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  • Dining events: Extreme deals for Gibsons’ 25thApr 15, 2014 12:00 AM
    Celebrate Gibsons’ silver anniversary with $25 steaks all day Monday, April 21, at the restaurant’s three locations. For one day only, all steaks on the menu cost $25.

  • Christina Hernandez of Elgin decorates butter cookies for customers of her FanCThatEvents cookie shop on

    Cook of the Week: Elgin lunch lady balances nutrition, treatsApr 15, 2014 12:00 AM
    As the manager of food services for an Elgin school district, Cook of the Week Christina Hernandez is responsible for more than 20,000 meals a day for children. Blame it on her job, but Christina is also very concerned about nutrition. “Working at the schools has really opened my eyes and has influenced me in my cooking at home." In her free time, this avid vegetable gardener also enjoys baking butter cookies and cakes for friends and family.

  • Christina Hernandez of Elgin sells decorated butter cookies through her FanCThatEvents cookie shop on

    Butter Cookies Apr 15, 2014 12:00 AM
    Cook of the Week Christina Hernandez's makes fabulous butter cookies

  • “Beauty Is ...” is the final studio recording from the late Ray Price.

    Ray Price caps career with stirring last albumApr 15, 2014 12:00 AM
    The late Ray Price titled his final studio recording “Beauty Is ...” after an opening duet with Vince Gill that draws on the axiom about the eye of the beholder. Music is similarly subjective, but it would be hard to imagine anyone not recognizing the sublime beauty of the late Ray Price’s singing: He owned one of the richest voices and most emotionally expressive styles in country music history.

  • Richard Dreyfuss feels more passionate about politics than acting these days.

    Dreyfuss loves acting, but his passion is politicsApr 15, 2014 12:00 AM
    Politically, Richard Dreyfuss describes himself as “intensely pre-partisan, and even more intensely anti-shmuck.” The 66-year-old Oscar winner almost immediately injected politics into an interview with The Associated Press, calling for a “civil strike” in support of the United States Constitution. As you’ve probably guessed, Dreyfuss is even more passionate about politics than he is about acting these days. He still takes roles, but he doesn’t feel the same fire as before.

  • Today there’s a finish for decoupaging nearly anything to nearly any surface, from fabric and wood and glass to metals.

    It’s still a mod, mod, mod, Mod-Podged worldApr 15, 2014 12:00 AM
    Mod Podge — long used for decoupage crafts — has morphed in recent years. Now there’s a glue-and-sealer product for virtually every surface, from fabric and wood to glass and metals. Other decoupage brands exist, as well. And decoupage crafts? Projects run the gamut, including purses, high-heeled shoes, backpacks, scratched furniture, glass vases, dishware, canvases, planters — even bicycles.

  • A 52-foot replica of an acoustic guitar is part of a new section of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tenn. Educational exhibits are part of the $100 million expansion.

    Country Music Museum grows to match genreApr 15, 2014 12:00 AM
    The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is no longer bursting at the seams, thanks to a $100 million expansion that has more than doubled its space. The museum will unveil the final part of the expansion Tuesday, including two new exhibit galleries and more room to display collections of recordings, artifacts and photographs.

  • Campers drinking wine on a “glamping” — glamour camping — expedition on the Middle Fork of Idaho’s Salmon River. Glamping is one of a number of made-up words that are used in the travel industry to describe niche vacations, such as staycation, bleisure (business and leisure) and honeyteering (volunteering on a honeymoon).

    Staycation or bleisure? Travel loves made-up wordsApr 15, 2014 12:00 AM
    Hotels advertise “bleisure” packages. The Thai Tourism Authority is promoting “honeyteering.” And a Mississippi TV anchor told advocates of gay equality to “go on gaycation.” Whatever you’re doing on vacation, chances are there’s a made-up word to describe it. Combine honeymoon and volunteering, you get honeyteering. Combine business and leisure, you get bleisure. Add glamour to a camping trip with wine, steak and scented candles, and you’re glamping. Lexicographers call these blended words portmanteaus.

  • James Carville and Mary Matalin recently wrote “Love & War: Twenty Years, Three Presidents, Two Daughters and One Louisiana Home.”

    ‘Love & War’: Unlikely story of love and politicsApr 15, 2014 12:00 AM
    “Love & War” is the unlikely love story of one of America’s best-known power couples and how their marriage has survived despite their sharply different political views. The subtitle of the book by Mary Matalin and James Carville is “Twenty years, three presidents, two daughters and one Louisiana home.” That offers a hint of the pressures and rewards faced by the couple with a quirky charisma and two of the nation’s best political minds.

  • Several Cirque du Soleil artists, including aerialist Igor Zaripov, are into CrossFit workouts.

    CrossFit joins the circusApr 15, 2014 12:00 AM
    Cirque du Soleil has been working on a couple new moves: squats and dead lifts. Those exercises aren’t as flashy as most of the mind-blowing tricks the circus troupe is renowned for. But they’re awesome for strength conditioning, says Allister Booth, head coach for the company’s “Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour,” which is touring in 21 U.S. cities. They also figure prominently in CrossFit, which has become Cirque du Soleil’s new exercise obsession.

  • Sweet potato-stuffed spiral ham is a beautiful and delicious way to celebrate Easter.

    We stuff Turkey Day birds, so why not Easter hams?Apr 14, 2014 12:00 AM
    Stuffed ham? It’s not a crazy as it sounds. And it’s much easier than you think. The trick is to use a spiral-cut ham. All those slices are the perfect place to insert a bit of flavor and color to your ham.

  • Sweet potato-stuffed spiral ham is a beautiful and delicious way to celebrate Easter.

    Glazed Sweet Potato-Stuffed Ham Apr 14, 2014 12:00 AM
    Sweet Potato Stuffed Ham can be the centerpiece of the Easter feast

  • “Frog Music” is the latest from Emma Donoghue.

    ‘Frog Music’ explores unsolved murder from 1876Apr 14, 2014 12:00 AM
    In 1876 in San Francisco, amid a heat wave and smallpox epidemic, an idiosyncratic frog-catching, pants-wearing, bicycle-riding woman is fatally shot through the window of a railroad boardinghouse. This real-life unsolved murder is the basis of Emma Donoghue’s new novel, “Frog Music.” The story is told through Blanche Beunon, a burlesque dancer who is in the same room when her friend Jenny Bonnet is killed.

  • Ellen Page, who plays Shadowcat in “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” presents a clip from the movie onstage at the MTV Movie Awards on Sunday at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.

    MTV Movie Awards big Hollywood studio plug-festApr 14, 2014 12:00 AM
    Last year, the MTV Movie Awards moved up its broadcast date from June to April to incorporate a summer movie plug-fest. Sunday night’s show cemented that change as clips from anticipated blockbusters debuted at the madcap ceremony. Now in its 22nd year, the MTV Movie Awards show has become an important event for Hollywood studios. And, oh yes, there were some awards, too.

  • Allison Janney, left, as Bonnie and Anna Faris as Christy face some weighty issues in the season finale of “Mom,” which airs at 8:30 p.m. Monday, April 14, on CBS.

    Chuck Lorre’s sitcom ‘Mom’ adopts serious toneApr 14, 2014 12:00 AM
    A pregnant teenager, the daughter of an unmarried mother and granddaughter of another, is repeating family history. Does she decide to keep her baby and do her immature best to raise it, or choose adoption for her offspring? That quandary anchors the season finale of CBS’ “Mom” (8:30 p.m. Monday) a freshman sitcom that has balanced punch lines and pathos in tackling alcoholism, cancer, broken families and other weighty themes, which are the bread-and-butter of “Mom,” starring Anna Faris and Allison Janney.

  • Steve Rogers (Christ Evans) reluctantly teams up with Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) to purge SHIELD of traitors in the super hero thriller “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” The superhero sequel held off another sequel “Rio 2” to keep the No. 1 spot with a more than $40 million box office haul.

    With $41.4M, ‘Captain America’ holds off ‘Rio 2’Apr 14, 2014 12:00 AM
    “Captain America” continued to flex its Marvel muscle at the global box office, as “The Winter Soldier” took in $41.4 million domestically and $60.6 million overseas. With a global cumulative total of nearly $477 million, “The Winter Soldier” has (in two weeks domestically, three weeks internationally) easily surpassed the $370 million total of “The First Avenger.”

  • Michelle Amsden tells John Bohanek what to do and he does it. The strategy seems to be working for them. In eight weeks Bohanek has lost more than 50 pounds.

    Trainers laud competitors’ determination, workApr 14, 2014 12:00 AM
    With just a month or so to go, the personal trainers at Push Fitness in Schaumburg are amping up their programs, devising new ways to motivate their Fittest Loser contestants and setting the stage for an all-out competition down to the wire. But most admit that their jobs are pretty simple, as their Fittest Loser challengers have success in their view; passion in their bones; and they are not about to give up, or give out.

  • Steps to support brain health, improve overall wellnessApr 14, 2014 12:00 AM
    Brain health is an often overlooked aspect of fitness but has a major impact on the overall well-being of the body. Many times brain health is only addressed once there are known issues. Fortunately, many of the healthy steps we recommend for the well-being of the body will also support healthy brain function.

  • Keeping blood vessels healthy is best way to prevent strokeApr 14, 2014 12:00 AM
    Q: My father’s doctor wants him to have an ultrasound of his carotid artery. What is the carotid artery? What will the doctor be looking for?

  • Mount Prospect Park District’s MPPDeterminators’ team members, from left, Marni, Stephanie and Christina, say their endurance has improved to the point where they’re able to run further and exercise longer than ever before.

    Community groups see highs and lowsApr 14, 2014 12:00 AM
    There are 23 corporate and 13 park district teams competing in the Fittest Loser Community Challenge, and they are working feverishly to meet their goals. With just four weeks to go, these energetic groups continue to experience some incredible highs and a few disappointing lows. Nevertheless, they press on.

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