#over50chicagolifestyle, northwest Indiana, over 50, Uncategorized

Are your dogs in need of a little quarantine training?

By Jane Bokun

Kip Geyer knows exactly what to do with the dogs he trains at Landheim Training & Boarding Center in Indiana.

Geyer is lead trainer at Landheim, which is a large barrack-like building located on a winding stretch of bucolic road. He has been training dogs professionally for more than 25 years and now works under Landheim award-winning owner Bob Fleming.

“I work mainly with German Shepherds,” Geyer said.

The dog lover has more than 20 years training law enforcement K-9 teams in Patrol, Narcotics and Explosives. He has now added PTSD training to his roster.

Even cuties like this can be trained in PTSD

 Anyone who has gone through a life-threatening event can develop PTSD. These events can include: combat; sexual or physical abuse; terrorist attacks; serious accidents; natural disasters, and more.

“We train dogs to sense what’s happening and to block the person suffering from PTSD from any potential problems,” Geyer said.

Dogs literally get in front of their owners and block them from potentially stressful situations. The dogs may look formidable, but they are loving and trained to respond to PTSD symptoms. The dogs provide assistance in a medical crisis; assistance in coping with emotional overload and more. A trained PTSD dog can provide a sense of security and calm.

According to Geyer, PTSD Service Dogs can literally change the life of a veteran or other persons with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD Service dogs can help veterans remain calm by preventing people from crowding around.

In fact all the German Shepherds at Landheim are being trained for different purposes. Some are show dogs, pets and are used as K-9 police dogs. Owners can also train and board their own pets at Landheim.

“Our goal at Landheim is to always offer the latest and best training available,” Fleming said. “All our dogs are trained under the guidelines set by such programs as the American Police Canine Association (APCA), North American Police Work Dog Association (NAPWDA) and more.”

For more information call 219-365-8897 or access info@landheim.com.

northwest Indiana, over 50

Need more money? Here’s a cool guest blog by Laurie Penman …

How a Product Testing Opportunity Landed Me A Commercial Shot

By Laurie Penman

Participating in market research got me to Hollywood to be in a commercial. It was the farthest thing from my mind when I participated in a product testing opportunity a few years back.  I cannot disclose what company, but here’s what went down: after filling out the screener for the product, I was notified that I had been chosen to test it for two weeks.  The product was mailed to me at NO cost and I faithfully tested it out and went online to give my user experiences and notations as I used it.  I thought that would be the last of that, as it is with so many of the product tests that I have done and I just sat back and waited for my $100 payment to come.  However, just a few days later I received a phone call from a very nice lady who was working with the product manufacturer to develop a new commercial.  She told me that they wanted me to send them a video of me talking about what I do (I was a construction worker then) etc. and told me I had two days to get it to them.  I initially thought, “no I’m not really interested,” but my curiosity got the best of me and I decided to do it anyways and sent it on in.  Imagine my surprise when a day or so later I got THE CALL.


Product reviews are lucrative

            “Hey Laurie, this is Suzy and we would like to let you know that out of over 40 submissions yours is one of 5 women we would like to invite out to Beverly Hills to make a commercial for this product.  You will be gone 4 days, our limo will pick you up at your door,your round trip ticket and hotel stay are paid for and we will have an agent at LAX to pick you up and take you to your hotel, then after the shoot is over we will fly you home and right back to your door…are you interested?”

I didn’t even ask my boyfriend if he cared if I went!  This was the most exciting thing that had ever happened to me so very randomly and I was going to ride this all the way to the end!  I couldn’t believe my dumb luck.  I excitedly made my exit plans for the very next weekend.  Just as promised, a big stretch limo pulled up to my house and a very nice driver escorted me to the car and loaded my bags.  The drive to O’Hare was full of butterflies and nervous excitement as I pondered what laid ahead in the next four days.

At the airport I was surprised to find that another of the ladies was from Chicago proper.  I was elated to have a travel bud, and she was so much fun and just the sweetest person.  Of the five ladies that went to make the commercial I am still friends with 3 of them on Facebook and we stay in touch.  They were also ladies who were hip to online surveys,focusgroups,product-testing etc and we bonded immediately over our love of all things FREE!

We stayed in Beverly Hills at the VERY prestigious Mr. B’s.  I was rubbing elbows with celebrities……I literally ran right into Cindy Crawford  in the hallway to the bathroom.  I CAN say she was the sweetest person and very gracious when I told her how much I loved her!  As I returned to my party in the lobby I saw George Clooney in the dining room with his then fiance’ having dinner.  It was the coolest, most surreal thing I have ever done.

Each of us ladies got $200 pocket money for the next four days.  We each had a private and BEAUTIFULLY APPOINTED luxury 5-star hotel room.  We ate dinner in the hotel restaurant where I had seen George Clooney, chandeliers and mahogany…….this place drips money.  I felt like I was dreaming this whole thing.  We spent that first night walking down Rodeo Drive and drinking it all in.  The lights, the stores, the beautiful people everywhere.  Everything was amazing, fantastic and so very much fun! 

It was Oscar Week in Hollywood and the place was buzzing with excitement and lots of construction going on.  I visited Madam Tussauds wax museum, walked the “Walk of Stars”, ate at a local burger place whose name I cannot recall.  I had my own driver to take me around town “for the day” while they were shooting the other girls parts.  I took a TMZ tour bus around Hollywood sitting on the top so I could see everything.  I soaked it all in, I had no idea when I might be able to come back on my own, so I wanted to make the most of the time I had there.

Turns out that because I had a DUI years ago on my record, that the company whose product I had tested decided they weren’t going to use me…..however the producer met with me and told me

“Don’t take it bad, I wasn’t ever picked either for the very same reason”…..he smiled and continued……”We can either send you home today, or………the room is already paid for, you could just stay and fly home on schedule, enjoy some time here, we’ll give you a driver to take you anywhere you like”  to which I replied “Well then, looks like I’m stayin!”  On top of all of that, they still paid me SAG pay for the shoot.  I came home with a $2500 check, a round-trip flight, a stay at a 5-star hotel for 4 days @$550 a night and lets not forget the limo. They treated me so well,and everyone was super professionnal I wouldn’t hesitate to do it all again, and in all honesty I’m always looking for that next amazing opportunity.  There’s really no way to guarantee that a product-testing opportunity will lead to something this amazing.  But I can guarantee you that it will lead to fun, and some extra cash. 

There’s so many great ways to find money on the internet without having to pay ANYONE to find them or share them with you.  I’ve been doing this for over 20 years now and I can attest that it is both fun and PROFITABLE.  I can also attest that I actually kept a detailed record one year just to see how much I amassed in a one year period and the total came out to just a bit over $10,500!  It wasn’t all cash, it was products I tried out (generally you get to keep them AND get paid as well) some of the products after testing them I would sell them.  Double dipping so that I got paid to test it out and then also made money selling it for about half of what someone would actually pay for it.  My product tests have included:

5 coffee makers

2 satellite radios

1 cutlery knife block set

1 toaster oven

1 digital camera

1 spy truck kids toy with remote camera

1 bra

TONS of beauty products and food/beverage items

Diapers when my daughter was small

The internet holds a myriad of things…….you just need to know where to look.  Let me be your guide.  I share what I find online on a very small blog called lauriepaysitforward.blogspot.com 

Come find me!

northwest Indiana, over 50, Uncategorized

Jobs to be had after Coronavirus

By Jane Bokun

It’s hard to believe, now that we’re all in quarantine, but the sun will come out and so will we.

When I first moved back to the Chicago area, I met an everyday angel named Christine Spencer.

Spencer, who heads the job networking group in the Weis Center at St. Thomas More church, 8435 Calumet Avenue in Munster, started it when she lost her own job and saw it as a vehicle to help on the 3rd Thurs of each month at the Weis Center and the rest is history.

The free job group called STM Career Group, was started abo10 years ago in Munster has proven to be a saving grace for many in the area who are looking for jobs. Spencer, a petite woman who always wears suits to her meetings, has a background in meeting planning and has trained various groups in time management.

Jobs may be found at STM Career Group

“Lots of people come here for jobs,” agreed Susan Strain, who works at St. Thomas More church in Munster. “They can get free help with resumes and hear from human resource professionals.”

Spencer said that may be the ticket to her group’s success.

“We have different presenters at most of the meeting that help with how to land that next opportunity,” she said. “We also have Donna Weidenfeller who is retired from Purdue Calumet Career Services helping people with resumes and cover letters each month and Robert Teets who helps with IT, social media and spends times encouraging participants.  His wife, Helen Marie Harmon, has also been a presenter many times and is certified to give the Myers-Briggs Assessment which we do each spring.”

STM Career Group now has a steady 30 participants each month and as many as 100.  All meetings are free and open to the public.

 In fact, Spencer said she started the networking group, because, “not only once, but four times, I’ve gone through downsizing and merger. “

Now, about 50 participants meet at 7 p.m. monthly on Thursdays  at Weis to network, hear seminars from local companies such as Arcenal Mittal Steel, and basically do what it takes to get a new job. The crowd varies each week from very young right out of college applicants to seniors. Volunteer, Donna Weidenfeller, gives presentations and is a resume reviewer.

 “When I lost a very good job I was traveling as much as 50 miles away to network,” Spencer said.  “I had been thinking of starting a networking group in the area and just prayed about what all this means.  Everything just eventually fell into place.”

northwest Indiana, over 50, public school teaching, Uncategorized

Jobs for the over 60

By Jane Bokun

I know I haven’t written for a while and that’s because I was out working jobs for you. It’s so you know where to go when retirement sneaks up on you and you spent your last dime on car insurance. Since I moved back to my hometown with an eye toward leaving, I have been trying to work in menial labor to see if it’s everything everyone has said.

Substitute teaching is truly awful. I would say, the awfullest, but that’s putting it mildly. So, first up, let’s try on the substitute teacher. It’s the best and by best I mean you get to sit down. I had always been taught to believe this was a cushy babysitting job for the elderly who had spent all their younger money. It would be perfect for the almost-dead.

Me before teaching…

I started substitute teaching at a local public school (I went private myself). The children talked throughout the teaching and I said nothing. They danced, jumped on each other and even air dropped movies and games on the wall. What did I say? Nothing. It was like watching a car accident, I really didn’t want to get involved. That went okay for a month and then they decided to make me a full-time substitute teacher when a real teacher had foot surgery. It was clear she didn’t want to come back and I really didn’t blame her. The classes were either too large or small and the teacher was remiss with lesson plans. She was on pain killers, she explained.

One of the things I was looking forward to was teaching journalism. I spent about 25 years in the field and I never thought it was a job. It was my chosen career and I thanked God everyday for it.

However, when I went to teach journalism, I found the children had been teaching themselves and they didn’t really want to have a record of it. They tweeted sports news every once in a while in case Don Lemon was listening. But they had no actual newspaper on their school site. They stood on desks and bounced on balls and screamed, but they had no real news and most importantly, no deadlines.

I wanted to teach them what a great career journalism could be if done right. They told me to sit down and shut up. Some people and some environments are unteachable, I thought. I kept trying although they seemed to need medication. I got it. They had been given too much freedom with no real direction. That is the problem with most things, but I would say public schools most of all.

One day I was called to the principles’ office to tell me there was a racist incident in my class. At the time, I thought it was a joke. Some kids were playing their own music when other kids told them they didn’t like their music. They wanted to hear K-pop. I, of course, didn’t say much. When does the babysitting kick in? I asked myself. I had already driven to the teacher’s house some miles away to take her and her son to the dentist.

When I got back to the classroom, an almost college sports star asked me, “is Miami a city?”

“I quit,” I said.

northwest Indiana, over 50, Uncategorized

Ageless Beauty treatments work miracles

By Jane Bokun

Each year as I get older, surprisingly I want to look younger.

We all know the feeling of wanting the wisdom of age, but the face and body of an 18-year-old.

It would be perfect.

We would look young, but inside we would know not to drink and drive, or send money to people we don’t know on the Internet, or marry the wrong people.

me after a treatment

Wanting to look young is not exactly a new idea — the search for the fountain of youth has been going on for centuries. While we can’t turn the hands of time all the way back, we can look and feel more confident. There are some scientifically solid, significant advances in anti-aging skin care and chief among them is Fractional CO2 Laser Skin Resurfacing.

To help everyone out, I tried this one myself at Dr. Bethany Cataldi, a plastic surgeon and otylarologist in Munster.

I thought I would probably be alone in my brave pursuit of agelessness, but the office was filled with people wanting to get their necks lasered – myself included.

“The fractional skin resurfacing laser is the latest and most advanced type of C02 laser for improving skin conditions,” said Dr. Cataldi.

After promising the other people in the waiting room I would tell them how it went, I cautiously went to the back office for my laser treatment. I can say this: it was much like having a dental procedure. It was painful, but not as bad as I thought. It was something that was doable.

Afterward, I was able go about my day with no one noticing I had any kind of procedure at all. Immediately after the laser treatment there is icing and little pain throughout the rest of the day.

It’s clear that CO2 fractional laser therapy might be the antiaging breakthrough of the decade. When my neck healed in about two weeks, it looked like new, no brown spots or extra wrinkles.

This skin-resurfacing treatment can combine the effectiveness of traditional carbon dioxide lasers — long thought to be the best in wrinkle removal — with a new application technique that delivers powerful results without the traditionally harsh side effects.

How does it work? The natural aging process, combined with exposure to sun and pollution, destroys collagen — the main protein of connective tissue that keeps skin plump and line-free. Laser resurfacing uses beams of energy light to bore tiny holes in the skin, which works to put the body’s natural collagen production on fast-forward. Here’s what’s new: Fractional CO2 laser resurfacing does this in a way that prevents damage to the top layer of skin, offering maximum results with minimal recovery time.

 “There are two types of fractional lasers – either non-ablative (the laser beams coagulate the affected tissue) or ablative – (the laser beams vaporize the affected tissue), according to Dr. Cataldi.

Next up is my favorite: BOTOX ® injections.

I have tried Botox numerous times and can say it’s quick, easy and fairly pain-free.

Locally, Dr. Gus Galante performs cosmetic surgery, Botox, fillers and more.

“There’s a lot of misinformation about Botox,” says Dr. Galante, who practices in Schererville. “It gets put out there like a Chinese telephone – if one person has a negative experience, some people use that as measuring stick – thousands of people are doing well with Botox.”

Dr. Galante says he has been working with Botox since 1995.

In other places I have lived, we would have Botox parties and people would get together and a nurse would administer Botox at a cheaper rate. The normal cost for Botox is about $300 and it lasts about three months. If done right, there is a moment when you’ll notice you look really great – no wrinkles, just a younger look.

Dr. Galante agrees with the younger look, but disagrees with administering drugs in a party setting.

“People who use a product that is not government approved can have complications,” he says.

“It gives a bad name to a very excellent product.”

 “There are many people who use paraprofessionals,” he says. “A surgeon knows exactly where those muscles are and ethically it’s not a great idea. There’s no real medical history taken and it should be determined if people are good candidates for the Botox procedure. People can give their consent and not understand what’s being done.”

As more and more women and men try Botox Cosmetic in Indiana, it’s quickly becoming our top non-surgical procedure,” according to Dr. Galante’s website. “This truly revolutionary wrinkle buster actually lives up to the Hollywood hype by eliminating fine lines and wrinkles. The simple injections are quick and easy, and no recovery time is required. BOTOX can also reduce migraine headaches and excessive sweating of the palms and underarms. Dr. Galante also performs the Botox procedure to smooth frown lines, crow’s feet and forehead wrinkles.

Last, but not least, is the Lifestyle Lift and Dr. Sreekant Cherukuri, MD, in Merrillville.

The Lifestyle Lift can significantly improve a double chin. Basically, for Dr. Cherukuri, it’s a noninvasive operation for reshaping one’s aging jowls and neck.

 With this procedure scars are limited because Dr.Cherukuri goes just under the skin. Most patients are awake during this noninvasive procedure, but some, according to Dr. Cherukuri’s office, opt for a twilight sleep.

According to Dr Cherukuri. A northwest Indiana physician and his website, “it’s a mini-facelift that is an excellent alternative to a full facelift and gives an overall lift to the neck and lower third of the face. It focuses primarily on trouble spots such as the neck, jowls, mid-face and the lines around the nose and mouth. It is called the Weekend Lift because that is the approximate duration for post-operative recovery.”

Those who are Lifestyle Lift-curious can call for one of Dr. Cherukuri’s Evening of Beauty-Look 10 Years Younger in One Hour! The programs are held at Fitness Pointe located at 9950 Calumet Ave.in Munster. 

For more information about Dr. Cherukuri’s free programs call 219-836-3477 or toll free 866‑836-3477. For information on other programs offered by Community Healthcare System access the website at http://www.comhs.org.

northwest Indiana, over 50, Uncategorized

It’s Restaurant Week

In case your turkey doesn’t turn out, we are putting together a first Restaurant Week and we hope it helps.

A few years ago, my son attended the University of Miami and it gave me the chance to take lots of vacations (he was really scared) and check out a lot of the local restaurant fair.

By far the most impressive restaurant in Miami is Versailles Restaurant. The waiters wear white suit jackets and one of the most famous desserts is the Cronut, a croissant-doughnut pastry invented by New York City pastry chef Dominique Ansel.

The Cronut is delicious. I am a Cuban fan for life.

First of all, I love donuts and I absolutely love croissants. The outer shell of the Cronut is a hybrid of the two and the middle is filled with creme. What is not to love? The second best meal here? Anything Cuban including the iconic Cuban Sandwich made of ham, cheese, pork, and anything else you want to put in it. The sandwich is all tucked inside the most delicious bread that I’ve ever tasted: Cuban bread. It has a crisp crust and a soft middle. In Tampa, where I lived for 20 years, it is wrapped in Palmetto leaves. You can find it in larger cities across the country. It is heaven.

It’s easy to see why this busy eatery is a hub for Cuban Americans. The restaurant, 3555 SW 8th St., in the heart of the city in Little Havana, is a throwback to a time when people were more social and they wanted to stay and talk after dinner.

It’s known for its mirrors on the walls and a delicious time-honored menu that always has wall to wall people waiting in line. According to the Travel Channel, it’s the place to be.

Versailles is open from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily. For more information call 305-444-0240 or access http://www.versaillesrestaurant.com.

Angel's Envy Bourbon, cocktails, northwest Indiana, over 50, Uncategorized

What makes turkey even better?Angel’s Envy bourbon

By Jane Bokun

Wes Henderson is talking on the phone from his car while he contemplates pulling over and helping with a traffic incident on the road.

Henderson is what people would call a multiple threat. He’s a volunteer fire fighter and part of a family that has successfully distilled a premium bourbon called Angel’s Envy. Henderson is part of a company that began when Wes, his late father Lincoln, and his oldest son Kyle, had the idea to make a good, quality bourbon that is made in Louisville.  It would be a new kind of whiskey, made in the U.S. and finished in ruby port barrels made from French oak and imported directly from Portugal.

Give Bourbon a second look

“Dad was happy to come out of retirement to work with us,” Wes says.

It worked. The family’s $27 million state-of-the-art facility, which sits in downtown Louisville, was a dream the Henderson family finally achieved after 12 years.  It’s taken off too, with many followers.

“Great stories go hand in hand with bourbon,” Wes says about his obsession with great bourbon.

Angel’s Envy is unique as well as smooth tasting.  The handcrafted, quality bourbon is finished in used port barrels.  Wes’ father Lincoln was a legend in the industry, having worked at Brown-Forman for more than 40 years and who is often credited with developing Woodford Reserve.

“He liked to try things that were unique,” Wes says. “The reason Angel’s Envy is finished in port wine barrels is that gives it some interesting characteristics.”

Lincoln died in 2013, but with his fine-tuning finesse, Angel’s Envy had already become a popular bourbon brand not only in Louisville, but around the country.

The bourbon company has no national advertising. It can be found at Binny’s Liquor’s in Chicago.

“It’s harder to get, you have to search for it,” Wes says.

According to thewhiskeywash.com, “The finish is medium, warm. Reminiscent of snickerdoodles, the finish leaves the drinker wanting more of the same.”

Angel’s Envy launched in 2011. It sells for approximately $45-50 per 750 mL bottle. For more information access angelsenvy.com.

northwest Indiana, over 50, Uncategorized

Restaurant provides comedy with Polish sausage

By Jane Bokun

At Big Frank’s Sausage in East Chicago, Indiana you can get more than Polish sausage, there’s big-time, nightclub-like entertainment as well.

“We started doing some comedy shows in the restaurant,” says owner Stan Stefanski.  “I knew one of the comedians and set up a show. On the ticket, along with the shows, there’s a full bar and Polish food buffet in the modest restaurant on 1417 Carrol Street in East Chicago.”

“We plan on doing another comedy event in the summer,” Stefanski said.

Comedian Nick Gaza often shows off his comedy stylings at Big Frank’s Sausage. He often brings in friends from shows such as Comedy Central.

“The comedy was great,” said patron Pam Grkinich.

Right now, Stefanski is focused on the restaurant and its beefy golabkis (or hamburger and cabbage rolls) along with fluffy pierogis and potato pancakes garnished with sour cream and apple sauce. Big Frank is not around. He’s the restaurant’s namesake and brother of Stan. He also provided the secret sausage recipe.

“We’ve been open for about five years and so far, the restaurant’s been successful,” Stan Stefanski said.

Indeed, customer Ismael Bonilla eats frequently at Big Frank’s along with his friend. George Hook.

“I’m a vegetarian and Stan suggested I try the mushroom pierogis,” Bonilla said. He also likes the cabbage and noodle dish.

Along with potato, sauerkraut, spinach, meat, mushroom and cheese pierogis, there are belly buster subs, homemade Polish sausages, deli dogs, pizza and much more. Food can be eaten in or taken out of the restaurant. There also are Polish groceries, deli meats and homemade sausage to take-out. Patrons wanting to join in Big Frank’s events should check the web page at http://www.bigfrankssausage.com.

“There’s something for everyone here,” agreed George Hood.

When opened: July

Location: 1417 Carrol St., East Chicago

Phone: (219) 378–9556

E–mail: stanstefan@msn.com

northwest Indiana, over 50, Uncategorized

Shh! Latest new foods at Disney

By Jane Bokun

Frozen 2 will debut in theaters on November 22, so parents and grandparents will want to be ready for a good time with their kiddos in their local theaters.

I have a good friend at Disney who gives me the low down on everything new at the happiest place on earth from when we were both reporters at the Tampa Tribune. I, of course, want to pass it along to you. Who knows when you’ll be struck with hunger pangs in Disneyland or Disney World?

Elsa’s Frozen Wave – yum!

Let’s start with new foods: in the Magic Kingdom Park (available starting Nov. 8):

  • Olaf’s Frozen Hot Chocolate Cake (Main Street Bakery, available all day) – gluten-friendly chocolate cake layered with chocolate crispy pearls, chocolate panna cotta, and marshmallow fluff
  • Sven’s Carrot Cake (Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Café, Exclusive to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party) – carrot cake topped with cream cheese frosting, sugar carrots, and a chocolate piece

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, Leaning Palms

  • Elsa’s Frozen Wave – cotton candy vanilla milkshake with whipped cream, fall and winter sprinkles, and a white chocolate coins

Disney Springs, The Ganachery (available starting Nov. 15)

  • Chocolate Olaf – creamy milk chocolate Olaf filled with mini pumpkin spice marshmallows frolicking in a pile of chocolate leaves
  • Pumpkin Spice Ganache Square
  • Chocolate Ganache Pop – salted caramel ganache pop

Disney Springs, Marketplace Snacks

  • Olaf Dole Whip Slushy – vanilla soft-serve on top of blue raspberry slush with Olaf chocolate piece and chocolate chip buttons

Disney Springs, Amorette’s Patisserie

  • Anna and Elsa Petit Cake – cinnamon-nutmeg chiffon cake with Calvados caramel mousse, cranberry-cherry pate de fruit, and roasted hazelnuts
  • Arendelle Anna Petit Cake – cinnamon-nutmeg chiffon cake with Calvados caramel mousse, cranberry-cherry pate de fruit, and roasted hazelnuts

Epcot, Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe

  • 4 Pack Mini Spirit Cupcakes – 
    • Earth – chocolate cupcake with cookie crumbles and candy rocks
    • Wind – vanilla cupcake with vanilla buttercream and fall leaf sprinkles
    • Fire – chocolate cupcake with fire buttercream
    • Water – vanilla cupcake with blue buttercream and sugar bubbles
  • Fall Cheesecake – lemon cheesecake with graham cracker crust topped with Olaf and fall leaf sprinkles
  • Caramel Mousse – sea salt caramel mousse with vanilla cake crust and white chocolate piece
  • Frozen Orange Vanilla Cream Soda – served in a souvenir sipper
  • Sven’s Apple Cheesecake – apple-filled cheesecake


  • Dark Sea Chocolate Cake (Beach Club Marketplace and The Market at Ale & Compass at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resort) – chocolate cake with caramel cream cheese swirl, a dulcey chocolate mousse dome, glaçage, and a white chocolate glaze
  • Frozen Waves Cupcake (available starting Nov. 17 at Everything POP Shopping & Dining at Disney’s Pop Century Resort and Landscape of Flavors at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort) – chocolate cupcake filled with chocolate ganache and topped with vanilla mint buttercream and sanding sugar
  • Frozen Fractals Cupcake (available starting Nov. 1 at Food Courts at Disney’s All-Star Resorts) – blue confetti cupcake with shades of blue frost buttercream and a white chocolate piece
  • “Frozen 2” Pumpkin Spiced Donut Tart (Contempo Café at Disney’s Contemporary Resort) – vanilla tart shell filled with pumpkin custard and topped with a spiced donut cake top, cinnamon glaze, and chocolate leaves
  • Hidden Truth Cupcake (Good’s Food to Go at Disney’s Old Key West Resort and The Artist’s Palette at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa) – chocolate cupcake with blackberry ganache, blackberry buttercream, white chocolate garnish, and blue and white sprinkles
  • Water Spirit Cupcake (Food Courts at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort and Centertown Market at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort) – chocolate cupcake filled with white chocolate mousse and topped with vanilla buttercream, crispy pearls, and a white chocolate garnish
  • Enchanted Forest Leaves (Gasparilla Island Grill at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa) – maple leaf-shaped sugar cookie sandwich filled with maple and praline buttercream and garnished with a chocolate coin
  • Fall Into Winter Dessert (available starting Nov. 24 at Roaring Fork at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge) – spiced cheesecake with a caramel apple compote, embossed fondant, and sprinkles

For more information on all of the locations listed above, visit the Walt Disney World Resort website or check out the My Disney Experience mobile app. 

northwest Indiana, over 50, recycled clothing, Uncategorized

Mouth-watering designer duds at affordable prices

By Jane Bokun

One of the most popular new and used clothing stores in Indiana will soon celebrate six years in business.

The reason for the boutique’s success is fairly easy to deduce: it’s fabulous fashion with high end labels and affordable prices,” says Diane Gross, who owns Eco Chic Boutique along with her friend Trish Caruso.

Eco Chic Boutique owners

The two women met while they were young mothers with entrepreneurial goals thinking of a series of money-making ideas such as the Perfect Playhouse. When the kids were grown, both women decided to start a clothing boutique in Dyer, Indiana. Originally, Caruso was a hair dresser who owned her own shop, and Gross was an administrative legal assistant.

Now, they are like a family. If there’s a problem, they work it out. So far, in the light-colored, 4,000-square-foot pristine boutique, it’s working with both new and used designer clothing, jewelry, shoes, and even accessories like a fascinator hat. There are multiple sizes including plus sizes for women who want basic tops, casual, work wear or party clothes. The shop recently opened up a new department for mothers of the bride or groom that offers better labels in gowns, dresses and more.

The boutique takes in clothing including Chico’s, Anne Taylor, and even St. John knits by appointment. Prices are based on both condition and label. Some of the labels are from places as far away as Italy or Paris. It’s the prices that keep customers and consignors coming back.

Designer Duds

One customer named Maria says she shops for all her clothes at Eco Chic and often recommends the personalized customer service to her friends.


Both Gross and Caruso are constantly talking to new customers and guiding them towards complete outfits for any occasion. Maria says every stitch of clothing she’s wearing comes from Eco Chic.

“I was just going out to the pharmacy, but I thought I had to stop in Eco Chic Boutique,” she says.

The store used to have painting parties and comedy shows, but now has taken a turn toward the clothing women want to have.

They get along, Caruso says, like an old, married couple.

“There’s a lot of give and take,” Gross agrees.