Month: February 2017

Best Places To Get A Drink In Shorewood

Photo of some beers for an article on the best places to get a drink in Shorewood.

  • Bedrocks Craft Beer and Pizza Bar: 700 W Jefferson Street (815) 744-8408

-Great place for craft beer fans with over 40 beers on the menu. Homemade pizza, calzones, and wings are available along with live music on Friday’s, daily drink specials and plenty of pool tables, dart boards, ping pong, etc.

  • Crowd around Me: 103 E Jefferson Street (815) 725-5940
  • Skooter’s Roadhouse: 700 W Jefferson (815) 799-4700

-They have a large menu with specials several days of the week. They also regularly feature live music.

  • Casa Maya: 805 West Jefferson Street (815) 725-7760

-Great margaritas!

  • Little Saigon: 201 Vertin Boulevard (815) 782-6395

-Wonderful drinks including a special drink every season. They regularly feature 7 specialty cocktails and the food is delicious.

  • Friacos Mexican Restaurant: 1321 State Highway 59 (815) 254-4866

-They offer great happy hour deals with great small bites to eat.

Photo of margaritas for an article about the best place to get a drink in Shorewood.

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Downtown Plainfield-What Makes It Great?

Downtown Plainfield is a unique and fun town full of great restaurants and businesses and many buildings that are part of the National Registry of Historic Places. Check out what makes Plainfield a great place to live!

Photo of downtown Plainfield on a sunny day for an article all about the town.

  • One of the many things that makes downtown Plainfield special is the National Register District on Lockport Street between Route 59 and James Street. Buildings that are included in the National Register of Historic Places were built between 1840 and 1960 and include a wide range of styles.  Buildings given this special designation include Clock Tower Building (Opera House), Plymouth Congregational Church, and the Masonic Lodge.
  • The pedestrian friendly dowtown hosts many fun events throughout the year including the Irish Parade (Sunday, March 12th 2017), Cruise Nights (Tuesday nights from June 6th-August 22nd 2017) where classic cars can be seen driving through downtown with each Tuesday having a different theme, Plainfield Fest on Friday, July 14th through Sunday July 16th 2017, the Harvest 5K on Sunday, September 24th 2017 and much more!
  • Many wonderful restaurants and businesses can be found right downtown such as 3 Girls Boutiques, Inc.,  Moe Joe’s Cajun, Opera House Steak & Seafood, Art Cube Studios (art school), Best In Show Dog And Cat Grooming Too, Blu (bar), Capri Sogno, School of Rock Plainfield, Sovereign Tap, Tap House Grill, Front Street Cantina, Hopscotch & Vine, Just Ducky Gift Boutique, Uptown Eatery & Tap, Vaughan Dance Academy, Wine & Cheese by TCC, Milettes Cakes & Cupcakes, and so much more!

Photo of a classic car driving through downtown Plainfield.Photo of the Opera House Block in downtown plainfield for an article about the town.

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Local Events In Plainfield and Shorewood

photo of downtown Plainfield, Illinois for an article about local events.

  • Pirate Party: Happening at the Shorewood Village Hall on Sunday, February 26th from 11 am to 2 pm. This party is for all ages and will include crafts, snacks, and a showing of the movie Pan. The cost is $10 for residents and $15 for non residents and the deadline to register is February 21st.
  • Shorewood Flashlight Egg Hunt: Friday, April 7th at 8 pm at Cene’s Four Seasons Park for kids ages 9-13. This is free and does not require registration.
  • Breakfast with the Bunny: This will take place in Shorewood on Saturday, April 8th at 9 am for kids of all ages. This is for residents only and is free for kids under 2, $8 for kids 5 and under, and $12 for adults. The breakfast will be at Troy Fire Station #2 and will include fun activities, a pancake breakfast, and pictures with the Easter bunny.
  • Shorewood Easter Egg Hunt: Saturday, April 8th at 10:30 am. No registration is required and the event will take place at Cene’s Four Seasons Park. The kids will be divided into 3 groups; group one will go first and will be ages 3-4, group two will go second and will be ages 5-6 and group three will go last and will be ages 7-8.
  • Volunteer Fair at the Plainfield Public Library: March 4th from 10 am until 12 pm. Participants will be able to meet with representatives from 20 local groups including the Plainfield Park District.
  • Who’s Got Talent: March 10th from 6-8 pm at Plainfield South High School. This is for performers ages 10-18 (no bands) and is for both residents and non-residents with no registration fee. Cost of admission is $5 per person, and kids under 2 are free.
  • Tack Swap: March 25th from 10 am until 2 pm at Normantown Equestrian Center in Plainfield. Participants can bring their tack, blankets, clothing and other horse accessories to trade or sell. The cost to reserve an 8 foot table is $20 and it is $10 to bring your own table (8 ft max).  The registration deadline is March 20th.
  • Plainfield Flashlight Egg Hunt: April 7th from 8-9 pm at Clow Stephens. Participants must pre-register as on site registration will not be allowed. Registration deadline is noon on April 6th and the hunt will take place rain or shine. Cost for the event is $6 for residents and $7.50 for non residents.
  • Egg-citing Activities: April 8th from 11 am until 12 pm at Clow Stephens Dog Park. Kids will be able to collect eggs that the Easter bunny left behind and will receive a treat bag at check-in. The Easter bunny will be available from 10 am until 11:30 for photos. This fun event will happen rain or shine.
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Top Kitchen and Bath Design Trends For 2017

Photo of a modern kitchen with quartz countertops for an article about top kitchen and bath design trends for 2017.

  • Traditional styles are losing momentum and both contemporary and transitional-style design elements are gaining popularity in kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Bathrooms: Asian Fusion, Mid-Century Modern, and Shaker styles will rule in 2017. Both neutral and more bold colors will be seen including a lot of gray, white, and off white but also purple, blue and violet.  Undermount sinks are still a popular choice but trough sinks are also emerging on the design scene. As far as finishes go, brushed brass and gold are top choices but be on the lookout for designer colored faucets. The most popular type of bathroom storage is still wood vanities and linen cabinets but we are seeing a trend towards open shelves and floating vanities. As far as tubs go, it looks as though homeowners are losing interest in whirlpool tubs and are opting for larger showers instead.
  • Kitchens: Kitchens with clean lines, lot’s of storage, and simple cabinet doors are definitely in. Two toned kitchens continue to be popular with gray and white being the colors of choice although blue and black cabinets will be seen as well. A variety of materials are being used for both accents and surfaces. For countertops, granite is still falling in popularity while quartz is king. Convection ovens and induction cooktops are being incorporated into kitchens more and more and microwave oven drawers are being chosen instead of built in microwaves or freestanding ones.

Photo of a wood vanity in a bathroom for an article on kitchen and bath trends of 2017.Photo of a trough sink for an article on kitchen and bath design trends for 2017.


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15 Minute Home Makeovers


Photo of a modern kitchen for an article discussing 15 minute home makeovers.


  • Switch the plates: Update switch plate and outlet covers.
  • Make touch ups: Touch up scratched baseboards, window and door trim, and marks on the wall that won’t go away.
  • Change out hardware: Putting in new drawer pulls and knobs can give a room an inexpensive face lift. Home improvement stores have a wide variety of inexpensive hardware to choose from.
  • Update the mailbox: Give an old mailbox a makeover by scrubbing it down and then spray painting it, either the same color or a new hue.
  • House numbers: Switch out your old house numbers for new ones to create a custom look. Some numbers are peel and stick and others need to be nailed in. There are different material choices such as wood, plastic, brass, stainless steel, etc. Expect to spend about $6-$30 a number.
  • Toilet seat: A new toilet seat can instantly improve the look of your bathroom without spending a lot.
  • Declutter: Spending 15 minutes a day decluttering a room can really make a huge difference in your home. Start in the kitchen by clearing off your refrigerator door and watch your kitchen instantly look cleaner. Put mail and other paperwork in labeled boxes with lids or other organizers; put school supplies in caddies, etc.
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Tax Breaks For Homeowners

Photo of the word tax on top of money for an article about tax breaks for homeowners.


Tax season is upon us and there are many benefits awaiting homeowners:

  • Mortgage Interest: This is a huge money saver and can be taken on both primary and secondary homes, as long as you itemize your return and your loan is less than one million dollars.
  • Mortgage Points: Points, which are percentage based fees that a lender charges to originate a loan, are seen as a type of mortgage interest which is paid in advance. As long as you meet certain requirements, you can deduct these points in full the year they were paid.
  • Property Taxes: The amount you paid in property taxes can be entered on your federal form for as long as you own the home. You can find this amount by looking at your annual statement that you just received by your lender. This must be an itemized expense.
  • Home Improvements: Many homeowners took on various home improvement projects in the last year and you may have been one of those homeowners as well. Projects range from adding additional square footage, replacing the roof, etc. The money spent on these projects can help to lower your tax bill. If you used a home equity loan or other loan tied to your home to fund home improvement projects,  the loan will qualify for mortgage interest deductions just like your home mortgage.


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Home Improvement Projects With The Best Returns


Photo of the exterior of a home for an article about home improvement projects and their expected return.

When thinking about doing a home improvement project to your home, do you ever wonder what your return may be? The Remodeling Cost Vs. Value Report from Illinois Realtor Magazine lays out what type of return you can expect on your projects:

  • Replacing the garage door: 83%
  • Steel entry door replacement: 82.5%
  • Attic bedroom: 81%
  • Wood deck addition: 78%
  • Minor kitchen remodel: 76%
  • Wood window replacement: 74%
  • Vinyl window replacement: 73%
  • Vinyl siding replacement: 73%
  • Composite deck addition: 69%
  • Fiberglass entry door replacement: 66.8%
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Best Romantic Restaurants

Photo of a Valentine's Day tabletop for an article on the best romantic restaurants.

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! Here are some of the best romantic restaurants in the area!


  • Sovereign: 24205 W Lockport Street (815) 556-8577
  • Wine & Cheese by TCC: 24104 W Lockport Street (815) 436-3499
  • Capri Sogno: 24102 Lockport Street (815) 733-5815
  • Volar: 24136 W Lockport Street (815) 267-6372


  • Paris Bistro: 2835 Showplace Drive (630) 357-1005
  • Meson Sabika: 1025 Aurora Avenue (630) 983-3000
  • La Sorella Di Francesca: 18 W Jefferson Avenue (630) 961-2706
  • Pizzeria NEO: 47 E Chicago Avenue (630) 922-8200
  • The Melting Pot: 4931 S Route 59 (630) 717-8301


  • Little Saigon: 201 Vertin Blvd (815) 782-6395


  • Tin Roof: 158 N Chicago Street (815) 727-0123
  • Barolo Ristorante: 2765 Black Road (815) 729-3606
  • Al’s Steak House: 1990 W Jefferson Street (815) 725-2388


  • Tallgrass Restaurant: 1006 S State Street (815) 838-5566


  • Bavette’s Bar & Boeuf: 218 W Kinzie Street (312) 624-8154
  • Penumbra Wine Bar: 3309 W Fullerton Avenue (773) 772-2343
  • Bandera Restaurant: 535 North Michigan Avenue (312) 644-3524
  • A Tavola: 2148 W Chicago Avenue (773) 276-7567
  • MK Restaurant: 868 N Franklin Street (312) 482-9179
  • DiSotto Enoteca: 200 E Chestnut Street (312) 482-8727
  • RM Champagne Salon: 116 North Green Street (312) 243-1199
  • Boka: 1729 North Halsted Street (312) 337-6070


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Let’s Talk Curb Appeal

Photo of a red front door with a matching doormat for an article about improving curb appeal.

Curb appeal is so important because it is the first impression that people have of your home. Here are some ideas to improve your home’s curb appeal, especially if you are thinking of putting your home on the market.

  • Give the front door and shutters a fresh new coat of paint. Either go with a traditional hue such as black, white, grey, navy blue, etc. or try a trendier shade. Check out Arsenic by Farrow & Ball (a blue/green), Sunburst by Benjamin Moore (yellow), Evening Sky by Benjamin Moore (deep blue), Folly Green by Farrow & Ball, Hampshire Rocks by Benjamin Moore (gray), etc. Just be sure to check with your HOA if you have one to get permission before painting if needed.
  • Install a new mailbox
  • Plant trees, shrubs, and flowers
  • Put up new address numbers
  • Invest in new outdoor lights
  • Paint your garage door if needed
  • Power wash the exterior, siding, and walkways
  • Perform any necessary maintenance on fences
  • Repair or replace the roof if it is needed
  • Clean dirty windows; unclean windows really do detract from the appeal of a home’s exterior
  • Replace any rotted wood
  • Replace any missing siding
  • Once it’s warmer outside, keep bushes and shrubs trimmer and the lawn watered and mowed
    Photo of a new mail box for an article on curb appeal.
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