Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Six Back-to-School Tips from Huntington Learning Center of Orland Park

It is back-to-school time, and if your student's summer has been filled with trips to the pool, hanging out with friends, television and video games, and other leisurely activities, now is the time to transition from summer to school mode. "We always encourage families to relax and enjoy the less structured pace of summertime," says Niranjan Sundaram of the Orland Park Huntington Learning Center. "However, there are several things you can do toward the end of summer break that are immensely helpful in getting students ready to return to the classroom." Sundaram offers these six back-to-school tips:

1. Set goals. Goal-setting is a great way to help your child reflect on last school year and think ahead about what he or she wants to accomplish and avoid this year. Talk with your child about the things he or she is excited and anxious about and have him or her set several goals and measurable milestones. You can do this just before classes start or during the first week of school.

2. Organize the desk and home. Get your house back into "school shape" by designating spots for important school papers that come home, a family calendar, backpacks, shoes and jackets, and a homework station. Your child's homework station could be a desk in a bedroom or other room. Make sure it is stocked with the supplies he or she will need for the school year, and have your child help get the space ready.

3. Reestablish a schedule. Talk with your child about the school-day routine, including wake-up time, school hours, homework time, dinner time and any extracurricular activities in which he or she will participate during the week. In the week or two before school, try to have your child go to bed and wake up at approximately the same times as during the school year.

4. Review school work and information. Being prepared will help your child ease into the first weeks of school. Review assignments, spelling words and other work from the previous school year. Amp up the reading these final few weeks of summer. And find out as much as possible about what is to come: your child's teacher, class schedule, classroom locations and more.

5. Set a positive tone. A child who struggled last year might dread going back to school, so it is important to help him or her get into the right mindset for school success. Let your child know that you are there to support him or her no matter what. Talk about things he or she is looking forward to this year-and offer ideas if he or she needs some encouragement-and point out some of the good parts of last year. Be optimistic and encourage your child to embrace the same outlook.

6. Arrange for tutoring help if needed. If last year was difficult, don't wait to reach out for help this year. Help your child build his or her skills, preparedness and confidence with a customized, one-to-one tutoring program. Call Huntington Learning Center of Orland Park today to discuss your child's needs and schedule a diagnostic evaluation before the new school year begins. We're here to help your student.

For more information about one-on-one tutoring programs, contact Niranjan Sundaram of the Orland Park Huntington Learning Center at (708) 226-0422 or OrlandparkIL@hlcmail.com or visit www.huntingtonhelps.com.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Gluten-Free Pizza

Photo courtesy of www.theberghoff.com
Here is a recipe for Gluten-Free Pizza (makes one 12-inch round pizza) from Cooking for your Gluten-Free Teen: Everyday Foods the Whole Family Will Love by Carlyn Berghoff, Sarah Berghoff McClure, Sr. Suzanne P. Nelson, and Nancy Ross Ryan. This book is an invaluable resource for parents who need to prepare meals with tons of flavor and no trace of gluten.

Pizza Sauce:
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 cup water
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon dried oregano

Pizza Crust:
1 1/2 cups Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour or flour of choice with xanthan gum in the mix
2 tablespoons nonfat dry milk powder
2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon dried egg whites
1 1/2 teaspoons bread machine or instant yeast
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm water
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 to 2 cups shredded mozzarella, Soyrella, or casein-free non dairy alternative
Toppings of choice

To Make the Pizza Sauce:
In a small bowl, whisk together the tomato paste, water, honey, and oregano until smooth. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to use.

To Make the Pizza Crust:
Place the flour, milk powder, parmesan cheese, sugar, dried egg whites, yeast, baking powder, and salt in the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater attachment. Mix on low. Alternatively, place the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix on low with a sturdy handheld mixer. Add water and olive oil and mix on low until a dough forms, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Increase the speed and beat for 5 minutes.

With the beater paddle still attached, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for 1 hour. If using a handheld mixer, remove and scrape down the beater blades, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let the dough rise for about 1 hour or until doubled in size. Mix on low to deflate.

Spray a 12-inch round pizza pan well with nonstick cooking spray. Using silicone spatula, scrape the dough onto the pan. Spray the palms of both your hands with nonstick cooking spray, or oil your palms by rubbing them on a plate containing 2 tablespoons of cooking oil. Using your hands, press the dough outward to fill the edges of the pan, smoothing the dough as level as possible. Let the dough rise in the pan in a warm place for 15 to 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Bake the dough for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven. For each 12-inch round pizza crust, use 1/4 cup of the pizza sauce to spread over the top. Sprinkle with the cheese or non-diary alternative and other toppings of choice. Return the pizza to the oven and bake until the crust is browned around the rim, the cheese is bubbling, and the pizza is heated through, about 15 minutes. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Then slide out of the pan with a spatula and cut into 8 wedges.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Enjoy a Theatre Hike with Morton Arboretum

Hike Along With the Three Musketeers, James and the Giant Peach, An Afternoon with Mark Twain and the Passion of Dracula

LISLE, IL - This summer, follow the action – literally – of some time-honored stage productions during the unique Theatre-Hikes® program at The Morton Arboretum. On weekends from July through October, join the Three Musketeers, James and his giant peach, Mark Twain, Dracula and their cohorts as they share their stories during a beautiful nature hike under the Arboretum’s canopy of trees. As the plays progress, actors and the audience alike will move through the Arboretum’s grounds, using nature as the backdrop.

“Audiences of all ages love experiencing these well-known, well-loved stories in a whole new way, moving through the Arboretum grounds,” says Jenelle Hardtke, special events manager. “Nature becomes part of the story, as the actors incorporate our landscapes and settings into the production.”

The 2013 Theatre-Hikes season includes:
• July:  The Three Musketeers
• August:  James and the Giant Peach
• September:  An Afternoon with Mark Twain
• October:  The Passion of Dracula

Performances are each Saturday and Sunday, July 6-October 27. Shows in July, August and September begin at 1 p.m. Shows in October start at 3 p.m. 
The first Sunday performance of each month will be a low-impact hike (suitable for strollers, walkers and wheelchairs). Each performance lasts approximately three hours, so please wear comfortable shoes, dress for the weather and bring a chair or blanket, water bottle and insect repellent. All performances begin at the Thornhill Shelter (Parking Lot 21).

Tickets are on sale now. Tickets include Arboretum admission, so before or after the action guests can explore our David Rogers’ Big Bugs exhibition or award-winning Children’s Garden. For members, tickets cost $12 for adults and $8 for children. For nonmembers, tickets cost $19 for adults and $13 for children. Season tickets are available and cost $40 for member adults, $25 for member children, $60 for nonmember adults and $45 for nonmember children. To purchase tickets, call 630-725-2066, visit mortonarb.org, or stop by The Morton Arboretum Visitor Center.

The Three Musketeers - Weekends in July
By Ken Ludwig based on the novel by Alexandre Dumas
The famous story of swashbuckling friends comes to life outdoors. It is a tale of heroism, treachery, close-escapes and above all, honor. D'Artagnan sets off for Paris in search of adventure. His sister Sabine, the quintessential tomboy, is sent with to attend a convent school in Paris. Posing as a young man, she quickly becomes entangled in her brother's adventures. Soon after reaching Paris, d'Artagnan joins forces with his heroes, the famous musketeers, to defend the honor of the Queen of France. This show is appropriate for all ages (geared toward young boys and girls who like action, ages 6-14, and adults) and contains some violence (sword fights, deceit and death).

James and the Giant Peach – Weekends in August
Based on the story by Roald Dahl
A boy who was always told he was worth nothing achieves the impossible in this play. Crocodile tongues, horrible aunts, a ravenous rhinoceros: poor James is miserable...until something peculiar happens involving a giant peach and group of talking insects! James and his bug buddies take the most wonderful and extraordinary journey they could ever imagine. Appropriate for all ages (geared for children 6-13 with adult humor, too).

An Afternoon with Mark Twain – Weekends in September
Meet Mark Twain as he shares two of his famous stories: The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County and The Diaries of Adam and Eve. In our first story, Jim Smiley, a man with all the luck in the world, finds his luck has run out when he gambles everything on a giant frog that he figures can’t lose. Then, Twain retells the creation story, with a reclusive Adam who finds himself unprepared for the arrival of Eve, a talkative, emotional female. Will they find a way to get along? Appropriate for all ages.

The Passion of Dracula – Weekends in October
By Bob Hall and David Richmond based on the Bram Stoker novel
This version of the Dracula legend is set in the English countryside in 1911 where several village girls have died under mysterious circumstances. Dr. Seward presides over a nearby mental hospital and the locality has acquired a new resident, Count Dracula! A trio of doctors, a young reporter and a stouthearted English lord battle the Count for possession of the lovely heroine. With a dash of Holmesian sleuthing in this Baskerville Hound country setting, our heroes save the heroine and dispatch the Count in the traditional manner. "A genuine old- fashioned horror thriller." - N.Y. Daily News. Appropriate for all ages (geared toward teens and young adults, but no inappropriate material).

About The Morton Arboretum
The Morton Arboretum is an internationally recognized outdoor tree museum on 1,700 acres. Plant collections, scientific research and education programs support the mission to plant and conserve trees and other plants for a greener, healthier and more beautiful world. Throughout natural landscapes are specialty gardens, 16 miles of trails and nine miles of roads. Other offerings include tree-focused events, activities and services for adults, children, professionals and communities. The Arboretum welcomes more than 800,000 visitors annually and serves 34,000 member households. Located 25 miles west of Chicago in Lisle, Illinois, the Arboretum is open daily 7 a.m. until sunset. Learn more at www.mortonarb.org 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Bubble Buddies and Everyone Kids Soap! Designed for Kids, formulated for Parents!

EO Products is introducing some new products just for kids!

Bubble Buddy is a new way to get kids clean and create foaming fun with a simple squeeze. Specially designed for little hands, but formulated for parents who care about safe, natural products made with pure ingredients.

The Bubble Buddy shape fits easily into small hands to make it easy to use at the sink, or in the tub. Bubble Buddy gets your kids clean the EO natural way using rich foaming soap that is safe and non-toxic made with pure ingredients like organic essential oils. It puts the fun back into getting clean.

Scents: Bubble Buddies come in 3 all-natural scents: Orange Squeeze, Tropical Coconut Twist, and Lavender Lullaby formulated for nighttime rituals.

The EVERYONE Kids line is a gentle 3 in 1 soap that gently cleans from head to toe - shampoo, shower, and bath time.

Each EVERYONE product is currently free, paraben free, disodium EDTA free, gluten free, sodium lauryl sulfate free and non-GMO verified.

Founded in 1995, EO is the original and ultimate essential oil based personal care brand. For more information, please go to www.eoproducts.com

EO Products: Good for you kids, Good for the planet.

Photos courtesy of EO Products.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Parents Discover Fun Ways to Introduce Healthy Summer Activities With New Book from Kids Yoga Stories

Photo Courtesy of Kids Yoga Stories
Parents now have an easy and fun way to introduce their children to healthy summer activities with a new book that immerses children into a yoga inspired learning adventure. Luke's Beach Day is the newest release from Kids Yoga Stories - a collection of books that introduce children to fun-filled healthy yoga movements, cultural stories, and environmental issues.

Luke's Beach Day introduces children to yoga by illustrating how yoga poses can be incorporated into having fun, exciting, adventurous, and active day. Young readers learn about the East Coast Australian shoreline, while joining Luke as he hops like a kangaroo, perches like a sea gull, and rests like a sea star. Parents can also nurture additional "teaching moments" by consulting the List of Kids Yoga poses and the Parent-Teacher Guide that is included with this interactive children's book. This creates numerous opportunities for parents and kids to explore healthy movement and have fun together.

Giselle Shardlow is the author of Kids Yoga Stories. Her yoga-inspired children's books get children moving, learning, and having fun. Gisella draws from her experiences as a teacher, traveler, yogi, and mom to write the stories found at www.kidsyogastories.com on Amazon (amazon.com/author/gisellashardlow)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Turbo is Coming to Theatres July 17th!

He's Fast. They're Furious.

Animation: Rated PG
Release: July 17, 2013, in 3D
Director: David Soren
Producer: Lisa Stewart

Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Paul Giamatti, Michael Pena, Luis Guzmán, Bill Hader, Richard Jenkins,
Ken Jeong, Michelle Rodriguez, Maya Rudolph, Ben Schwartz, Snoop Dogg, a.k.a. Snoop Lion
and Samuel L. Jackson
Synopsis: From the makers of Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda, TURBO is a high-velocity 3D comedy about an underdog snail whose dreams kick into overdrive when he miraculously attains the power of super-speed. But after making fast friends with a crew of streetwise, tricked-out es-car-goes, Turbo learns that no one succeeds on their own. So he puts his heart and shell on the line to help his pals achieve their dreams, before Turbo-charging his own impossible dream: winning the Indy 500.

Website: http://www.turbomovie.com
Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADuKkRTiCfI
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TurboMovie?ref=ts&fref=ts
Twitter: https://twitter.com/GoTurbo 
Google: https://plus.google.com/+TurboMovie/posts

Monday, July 8, 2013

Sophie La Girafe

Photo courtesy of DK books
First created in France in 1961, Sophie la girafe, a high-end, all-natural rubber baby teether, is a fixture in nurseries all over the world. A favorite among moms, Sophie is a popular shower gift, and has garnered praise from parents everywhere.

  • Sophie has sold more than 50 million units worldwide
  • Sophie was born in Paris in 1961 and has been sold in the US since 2000
"Sophie is simply prettier, softer and cooler than any other teether." - LA Times
Now comes the first ever licensed Sophie la girafe books -- the perfect accompaniment o the winsome toy!

The four books are appropriate for children ages 0-3. Titles include:

  •  My First: Sophie la girafe: Let's Get Counting ($5.99)
  • Peekaboo! Sophie la girafe: Peekaboo Sophie! ($6.99)
  • Baby Touch and Feel: Sophie la girafe: Sophie's Busy Day ($5.99)
  • Baby: Sophie la girafe: Colors ($6.99)
For more information, visit http://sophiegiraffeusa.com/index.html

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Where to See the Best Fireworks this July 4th

The  Fourth of July is here again! As families come together to celebrate the birthday of the United States of America and enjoy the brightly colored fireworks, we have found the top fireworks in your neighborhood. Check out the fireworks listing below to find a fireworks display in your neighborhood.

- Cook County - 
Arlington Park July 4th
Arlington Park Race Track; 2200 Euclid Avenue Arlington Heights, IL 60006

Barrington 4th of July Festival
Barrington High School; 616 West Main,  Barrington, IL 60010

Barlett Fourth of July
Apple Orchard Park
Bartlett, IL 60103

Bensenville LibertyFest
Redmond Recreational Complex,735 E. Jefferson, Bensenville, IL 60106

Buffalo Grove Independence Day Fireworks
Village Hall Campus
Buffalo Grove, IL 60089
Chicago White Sox vs Baltimore Orioles 
U.S. Cellular Field; 333 West 35th St, Chicago, IL 60616

Elk Grove Lions Club Fireworks
Lions Park; Lions Drive & Elk Grove Blvd.
Elk Grove, IL 60007

Evanston 4th of July
Sheridan Rd & Church St, Evanston, IL 60201

Glencoe July 4 Celebration
Glencoe Beach
Glencoe, IL 60022

Glenview Fourth of July
Glenview Park Golf Club; 800 Shermer Rd
Glenview, IL 60025

Lake Forest Festival and
Deerpath Community Park; 400 Hastings Road, Forest Park, IL 60045

Lansing July Fourth
Lan-Oak Park; 180th and Arcadia St
Lansing, IL  60438

Morton Grove Days
Harrar Park; 6250 Dempster
Morton Grove, IL 60053

Mount Prospect Lions Club Festival
Melas Park; 1326 W. Central Road, Mount Prospect, IL 60056

Navy Pier Summer Fireworks
Navy Pier; 600 E Grand Ave; best viewing from Dock Stage, Chicago, IL 60611

Northwest Fourth Fest
Sears Centre Arena, 5333 Prairie Stone Parkway
Elgin, IL 60179

Northbrook 4th of July
Velodrome; Maple Ave
Northbrook, IL 60062

26th Annual Oak Fest
159th and Central
Oak Forest, IL 60452

Oak Lawn Fourth of July
Richards High School; 10601 Central Ave
Oak Lawn, IL 60453

Orland Park Independence Day
Centennial Park; 15600 West Ave, Orland Park, IL 60462

Park Forest July 4th Celebration
Rich East High School; 300, Sauk Trail
Park Forest, IL 60466

Rolling Meadows July 4th
Salk Park; 3699 Pheasant Drive, Rolling Meadows, IL 60008

Skokie Parade and 3D
Fireworks Fest
Niles West High School 5701 Oakton St, Skokie, IL 60076

Tinley Park Fourth of July
McCarthy Park; 16801 W 80th Ave, Tinley Park, IL 60477

- Dekalb County - 
Fireworks Over Shabbona Lake
Shabbona Lake State Park,100 Preserve Rd
Shabbona, IL 60550

Kirkland 4th of July
290 South St, Kirkland, IL 60146

Sandwich Fourth of July Celebration
Sandwich Fairgrounds
1401 Suydam Rd, Sandwich, IL 60548

- Dupage County -
Aurora Independence Day
Riveredge Park;, 360 N. Broadway St., Aurora, IL 60506

Batavia July 4th Sky 

Concert Fireworks

Mooseheart Field
Batavia, IL 60539

Carol Stream Fourth of July
Gary Ave and Lies Road
Carol Stream, IL 60188

Clarendon Hills Concert and Fireworks
Hinsdale Golf Club; 140 Chicago Ave, Clarendon Hills, IL 60514

Downers Grove / Woodridge July 4 Fireworks
Zigfield Troy Golf, 75th Street and Lemont Road
Downers Grove, IL 60517

Glen Ellyn 4th of July
Lake Ellyn Park; 645 Lenox Road Glen Ellyn, IL 60137

Itasca 4th of July Fireworks
Hamilton Lakes
Itasca, IL 60143

Ribfest Fireworks
Knoch Park, 724 S. West St., Naperville, IL 60540

Taste of Lombard Fireworks
Madison Meadow Park, 600 East Madison St
Lombard, IL 60148

Warrenville Fourth of July
Parade and Fireworks
Cerny Park; 3S258 Manning Ave., Warrenville, IL 60555

Westmont July 4 Fireworks
Ty Warner Park; Plaza and Blackhawk Dr., Westmont, IL 60559

 - Iroquois County -
Ashkum Fourth of July Fireworks Main St and 1000 East Rd, Ashkum, IL, 60911

Onarga Fourth of JulyFireworks Durham Park
Durham Park Ave, Onarga, IL 60955

 - Kane County -
Kane County Cougars vs Quad Cities River Bandits; Fifth Third Bank Ballpark; one block south of Route 38 on Kirk Road
Geneva, IL 60134

St. Charles 4th of July

Pottawatomie Park

8 North Ave, St Charles, IL 60174

Sleepy Hollow 4th of July
Sabatino Park, Sleepy Hollow, IL  60118

- Kankakee County -
Momence Independence Day , Island Park, 79 Mill St., Momence, IL 60954

- Kendall County -
Oswego Independence Day
Prairie Point Park; 313 East Washington St,Oswego, IL 60543

- Lake County -
Antioch July 4th Celebration
Williams Park; 874 Main St., Antioch, IL 60002

Highland Park Fireworks
Wolters Field; 1080 Park Ave West, Highland Park, IL 60035

Libertyville Fireworks
Butler Lake Park; 500 Lake St, Libertyville, IL 60048

Lincolnshire Red White and Boom
Village of Lincolnshire
Lincolnshire, IL 60069

Mundelein Community Days
Kracklauer Park, 100 N. Seymour Ave,
Mundelein, IL 60060

Naval Station Great Lakes 4th of July
Ross Field; Great Lakes Naval Base; Sheridan Road, Great Lakes, IL 60088

Round Lake Beach Fireworks
Cultural Center Outdoor Stage, Round Lake Beach, IL 60073

Waukegan Independence Day
Waukegan Lakefront
Waukegan, IL 60085

- Lasalle County -
Ottawa Fireworks Festival
Ilinois River waterfront
Main St, Ottawa, IL 61350

- Mchenry County -
Huntley Independence Day 
Huntley Outlet Mall
11800 Factory Shops Blvd, Huntley, IL 60142

Spring Grove 4th of July Celebration
Horse Fair Park
8105 Blivin, Spring Grove, IL 60080

Woodstock July 4th Fireworks 
Emricson Park, 900 W. South St, Woodstock, IL 60098

- Will County -
Beecher Fourth of July
Firemen’s Park, 673 Penfield St, Beecher, IL 60401

Bolingbrook All-American Celebration

Bolingbrook Golf Club,

2001 Rodeo Drive, Bolingbrook, IL 60490

Frankfort 4th of July
Main Park; 400 W. Nebraska St., Frankfort, IL 60423

Joliet Slammers vs Frontier Greys, SilverCross Field; 
1 Mayor Art Schultz Drive, Joliet, IL 60432

Mokena Fourth of July
Main Park; 10925 LaPorte Road, Mokena, IL 60448

New Lenox 4th of July
Village Commons
1 Veterans Parkway, New Lenox, IL 60451