Main Event

In the fight against the losses surrounding suicide, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago hosted the fourth annual Patrick J. Ryan Main Event on February 2 at Drury Lane in Oak Brook Terrace. Former Illinois Attorney General Jim Ryan and his wife Marie established the fundraiser in 2015 after the loss of their son Patrick to suicide.

Boxing has been a family tradition for the Ryans since Jim Ryan Sr. won the Middleweight Golden Glove Championship in 1964. Sons John (chief of staff at Catholic Charities), Jim and Matt Ryan, all grew up with boxing in their lives.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Catholic Charities Loving Outreach to Survivors of Suicide (LOSS) program for children and youth. The free counseling program specifically addresses the unique needs and emotions that youth experience after losing a loved one to suicide.

“We are grateful to Jim and Marie Ryan and their family and all the guests who attended the record-breaking event,” says Monsignor Michael Boland, president and CEO of the Catholic service agency. “Without fundraisers like this, we couldn’t reach the children and families that so desperately need the critical support.”

Blank Slate

A warm brown stain provides contrast with the white trim and light counters. Inlaid border and glass tiles add interest and shape to the travertine backsplash. Corbal embellishments on the island corners give definition to the large prep area.

Sweet dreams are made of these

207452 Low Profile Bedding April 2016 Photo Shoot

Anyone who’s experienced a night of tossing and turning knows a good night’s sleep is priceless—the difference between a bleary-eyed morning and a bright-eyed one.

“I think sleep has become a more valued commodity with today’s always-on lifestyles,” says Rod Smith, owner and general manager of Verlo Mattress Factory stores in Naperville and Skokie.

New technologies available at Verlo and other area retailers offer solutions for getting that sought-after shuteye. From adjustable bases to cooling pillows and mattresses, innovative products promise to help users achieve the sleep of their dreams.

The SmartWake sleep monitor (shown right, Verlo Mattress Factory, $199) tracks breathing, heart rate and temperature via a sensor placed underneath the mattress to calculate duration of sleep and time spent in various sleep stages. It also features an alarm to wake up the user at an optimal point in the sleep cycle.

Research shows that a temperature of 60 to 67 degrees is ideal for quality sleep. If overheating is a concern, products like the Simmons Beautyrest Black collection with Blackice technology can help distribute heat away from the body. The mattress line also touts low motion transfer and supportive comfort with its memory foam core (American Mattress, prices vary).

Similarly, Tempur-Pedic’s Breeze line works to distribute heat away from the body and features covers that are cool to the touch (multiple locations, prices vary).

For those who relish the feeling of a cool pillow, the Embrace cushion with SlumberCool technology (American Mattress, $99) was developed with a moisture-wicking cover, which helps to preserve comfortable temperatures all night long.

Perhaps the most popular sleep product is the adjustable mattress base, says Josh Moran, manager of American Mattress in Naperville. When Moran first started selling the bases, which allow sleepers to adjust or lower various parts of their bodies, customers would joke, “I’m not ready for a hospital bed yet.” But today, about half of his sales include one of these bases, he estimates.

Proponents tout a variety of benefits, from taking pressure off the lower back to improving blood flow, to curbing a snoring tendency (multiple locations, prices vary).

If an adjustable-base bed is out of the budget, sleep wedges can provide many of the same benefits at a lower price point, including elevation of the head for acid reflux and allergy sufferers, says Joe Kaminski, owner of Relax the Back in Naperville ($70 to $250).

Also popular are dual adjustable mattresses, such as those available at Sleep Number in Aurora, which allow for individual control of mattress firmness and support with 20 different settings (prices vary).

Looking for a more solid alternative to the often flimsy bed frames that often come free with mattress purchase? The Knickerbocker emBrace frame (American Mattress, $299 for queen) helps minimize motion transfer so you don’t disturb your partner when climbing in and out of bed. The product has the ability to bear up to 5,000 pounds with no creaking sounds.

Dr. Vikas Jain is a sleep medicine specialist with Northwestern Medicine Regional Medical Group in Winfield, who completed a sleep medicine fellowship at Stanford. Jain likes technology’s ability to help people focus on their individual sleep quality, but he warns that tracking monitors don’t replace the need for a medical sleep study, and that technology might mask symptoms without identifying their root cause.

If you are suffering ongoing sleep problems, it’s important to seek medical attention before investing in products, he advises.

While technology continues to advance, the most important elements of good sleep remain unchanged: Make sure your sleep environment is dark, cool, comfortable and not too dry or humid, he says, and to be aware of your state of mind before bed.

“Ideally, you don’t want to be in the middle of a stressful activity,” he says. “You want to be relaxed with your mind and body ready for sleep.”

Sweet dreams.

Encore | Buddy Guy

Blues for the next generation
Now, the young people don’t know nothing about it. I know satellite radio plays blues, but we need more than that. I tell everybody I would love to hear Muddy Waters twice a week. I’m not telling you to play him all day, all night—just play him. Let the young people know where it all started.

Carrying the torch
After we lost the great B.B. King and all of the great oneswho I got all of my lessons fromI thought I owe all of them the respect of saying, ‘Let me see, can I just try and keep it alive?’

Music for everyone
If you listen to the lyrics of the blues, if it don’t hit you, it hits someone you know. The blues comes in all denominations—it comes with your family, with your lover, with your friend.

March 31 at Rialto Square Theatre
Tickets $48.50–$88.50 |

Reserve Room

Wine lovers have a new restaurant and private event space to enjoy on Naperville’s Water Street. SixtyFour Reserve Room, situated just east of its sister company SixtyFour – A Wine Bar, is now open for nightly dining Tuesday through Saturday. Although the space has been open for private parties since New Year’s Eve, owner Lauren Beadle says, “Many of our guests voiced they would be interested in a quieter, more reserved space.”

Executive Chef Patrick McLaughlin created a special menu for the space, including dishes such as smoked duck pot stickers, French onion soup gratinee, grilled salmon with ricotta gnocchi and shaved fennel, Papparedelle pasta with an arugula basil pesto and beef tenderloin.

On The Hunt

Speaking with allergist Farheen Mirza is like talking with a detective. She initiates and follows multiple lines of questioning and listens for clues that will identify the criminal. In most cases, the offense is an allergic reaction, but the perpetrator is not always easy to find.

At the ENT, Allergy and Audiology Clinic at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital, Dr. Mirza enjoys the process of uncovering patients’ allergies and finding the best path to good health. Mirza grew up in Chicago and attended Northwestern University, followed by Rush University Medical School. She completed her training in allergy and immunology with a fellowship at the University of Iowa.

Mirza first became interested in pursuing a career as an allergist because her mother is a respiratory therapist and her sister has suffered from seasonal allergies and asthma. Here, she offers insight into springtime and food allergies and intolerances.

What is the difference between colds and seasonal allergies?
There are a couple of ways to distinguish between the two. Viruses cause colds. Your body’s defense against the infection results in symptoms like a cough, stuffy nose and achiness.

Colds typically last up to ten days and they tend to produce thicker mucus. An external irritant—like pollen or ragweed—causes allergies, which are more present in the environment in the spring, late summer and fall. If a runny nose and itchy eyes last more than ten days, it is typically allergy-related. Ask yourself if your symptoms change around different environments.

What are pollen counts and how can they help me?
During spring, summer and fall, pollen from trees, weeds and grasses is carried by the wind through the environment. It is a common allergen, and many people notice an increase in symptoms when the pollen count is high. Some apps and websites can give you the numbers in your area.

If mold or pollen counts are high, people can take precautions to avoid or limit their exposure. Closing windows, staying inside, using air conditioning, taking medication ahead of time and showering can reduce allergy symptoms.

Can allergies be cured?
No, but the symptoms can be muted. Shots or pills can mitigate the response to allergies for most people.

Sometimes kids can outgrow their allergies. As children mature, their symptoms often get milder. If an allergy appears as an adult, it is unlikely to go away, but your doctor can help lessen the symptoms.

What’s the difference between a food allergy and an intolerance?
A food intolerance is typically limited to the digestive system and includes manifestations like bloating, gassiness, heartburn and diarrhea. A food allergy is an immune response and can be life-threatening.

Allergic reactions include symptoms such as hives, swelling, difficulty breathing or swallowing and anaphylaxis. At times it is hard to see the difference, so doctors gather more information through blood work and skin-prick testing.

What are some common mistakes parents make regarding their children’s food allergies?Many parents are unaware of new recommendations for children. For years the medical community thought the best prevention for peanut allergies was to avoid peanut products in the first few years of life. New research suggests that in some high-risk children, an early introduction of peanuts may be beneficial.

Children with eczema, egg allergies or a sibling with food allergies are considered high-risk for a food allergy. Parents should speak with their child’s pediatrician about the best course of action based on family history.

The 630 | Spring Fling

Local stores will celebrate three days of fashion, food and fun during Spring Style Weekend, March 2 to 4. Timed to coincide with the arrival of new spring fashions and styles, the weekend is a great way to breathe new life into your spring wardrobe.

This year the brunch and fashion show will be held at a new location: Elements at Water Street at the Hotel Indigo. Katie Wood, executive director of the Downtown Naperville Alliance, says, “It’s a great morning to enjoy a meal at one of downtown’s newest venues, while seeing the latest fashions all in one spot, with special prizes for many lucky attendees.”

The weekend is expected to draw groups of women from girlfriends to mothers and daughters, although dads often come along, too. Hotel Indigo is offering special pricing on rooms for anyone wanting to make a night of it.

Some of the city’s newer stores are just as excited about Spring Style Weekend as their customers. Renate Miller has been manager of J.McLaughlin since September. “We are hoping the event will drive people out to soak up some fresh air in downtown Naperville,” she says, “with the curiosity to explore all the new stores.” There’ll be plenty of sunshine at J.McLaughlin for men, women and children with easy breezy coastal chic clothes in colors inspired by sea and sky. “Customers who have come in curious about the new store have been over the top with compliments,” Miller says.

Joellen Elam, owner of London Skye, says her store will be offering a 15 percent discount on all purchases. The store opened in October, and she thinks the event will be a good way for their male and female customers to see new seasonal trends, like cropped straight denim and pastel colors.

MARCUS (previously Denim & Soul) also opened in October to a warm welcome from the Naperville community.

Talking about the new season, assistant manager Nicole Lucchesi says: “You will begin to notice more vibrant colors and bold patterns. There is always something for everyone at MARCUS. Our buyer does a wonderful job hand-selecting products hot off the runway.”

For a list of special sales and events or to purchase fashion show tickets, visit

Books | March 2018

All the Beautiful Girls
By Elizabeth Church (Ballantine Books)
A gutsy showgirl tries to conquer her tragic childhood amid the glamour of 1960s Las Vegas, and finds unexpected fortune, friendship and love. Church captures the bravery of a woman who dances through her sadness to find connection, freedom—and herself.


The House of Broken Angels
By Luis Alberto Urrea (Little Brown and Company)
Patriarch Miguel Angel de La Cruz has planned one last birthday party in his final days. But as the event approaches, his nearly 100-year-old mother dies, leading to a double farewell for this complex Mexican-American family, who has lived two lives across one border.


The Woman’s Hour
By Elaine Weiss (Viking)
Following a handful of remarkable women who led their respective forces into battle, The Woman’s Hour is the story of activists securing the ratification of the constitutional amendment that granted women the right to vote.

Dying for a Paycheck
By Jeffrey Pfeffer (Harper Business)
Marshaling a vast trove of evidence, Pfeffer contends that many modern management commonalities such as long work hours, work-family conflict, and economic insecurity are toxic to employees—hurting engagement, increasing turnover and destroying people’s physical and emotional health.

Openings | March 2018

Downtown Gem
Shoppers and diners in downtown Naperville have a new local transport option from Belgio’s Chauffering: Za Car. Mike Belgio started the service in November to provide short-distance shuttles in and around the central business district.

“Right now we have three Polaris Gem vehicles—they are all electric with heat and real working windows,” says Belgio. “It’s more of a car, with restrictions on the speed limit of 25 miles per hour.”

Za Car service boundaries run south of Ogden Avenue, west of Naper Boulevard, north of 75th Street and east of Rickert Drive. Rates in the immediate downtown area are $1 per person; the next two zones are $3 and $5, depending on distance.

Four Za Car drivers currently work Monday through Thursday, 4:00 to 9:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 4:00 to 11:00 p.m. and Sunday 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. Belgio is hoping to expand as needed. Text or call 815.609.9705 for a ride.

Arbor Terrace
A new senior living community is opening this month in southwest
Naperville. The modern facility will offer assisted living, dementia and memory care services to residents.
2920 Leverenz Road, Naperville | 630.407.1774 |

Evelyn on Second
Owners of the Evelyn Jane Boutique in Downers Grove have opened a second gift shop specializing in artisan-made jewelry. This month, check out the infant line of St. Patrick’s Day onsies.
108 West Second Street, Elmhurst | 331.979.2911 |

This design center specializing in handmade silk, linen and cotton décor  carries cushions, curtains, bedding, rugs and wall art from France, Turkey and India.
7325 Lemont Road, Downers Grove | 630.541.7719 |