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My life is a soccer game

Nike Cup Soccer Tournament

The beauty of a young mind flourishes during a routine homework assignment on metaphoric poetry…

By: Trey Schmidt

life is emotion, life is a soccer match
the dream to be a leader, to wear on my sleeve the captain’s patch
the passion it takes to get all the way
the bumps that trip you throughout the day
willing to take a foul
inside I want to growl
my friends will say “don’t stay on the ground get back up!”

the ball hits the post, I need it to make it the most
sometimes you feel the game will never end
this game of soccer my old friend
the win in the game will make you strong
then in life I will be clever
no matter if there is rain
the confidence is what I gain

I will not get every call, but will play on to have fun
to start walking to the pitch, jogging– then I run
“the foul won’t stay in my brain” I say
I’ll make it up on another day
shake it off, shake it up, life won’t get me in a rut

the field will never stay the same just as you will change
every single minute you play
you will never stop to stay


Scents of Spring at Macy’s Flower Show in Chicago

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Need a delightful break from the grey weather? The sights and scents of the Macy’s Flower Show in Chicago will lift you from the doldrums and tickle your fancy! Located on the 9th floor of their State Street store, children and adults alike will enjoy the painted elephant and beautiful vignettes representing India and southern Asia. This free show runs until Sunday, April 7th. You don’t want to miss this!

A Hidden Gem in Dominica

Sari Sari Falls Dominica

Sari Sari Falls Dominica

Located on the East coast of Dominica, Sari Sari are one of the most magnificent waterfalls in Dominica.

Looking for a place to stay while exploring this magnificent island? Check out Roots Jungle Retreat for memories of a lifetime.

A Most Romantic Museum in Paris Evokes Passionate Love

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By: Jen

If you’ve seen the recent film Midnight In Paris, you will recognize the rose garden with Auguste Rodin’s The Thinker. His cameo scene includes actor Owen Wilson and friends admiring his beauty. The Musée Rodin is a most romantic museum. It is small and accessible, surrounded by gardens. Within the garden, Le Café Du Musée offers a place to relax and dine. The museum shop sells many fabulous books and I loved their jewelry so much that I purchased two pieces for myself. The perfect gift for my husband was a porcelain espresso cup with a Rodin sketch found inside the cup! I had not one person but myself for this visit. It was a time for quiet contemplation.

You Feel His Heartache
The Musée Rodin is located in the former Hotel Biron which was one of Rodin’s residences. You can see the Eiffel Tower from the rose garden. The museum collection pays homage to Rodin’s form of the human condition. There are moments where you feel his heartache. Rodin was also a voracious illustrator, creating over 7800 drawings in his lifetime. He was a collector of beautiful antiquities. A van Gogh painting hangs in one of the salons.

Camille Claudel Is The Eternal Idol
Much of Camille’s work is shown on the first floor of the museum. Camille and Auguste had a profound influence on each other. To learn more about Camille why not rent the movie Camille Claudel. It is very emotional but just being in the Musée Rodin is emotional in of itself!

Intuitively We Know He Is The Thinker
The Thinker was originally conceived as a doorway element in a much larger schematic that Rodin was creating, for a decorative arts museum. Rodin’s Thinker is Dante, the author of the Divine Comedy. He sits above, contemplating his work over all the characters in the doorway composition.

After my trip, I showed photos of The Thinker in it’s rose garden environment to my Montessori students, along with three hand sculptures that are displayed inside the museum. We discussed what a sculpture can be made of and the differences in texture. I asked our students what the first sculpture was about. They intuitively knew that he was “thinking”. The explanations are indicative to the age group. Maybe he was thinking about basketball, a friend’s party that he was to attend, or about the next piece of art that he was going to create. This is my favorite part of our lessons! The children relate to the art in the context of their own lives and own personal experiences. They have a lot of ideas and make connections with the art. Some remembered seeing this image in other places like on a cd cover or in their dentist’s office! Getting comfortable talking about art will enable our children to feel confident when stepping through the doors of an art museum as they mature into adulthood.

79 rue de Varenne
75007 Paris
tel: +33(0)1 44 18 61 10

Tuesday – Sunday
10:00 am – 5:45 pm
Gardens close at 5:00 pm from October 1 – March 31

Metro Line 13

Happy Valentines Day!

!Business Connect! Maple City Roasters

In today’s Business Connect, we are delighted to introduce you to Del Arnold of Maple City Roasters. Join us in Del’s interview below to find out more about their coffee roasting business. We love their amazingly delicious fresh roasted coffee!

Maple City Roasters

2Sis: Tell us about your small business; what is your specialty?

Our specialty is roasting “green coffee” beans.  We are a micro Roast-to-Order business.

2Sis: How many years are you now in business and how many employees currently are working for you? 

In March our business will be 5 yrs young and growing.  Customers just love our NON bitter roasted beans.  We have had a partner for three years until he retired and moved away.  With the growth we have just added a new partner.

2Sis: How did you come upon your specialty? Do you have formal training? Was this a lifelong passion?

No formal training & yes it was a passion of my husband Kreg.  He appreciates good coffee, craft beer and good cigars. Kreg was a home roaster and so many of our craft beer drinkers were continually were asking for the fresh roast.

2Sis: What is a day in the office like for you?

Well for me it is the “roasting shop” I roast as ordered, package and label as well as delivery.  Then home to the office for paper work.

2Sis: How do you invent new flavors? Is it driven by customer requests? 

The requests are driven by customer preferences.  Some have really taken off…..even when I was skeptical.


2Sis: How do you juggle your time to focus on PR/Marketing?  

I have always had a passion for the networking and marketing.  We have participated in numerous shows over the years and grew our contact list.  We are involved in unique events…such as Artisan Fairs or Gardening events.

2Sis: Do your customers buy for a particular holiday? Or are they purchasing for themselves?  

As expected Holidays bring out a good portion of business which translates to regular mail orders if they are out of towners.

2Sis: If you could travel anywhere tomorrow where would it be? Why? 

To Jamaican or Costa Rican for coffee tours…..or to Mexico to just relax.

2Sis: Any words of advice you can offer to other small businesses? 

Network, Network, Network we have met the nicest & most honest people who are so eager to help you grow.  We grew without a marketing budget.

2 Sis: What can we expect to see from your company in the future? 

Much growth in many different directions.  To branch out, have a store front and service our customers.

2Sis: Where can we find you? Please list your links.

Call or text 219-873-3735

Kreg and Del Arnold
Maple City Roasters, LLC

The key is in the Roast!


Thank you Del for giving us a behind the scenes peek into the happenings at Maple City Roasters !

Be sure to check out Maple City Roasters for yourself – a great gift for family and friends!

DIY Super Bowl Table

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By: Nic and Jen

The kings of football meet king cake baby in this year’s DIY Super Bowl Table. Yes… fans will be joining together in cheering on the Baltimore Ravens or the San Francisco 49ers. Lets face it… some of you are using this as an excuse to crack the spines on your New Orleans cookbooks. Kitchens everywhere will be creating wonderful dishes of jambalaya, andouille sausage bread and grilled shrimp! Here come the Hurricanes and frosty cold beer. It’s time for a beans and jeans party!

Dress up your table with these fun “party in a jar” scenes. We’ve created one for football, one for the joys of Tabasco and of course our ode to king cake baby. Justice, power and faith will reign big this weekend!

It’s the way Americans feel about their beloved football and the way we celebrate Mardi Gras season.

frosted moonlight

by: Jen

by: Jen

Palatine Illinois Farmers Market in winter!

Palatine Farmers Market goods

Palatine Farmers Market goods

By: Jen

We know the days are starting to get longer– but we really miss our CSA (community supported agriculture) deliveries of farm fresh produce from the warmer months. It gets challenging trying to choose produce in the winter as we are comparing the measly offerings to the quality of summer’s bounty. I find myself wondering how many tons of air fuel it took to bring the current produce into my local grocery store.

Nicole and her everlovin’ have let me in on their early morning jaunt to the winter Palatine Farmers Market. We were to leave no later than 7:30 am in order to purchase farm eggs. They run out! Most of the market is situated inside the Palatine Train Station which is located on the Union Pacific Northwest Rail line into Chicago. Our first stop was the Hasselmann Family Farm booth. I tried to purchase two dozen eggs but discovered that you can only buy one dozen…. it is suggested that you pre-order your eggs prior to the market delivery to ensure that you go home with these beautiful brown beauties. The yolks are very yellow and the whites hold their shape. These are the eggs from my youth, when Grandma and Grandpa would make them sunny side up after an indulgent sleep-over!

We loved the offerings from The Cheese People. Their customer line was hearty and these folks knew exactly what they wanted. Tom’s Backyard Garden and Middlebury Farms offered very fresh greens that lasted and tasted wonderful.

Palatine Farmers Market
Corner of Smith and Wood Streets
Palatine, IL 60067

January 19
February 9
March 9
April 13

If you’re up for a coffee and an early morning adventure, join us this Saturday morning! We need to leave very early…

Life is a mosaic! 2013 will add more color!

By: Jen

Located in the Macy's State Street store, Chicago, IL, USA

Marshall Field and Company Building
Macy’s Department Store
111 North State Street, Chicago, IL 60602

Thank you to all of our followers and supporters during our first year of blogging! It’s been quite a discovery and we feel a great sense of accomplishment to have started this project in 2012. Just before the holidays, I had a wonderful opportunity to take my youthful nieces on a little trip down memory lane. We visited the historic Marshall Field and Company Building in Chicago. Macy’s now owns this landmark… long gone are the days of stellar customer amenities once known to Marshall Field’s customers.

We enjoyed a day of Ferris Bueller like antics and as we were getting ready to burst forth into the cold night, I asked the kids to look up and to our delight, we were awestruck by the Tiffany Favrile Ceiling which is located in the cosmetics department on the fifth floor. This ceiling is the first and largest built favrile glass mosaic in the world. The hand applied design includes over 1.6 million pieces of glass.

Louis Comfort Tiffany created and patented this type of iridescent glass. The material was first produced in 1896. During production, the pigments were poured into the molten glass thus imbedding the colors into the glass.

Life is like a mosaic! 2013 will surely add more color and more pieces into all of our stories. We wish you a most beautiful design in the 365 days to come. Happy New Year!

Can you make that cranberry pie?

Be the hero this holiday season! Every time we make this recipe from our Mom, we get requests for it, literally as in “Can you make that cranberry pie?” Friends, this is so easy– you can make it too! This pie works like a charm for a winter’s breakfast, brunch or t.v. time snack. Whip some heavy whipping cream with a couple of tablespoons of bourbon for an extra treat.

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Step One is the base!
12 0z. (3 cups) whole, fresh cranberries
3/4 C. chopped walnuts
1/2 C. firmly packed brown sugar
1 T. orange rind
1 tspn. cinnamon
Toss together and pour into a greased pie plate.

Step 2 is the batter!
2 eggs
1 stick melted butter
1 C. white sugar
1/4 C. sour cream
1 tspn. vanilla
Mix together with a fork.
Gradually add 1 cup of flour.

Step 3 is the assembly!
Pour over the cranberries.
Bake in 325° for 50 minutes.

Who ever thought a small acidic red berry from an evergreen dwarf shrub could taste so good? Next week we will share our cranberry salsa recipe! What do you do with the North American berry species?

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