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12/24/2014
From Midwest Living's Reflections: Midwesterners on Their Region "Faith is believing when common sense tells you not to. Don't you see? It's not just Kris that's on trial, it's everything he stands for. It's kindness and joy and love and all the other intangibles." From the 1947 movie Miracle on 34th Street, written by George Seaton, born in South Bend,... More
12/22/2014
No time for a getaway as you head into the holiday rush? Here are a few of our memorable moments from this past year. Now make plans for some of your own in 2015.  1. Kissing a beluga whale. Pucker up, it’s beluga time. As part of the Extraordinary Experiences at Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, you and a trainer get into the water and face-to-face with these adorable,... More
12/19/2014
It was a sad day in the Glazebrook household when my husband, Rob, learned he had a gluten allergy. It wasn’t so much the limits on food that posed problems (although, we’ve forgotten more than once that barbecue sauce and soy sauce can harbor gluten), but the loss of hobbies: Rob and I loved to bake bread, and after a few disastrous attempts at swapping gluten-free flours into... More
12/17/2014
I admit that I often wait until the last minute (aka Christmas Eve) to wrap presents. Sheets of red and green papers go flying. Tape gets stuck to the floor. Bows are slapped on haphazardly. Not this year. I'm vowing to get my wrap-a-thon done early—and to take the time to make packages look a little extra-special. If you're with me, try these pretty gift-decorating ideas using... More
12/15/2014
It’s cold. The family’s restless. Time for a trip to the museum? Santa might be there, along with a few other festive surprises. We’ve handpicked five experiences at Midwest museums that add some sparkle to the season. Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago Add a dash of Mickey to your Christmas plans. Disney-inspired ornaments and 30,000 lights adorn a 45-... More
12/12/2014
A leg lamp. A bunny costume. "You'll shoot your eye out." If you're familiar with A Christmas Story, those three essential story elements may bring you back to your first viewing of the 1983 sleeper hit filmed in Cleveland, Ohio. I recently had the chance to experience the story in its reimagined musical form at The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in Saint Paul (... More
12/10/2014
Festive poinsettias tug on our holiday heartstrings, but few of us still feel that love come January when those brightly colored foil pots are tossed out with the Christmas tree. If you’re looking for a less-expected plant gift with more staying power, here are five sure to thrive for months, if not years. 1. Christmas Cactus Named for its bloom time, this easy-care succulent... More
12/8/2014
Fireplace mantels are a focal point of any living room, especially when decked out for the holidays. One of my favorite ways to dress up the mantel is to arrange simple, natural touches like fresh greenery, boxwood clippings and pinecones. They make it easy to change your look with just a few additions. Here are three easy mantel looks I came up with using my favorite fresh-cut... More
12/5/2014
I grew up decorating sugar cookies in, shall we say, the classic way. We mixed various colors of buttercream frosting, spread it generously on the cookies, and then liberally topped them with sprinkles and Red Hots. Now I like buttercream as much as the next girl, but even as a kid, I kinda knew those cookies tasted gross. And it was all such a mess! The knives got gunked up and crusted with... More
12/3/2014
Oh, Christmas trees, such pleasure do they bring us! We are always trying to come up with new and creative ideas to decorate your home at the holidays. If you read our Christmas issue, you saw our Tree-mendous wall decor story about clever alternatives to the traditional tree. We had so much fun with this idea that we overproduced for the story. Here are the ones we... More