Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Live music for every palate playing all summer long ]]> Lead story image

We know, we know: Winter in Chicago can be brutal. That's why we have summer, with its brilliant, sunny days that make you itch for excitement and adventure - for something truly special. Luckily, we've got more than our fair share of music venues that are indeed special, and this summer they'll play host to America's greatest treasures, both old and new, including local-boy gone-big Chicago and music's most controversial mistress, Miley Cyrus. Here are some of the showstopping events we're most looking forward to. Aerosmith promises to "Let Rock Rule" at their upcoming July 25 concert spectacular at First … ]]> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 15:53:25 -0500 <![CDATA[ Performers to make history this summer at South Side amphitheater ]]> Lead story image

It may not seem like music history could be made in Tinley Park, a small suburb on Chicago's South Side. But looking at the tree-lined streets and quiet parks, it's clear your eyes and ears are deceiving you. Just a few streets over, west of the South Green Belt Forest Preserve, is the First Midwest Bank Amphitheater, the Midwest's largest outdoor concert venue and one of the few places in Chicagoland where you can pull up a lawn chair or lay out on the grass and relax - all while listening to artists like Jimmy Buffett or Journey, Drake or … ]]> Thu, 17 Jul 2014 12:29:06 -0500 <![CDATA[ Make your next Chicago concert experience a get-away in the city ]]> Lead story image

We may live on the lake, but it's easy to forget to take advantage of it. With all the art, music and lively events you can find in the city, why venture outside its boundaries? But there is culture on the water: On Northerly Island, whose FirstMerit Bank Pavilion has earned the much-deserved moniker "The Venue with a View" for its stunning views of the Chicago skyline, Soldier Field, and Burnham Harbor, and with the entire expanse of Lake Michigan beyond. What's better than the city before you, the lake behind you and the stars above on a Chicago summer eve? ]]> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 14:40:56 -0500 <![CDATA[ Sunday brunch: The new happy hour ]]> Lead story image

The average full-time American employee works nearly 1,700 hours per year, according to research by the U.S. Federal Reserve, leaving many with little time to socialize with friends and family during the work week. Busy professionals and on-the-go families are now looking outside the Monday-through-Friday grind, making Sunday brunch an opportunity to reconnect, enjoy new cuisine and explore trendy locations.   A window of opportunity Instead of a weekday happy hour or early dinner, Sundays allow you to indulge in new experiences and food without needing to rush home on a work night. With the to-do list complete and Monday just out … ]]> Wed, 18 Jun 2014 16:09:08 -0500 <![CDATA[ Five must-haves for exuberant wedding receptions ]]> Lead story image

Wedding receptions continue to impress guests with towering centerpieces, gourmet cuisine and elegant ballrooms. For a busy bride and groom, it can be difficult to add personality to one's wedding reception. Here are five must-haves for planning an exciting, one-of-a-kind wedding reception:  1. Location, location, location Choosing the venue for your nuptials sets the tone for your entire event. Look for spaces in trendy neighborhoods like the West Loop that offer unique features like exposed brick, modern décor or large windows to let in natural light. Remember, having the ceremony and reception in one place can be a convenient option for your … ]]> Wed, 18 Jun 2014 16:32:32 -0500 <![CDATA[ Five out-there craft beer flavors ]]> Lead story image

The craft beer industry is proving that strange and delicious can coexist, as craft breweries earn accolades for their unpredictable and oftentimes bizarre flavor profiles. Craft brewers employ more than 14,000 people, according to IBISWorld, and with many experimenting daily with ingredients and flavors beyond barley and hops, this proliferation of delectable oddities is not surprising. Here are five unusual flavors that actually work in craft beer. But buyers should beware, as some of these flavors may be in a limited supply: 1. Peanut butter, banana, and chocolate Rogue Brewery's ode to the King of Rock and Roll is leaving traditional … ]]> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 14:43:05 -0500 <![CDATA[ Adding a modern touch to your dining room ]]>

As of 2013, online household furniture sales had grown 9.6 percent over the last five years, according to the marketing research firm IBISWorld. It's a healthy time for the furniture industry, and a robust time for consumers to buy-especially if your dining room furniture is beginning to look like it's a generation too obsolete. When going out to buy furniture for the dining room, it's important to modernize with some knowledge under your belt. Here are three design and furniture ideas to consider before you make your final decisions. Spring for lively colors and textures If your colorful, fresh meals … ]]> Thu, 12 Jun 2014 10:50:42 -0500 <![CDATA[ Gear up your vehicle for summer fun ]]>

As store shelves become lined with sunscreen and beach balls, summer travel season has truly, finally arrived. But amidst all the gear, planning and excitement, it's easy to forget your car needs a little preparation, as well. Here are four tips to make sure your vehicle is ready to hit the road in the summer heat. Properly inflate your tires Countless studies have shown that cars with properly inflated and balanced tires get better gas mileage-around 3.3 percent, according to Properly inflated tires are not only safer but also last longer, the U.S. Department of Energy says. Make sure … ]]> Thu, 12 Jun 2014 10:50:23 -0500 <![CDATA[ Say 'I do' to holding your wedding and reception in the same venue ]]> Lead story image

In the world of weddings, success is in the details. However, making it down the aisle to say "I do," requires brides and grooms to find ways of looking beyond the to-do list and focusing on the celebration. By hosting the ceremony and reception at the same venue, couples have the opportunity to personalize their weddings while reducing stress levels along the way. One way to save According to The Knot, the average cost of a wedding in the U.S. in 2013 was nearly $30,000, and with that hefty price tag, most couples are on the lookout for opportunities to cut … ]]> Mon, 08 Sep 2014 12:00:35 -0500 <![CDATA[ Fresh dining in local farm-to-table cuisine ]]> Lead story image

Fresh. Local. Healthier. Tastier. Farm-to-table cuisine has evolved from a buzzword to a growing movement, with increasing numbers of consumers searching for locally sourced ingredients in both their grocery stores and their favorite restaurants. With this much more support, eating local is now a luxury environmentally conscious diners can enjoy in a range of settings at any time of day. The move toward processed foods Eating local is a re-emerging trend. While most American food came from within 50 miles at the beginning of the 20th century, according to, new shipping technology sparked a change. The U.S. began relying … ]]> Fri, 13 Jun 2014 16:46:52 -0500 <![CDATA[ The longterm benefits of encouraging your child to read ]]>

Whether your child prefers to read adventure novels, non-fiction books, or humorous tomes, there's no dispute that the habit of reading has many positive benefits. A child who learns to love reading develops intelligence and confidence, and a parent who encourages them along the way plants a seed that will bear fruit throughout a child's life. Here we list four long-term effects that come about when a parent encourages their child to embrace reading as a regular habit.   Higher earning potential The non-profit Children's Reading Foundation estimates that for every year you read with your young child, average lifetime earnings … ]]> Thu, 12 Jun 2014 10:49:51 -0500 <![CDATA[ 5 benefits of participating in school sports ]]>

From buzzer beaters to stolen bases, the excitement and anticipation of a close game can often leave athletics' other benefits lingering on your blind side. Here are five major perks that prove participating in school sports is more than merely fun and games. 1. Broader friend groups Finding friends in the classroom can be a challenge, and even the most outgoing may find they socialize with only a small group. However, according to the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, participating in sports can introduce students to both a wider selection of their peers and students from neighboring schools. 2. Effective weight … ]]> Thu, 12 Jun 2014 10:49:59 -0500 <![CDATA[ Living large on your lunch break ]]> Lead story image

If you're among the many overachievers tempted to eat lunch in your cubicle, it's time to think again. While it may not be possible to make delicious departures from the office every day, here are three of the many benefits to taking a break from the cafeteria. Soaking up sunshine A quick jaunt to a favorite local haunt provides not only a revitalizing break but also an opportunity to get your daily dose of vitamin D. With the Mayo Clinic recommending at least 10 minutes of sun exposure daily to reach recommended levels, stepping outside the office provides the perfect … ]]> Thu, 12 Jun 2014 10:49:19 -0500 <![CDATA[ 5 essentials for the modern brunch ]]> Lead story image

With spring weather just around the corner, it's officially time to spruce up your Sunday morning routine. But among the large variety of before-noon options, it can be difficult to set priorities. Before you make your dining decision, here are five essentials for the modern brunch. Think outside the omelet Eggs and bacon will forever be brunch classics, but as restaurants become increasingly creative with their concoctions, ordering only the mainstays feels behind the times. Combining traditional entrees with unexpected seasonal flavors or global influences adds interest to items with timeless appeal. Starters and sweets Brunch is all about indulgence, … ]]> Thu, 12 Jun 2014 11:42:13 -0500 <![CDATA[ 3 considerations in the hunt for a new sofa ]]> Lead story image

Commitment can be scary, and settling on a sub-par sofa may leave you literally in a slump. Amidst innumerable brands and styles from which to choose, here are three crucial considerations to anchor your search for a new couch. A splash of personality Researchers at Mississippi State found almost 93 percent of subjects agreed that their furniture design reflects their personality, while another 67 percent admitted to believing that other peoples' furniture reveals their character. With so much emphasis on a seemingly small decision, taking time to consider your style as well as that of your home can help ensure … ]]> Thu, 12 Jun 2014 10:50:11 -0500