, pico de gallo, Valentina (hot) sauce, mayo, and lime wedge, all for 156 calories. Chicken Tacos come with a grilled chicken breast, pickled jalapeño, pico de gallo and queso fresco for 185 calories. Pastor Bao has shredded carrots, cilantro, and chipotle pineapple sauce for 190 calories.

And yes, there are salads! The 530-calorie P+B Spinach Berry Saladpairsbaby spinach and greens, which comes tossed with fresh strawberries, onions, blueberries, fresco cheese and yogurt dressing. Proteins like chicken or steak can be added for additional cost and calories. Their Cobb Iceberg Salad is served on a bed of romaine and iceberg lettuce, with bacon chips, fresh avocado, grilled chicken breast, fresh tomato, hard boiled eggs, and blue cheese, all for 630 calories.

A separate Kids Menu features kiddie-friendly favorites, like quesadillas and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, all for 500 calories and under.

Pastore + Brunch is BYOB and located at 4661 N. Lincoln Avenue. Their hours are Monday-Sunday, 7am-3pm. For more information, click here.

Alison Moran-Powers and Dean’s Team Chicago

Chicago Home and Lifestyles – Becoming a morning person

I’m sure many of us believe that we are either morning people or a night owl. The truth is most of us are in the middle. So, if you are interested in becoming one of those morning people it is quite possible. Your circadian rhythm is a kind of internal clock that influences your daily schedule. It tells us when to wake and sleep. Much of it is genetic but you can train yourself to wake earlier.

Waking early does increase productivity. More than half of Americans say they feel most productive between 5am and noon. Early risers tend to be happier, and more goal oriented also. Of course, any change will take effort and time but is well worth it. 

Start to set your wake-up time earlier by just half an hour. If you usually rise at 8 you cannot just start getting up at 5 in one day. Each week set your alarm 30 minutes earlier and give yourself 5-7 days to get used to it. 

Of course, waking up early doesn’t do much good if you just stumble around in a haze. Exercising releases endorphins that can really get you going. Exercising in the morning gives you better sleep at night also. You sleep longer and deeper when you exercise in the morning, more than any other time of day. Have a small breakfast with protein as the main component, along with some fiber. 

Your bedroom environment is important too. Bedrooms should be neat, clutter free and as cool as possible (64-68 degrees). If you have annoying outside light, use black out curtains or shades. Too noisy? Use foam earplugs or a sound machine. There are apps that have thousands of different sounds, from thunderstorms and rain (My Favorite), to soft music. Use a pleasant alarm sound rather than a loud obnoxious one. With our smartphones now the choices are endless. It is just as important to have an alarm to sleep also. I have two notifications. One hour before bed to start the bedtime ritual. No more devices and blue light. 

Practicing yoga or meditation sets you up for peaceful sleep. Many people find journaling gets out those nagging thoughts that often keep us up. Make a list of tasks for the next day and get thoughts of tomorrow’s challenges out so restful sleep can commence. 

Get as much natural light during the day as possible. Studies have shown workers with limited light exposure in the workplace have poorer overall sleep quality than those with daily light. Natural light is good as opposed to the blue light that emits from our devices, and that includes television. That is why the one hour ban before bed for devices is so important. 

Keep to your wake and sleep schedule on days off as much as you can. Staying up past midnight and sleeping till noon on days off can ruin all the work you have done during the work week. 

Kathleen Weaver-Zech and Dean’s Team Chicago

Upgrade Your Front Door Color for Instant Curb Appeal

Your front door is the first thing people see when they visit your home and should serve as a welcoming point for your guests. Repainting your front door is an easy and affordable upgrade that will instantly increase your homes curb appeal. You can choose any color you’d like for this upgrade but the one you choose should be inline with your overall design style. Here are some tips on how you can make yours standout or match the overall aesthetic of your home.

MAKE A STATEMENT BY USING A BOLD COLOR

Don’t be afraid to use a bold color that makes a statement and really shows off your design style. This is where you can get creative, but remember this is something you’ll see everyday as you pull into your driveway. You can go with a bright color or set the mood with something dark and sleek. Some trending colors from this year are blacks, reds, light greens, and blue hues.

KEEP IT CLASSIC

Maybe using a bold color isn’t your cup of tea and using a classic color is more inline with your design taste. The good news is that classic colors can look great too. Classic colors have more neutral hues and consist of grays, browns, or blacks. These can also be incorporated into a stain if you’d like to showoff some wood grains as well.

WHAT ABOUT THE TRIM?

Think about your front door trim as the frame that surrounds your favorite piece of art. You can paint the trim the same color as your newly painted door or you can choose another color that might prevent it from blending in with the color of your home. It will look best if you keep the door trim consistent with the rest of the trim on your home if you decide not to paint it the same as the door.

EVERY HOME HAS A STYLE

The overall style of your home will guide your decision making process when choosing your new door color. But your personality and design style should not be overlooked as it’s important to make a bold cohesive statement. There aren’t any rules and it can always be repainted easily if you’re not happy with the result as time goes on.

TRY IT FIRST

Most paint stores offer small samples that are inexpensive and can be tested before you paint the entire door. You can test each color by painting small sections of the door which will allow you to see the results with proper lighting and textures. Or, you can make squares out of white poster board and tape these to the door. The poster board approach might be the best route to take if you’re unsure about the colors.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Celebrating Our Dads!

This June weekend offers us many great events since Sunday is not only Father’s Day but it’s also Juneteenth which celebrates the end of slavery!  So, get out there and have a fun-packed weekend with your family and friends to celebrate our dads!!

Commemorating the liberation of African descendants from slavery, Juneteenth Village Fest takes place Saturday (12 p.m. – 6 p.m.) at Douglass Park (California Ave. between 12th Pl. and Ogden Ave.) in the North Lawndale neighborhood.  This free, family-friendly event features free carnival rides, games, inflatables, face painting, a rock-climbing wall, a petting zoo, food, community vendor booths and so much more! It Takes A Village Family of Schools is hosting the event and is being attended by local and celebrity artists as well as elected officials, community leaders, and activists supporting our new holiday!!

The Taste of Randolph Street returns to 900 W. Randolph Street at Peoria Avenue in the West Loop this Saturday and Sunday (12 p.m. – 10 p.m.).  This event brings together the biggest and brightest names in Chicago dining featuring over 16 restaurants for their delectable menus and unique flavors along with a DJ stage to entertain you while on your culinary adventure.  Plus, StarEvents has curated a list of the nation’s hottest up-and-coming bands and musicians, as well as the biggest names in Chicago house music, performing on two stages!  For 25 years, this street festival has been a staple here in Chicago!!

Taste of Chicago pop-ups return this year with events in three Chicago neighborhoods!  This weekend, Taste of Chicago Pullman will be featured on Saturday (12 p.m. – 8 p.m.) at Pullman Park (11101 S. Cottage Grove Ave.) in the Pullman neighborhood. This pop-up features tasty ribs, artesian sandwiches, exotic and gourmet sausages/hot dogs, a fun variety of DJ and live music performances, and more!  Plus, there’s even free introductory dance lessons to work off the pound or two you just gained!!

Chicago Pridefest returns Saturday and Sunday (11 a.m. – 10 p.m.) to Northalsted (Halsted St. from Addison to Grace Streets) in the Lakeview neighborhood.  This festival features 3 stages of live music by headline artists and local favorites, food, drink, 150+ arts/crafts vendors, DJs, drag shows, games, giveaways and more!  And don’t miss the Proud Pet Parade at 12 p.m. on Sunday at the North Stage.  You can register your pet from 12 p.m.-12:30 p.m., then Miss Foozie will lead the contestants to the South Stage at 1 p.m. for prizes and fun as the Winner presentations take place!

Celebrating 64 years, the Gold Coast Art Fair returns to Grant Park, Butler Field (100 S. Lake Shore Dr.) in The Loop this Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.  This family-friendly art fair welcomes 200 juried artists from around the country to create an exceptional, shoppable art experience featuring jewelry, paintings, sculpture, ceramics, mixed media and more!  Plus adding to the festive atmosphere are live music stages located in various locations along with delicious food, beer, wine, and sangria!!

Finally, if your dad is a sports enthusiast, here’s who’s in town on his weekend:

The Chicago Cubs are hosting the Atlanta Braves this Saturday and Sunday (1:20 p.m.) at Wrigley Field (1060 W. Addison St.) in the Wrigleyville neighborhood.

The Chicago Dogs are hosting the Lake Country this Saturday (6 p.m.) and Sunday (3 p.m.) at Impact Field (9850 Balmoral Ave.) in Rosemont.  Also, this Saturday is a Theme Night Special celebrating Jimmy Buffett.  Fans of all ages are welcomed for a one-of-a-kind experience!

The Chicago Fire FC are hosting D.C. United this Saturday (7 p.m.) at Soldier Field (1410 S. Museum Campus Dr.) in the South Loop.

Sue Moss and Dean’s Team Chicago

Neighborhood News – Summer Daze in the Chicago Loop, Chicago’s Community Parks, Grant Park, Northalsted, Museum Campus, Irving Park

Celebrations are a part of Chicago, and this week is no exception! Chicago’s diverse communities and cultures go all out to make our longer summer days seem like a celebration…every day! Especially on weeks like this, when Pride Month, Father’s Day and Juneteenth (celebrating the official end of slavery in 1865) intersect, celebrating the freedoms we enjoy and the people and city we love!

Movies Under the Stars Chicago Park District opens its free, family-friendly summer movie series Movies in the Parksthis week at 8:30 pm. Bring a blanket and enjoy family favorites like the March of the Penguins on Thursday, June 16 at Lincoln Park, 2045 N. Lincoln Park West. Or Meryl Streep in Mamma Mia! at Wicker Park, 1425 N. Damen Avenue, and the Oscar and Golden Globe-winning Encanto, on Friday, June 17 at Jonquil Park, 1001 W. Wrightwood Avenue. All movi Too many movies and parks to name here, but for a complete list, click here.

Concerts at Grant Park… Is there anything better than concerts by the lakefront? Maybe with a picnic dinner? Jay Pritzker Pavilion, home of the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus, offers timeless music with a mix of contemporary compositions and classical favorites. On Friday, June 17, at 6:30pm and Saturday, June Saturday, June 18, at 7:30pm, the Orchestra and Chorus perform Felix Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 5, Reformation Judith Weir’s We Are Shadows, and the world premiere of Mischa Zupko’s Blue Matter. All seats are $26. For tickets and information,click here.

Sing Along with ‘Black Panther’ in Concert In honor of Juneteenth, on Saturday, June 18 at The Chicago Theatre, 175 N State Street, at 7:30pm, relive the excitement of T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) becoming king and battling Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) while the Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra performs Ludwig Göransson’s Oscar® and Grammy®-winning score live to picture. Joining the orchestra for the concert is Massamba Diop, the revered Senegalese tama drummer who recorded co-created many parts of the movie score with composer Göransson. 

Prior to the movie, guests can walk the red carpet from 6:30pm-7:15pm, have a photo taken in front of the official Chicago Philharmonic step and participate in their Costume Contest and Best Dressed Contest! For tickets, click here.

Wear with Pride! Chicago Pride Fest returns Saturday June 18, to Sunday, June 19 on Halsted Street from Addison to Grace Street. The festival features live music by headline artists and local favorites on three stages, food and drink, 150+ arts/crafts vendors, DJ’s and dancing, drag shows, pet parade, games, giveaways and more. $15 suggested donation. For more information, click here.

Welcome to ‘Jurassic World’…At the Field Museum, 1400 S. DuSable Lake Shore Drive, Jurassic Oceans: Monsters of the Deep, lets you meet the underwater giants that lived 200 million years ago. As the website says, dinosaurs reached new heights, sea creatures became larger, faster, and fiercer. Experience what it’s like to stand (or swim) next to top predators like a plesiosaur—a reptile with flippers, a very long neck, and super sharp teeth! Jurassic Oceans runs now through September 5, and required a special ticket and admission to the Field Museum. For tickets, click here

Eat the Parks?… A special Father’s Day Weekend edition! Join Chicago’s only full-time professional forager Dave Odd for a walk around the Horner Park, 2741 W. Montrose Avenue on Saturday, June 18, from 10am–noon to see all the wild and wonderful edible plants (and possibly mushrooms too!) that grow in the city. The website guarantees that you will learn at least 50 edible plants! Meet in front of the Governor Horner Memorial at Montrose & California. Tickets are $40 per person, or $70 a pair. But this weekend, Dads get FREE admission! For tickets and information, go to eattheneighborhood.com, or contact Dave for questions or comments via text or phone 847-409-8623. Tickets are also available on Eventbrite.

Alison Moran-Powers and Dean’s Team Chicago

Restaurant Review – Father’s Day and Juneteenth at Ina Mae Tavern & Packaged Goods

The celebrations keep coming! This weekend, we honor all fathers the third Sunday of the month on Father’s Day for their hard work in raising their families. We also celebrate Juneteenth, now a Chicago official holiday, commemorates the end of slavery in the United States, on June 19, 1865, according to Brittanica.com

“In New Orleans, every day seemed like Friday.”

Executive Chef Brian Jupiter and Mark Domitrovich, owners of Ina Mae

One restaurant celebrating both holidays is Ina Mae Tavern & Packaged Goods in Wicker Park, The Michelin-listed restaurant serves Southern comfort food as a true art form. Chef and Co-owner Brian ‘Chef Jup’ Jupiter, a former Chopped champion, “pulls inspiration from closely held family secrets and recipes,” according to their website. So much so, in fact, that Ina Mae is named for Chef Jupiter’s grandmother.

Starting at 11am this Sunday, you can celebrate Dad and Juneteenth with live music from 12-3pm, $5 Cigar City drafts, and $10 Old Fashioned drinks. All outdoor seating will be on a first come, first serve basis, and currently, they are limiting table reservations to an hour and a half for groups of 2-3 and 2 hour booking for groups of 4-8. Reservations are available on Tock by clicking here.

Their Creole and Southern menu means spicy creations await you and your family! Their Spoken Cafe Boudin Balls are packed with Tabasco aioli and pickled cayenne peppers. Or try Nola Hot Sausage Sliders, which are two pork sliders with cheddar cheese, Vidalia onions, and Creole mustard, served on a brioche bun. For a slightly less spicy option, try Chilled Gulf Shrimp with remoulade, which is paired with iceberg lettuce and preserved lemons, served with saltine crackers, and drizzled with Chef’s House Hot Sauce. ‘Chef Jup’s’ soups include Gumbo Ya-Ya…” Just like Maw Maw makes it!” The gumbo is traditional, with shrimp, chicken, crawfish, Andouille sausage and rice, served with potato salad. Cajun Cobb Salad has mixed greens, boiled egg, bacon, cheddar cheese, tomato, red onion, cucumber, croutons, Tasso ham and blackened ranch dressing. Crispy Okra Salad pairs tomato, pickled peppers, N

Nola Po Boys are served on French Bread, and dressed with lettuce, tomato, pickles, mayo and hot sauce, and served with French fries. Your choice of protein includes Blackened or Grilled Shrimp, Crawfish, Cauliflower, or Oysters. Jup’s Chicken Coop’s Big Chicken Dinner may cost $50, but it includes eight pieces of fried chicken, your choice of two sides, and four buttermilk drop biscuits. The not-to-be-missed sides include Corn Maque Choux– fresh summer corn sautéed with bell peppers, tomatoes, onions and Cajun seasoning, Their Crab Mac is spaghetti with crab cheese sauce. Bayou Potatoes are tossed in Cayenne Aioli.

Save room for desserts! Among their specialties are seasonal Bread Pudding, and a Beignet Sundae, which has warm beignets served with ice cream, butterscotch sauce and crushed pralines

Finally, Ina Mae’s brunch menu features classic takes on Southern recipes, including Shrimp & Grits- sauteed shrimp served on a bed of stone ground grits and topped with Ina’s house Nola sauce, Their Grand Slam is a Nola Classic Breakfast served with Seasonal fruit, Buttermilk drop biscuit and stone grits, and your Choice of Gator sausage, Andouille Sausage, or Bacon, as well as your choice of scrambled or fried egg.

One Google reviewer gave the highest rating, saying. “A really unique place! The food was really good, I had the chance to try the alligator sausage. The waitress was really kind and they also have a band playing live. I recommend the restaurant!” 

Another wrote, in part, “(It’s) soul food with a twist of New Orleans, nice decor to match theme! They also have live music 🎶 as well. The food was good and flavorful. The wait staff is awesome and attentive. I definitely recommend this establishment, and yes I will back…”

Ina Mae Tavern & Packaged Goods is located at 1415 N. Wood Street. Several reviews mentioned the lack of parking, and to read the signs around the restaurant carefully, but say it’s definitely worth it. They are open Tuesdays-Fridays from 4pm–1am, Saturdays from 11am–1am, and Sundays from 11am–10pm. They are closed on Mondays.

Alison Moran-Powers and Dean’s Team Chicago

Chicago Home and Lifestyles – Recipe for good relationships

John Gottman is a marital stability expert who has come up with the 5:1 ratio for successful relationships and backs this up with decades of research. It is a simple concept to understand, but may be more difficult to implement.

5:1 indicates that for good relationships you need to have at least 5 positive interactions for every 1 negative. The interactions can be simple, not necessarily dramatic. A hug or hand squeeze can be positive. Something as small as an eyeroll can be negative. It shows how small things can make so much difference. Dozens of roses and diamonds may not have as much impact as actually listening to your spouse when they need to vent. 

This can be used in business relationships as well as personal. Nowadays the small courtesies done with little thought years ago are sometimes forgotten in our increasingly busy world. An employer will always get more results when praising employees 5 times more than criticizing. A small slight in a business relationship will often be forgotten when simple kindnesses are normal. 

Relationships can be rather tricky but if you try to keep the 5:1 ratio in mind it can go a long way to having and keeping personal and business relationships. 

For more information check out The Gottman’s Institute at:

www.gottman.com/blog/the-magic-relationship-ratio-according-science/

Kathleen Weaver-Zech and Dean’s Team Chicago