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Posts from the ‘Healthy Living’ Category

The Truth About Buying a Home: You DON’T Need 20% Down


In a recent survey, How America Views Homeownership, it was revealed that 68% of Americans feel that now is a good time to buy a home and 95% said they want to own a home if they don’t already.

Franklin Codel, head of Wells Fargo home mortgage production, explains:

“Although the home buying process has changed in many ways in recent years, our survey found Americans still view homeownership as an achievement to be proud of and many believe that now is a good time to buy a home.”

Confusion Creates Paralysis

However, the survey also reported that many are afraid to purchase a home because of uncertainty about “qualifying for a mortgage or navigating the home buying process”. Though 74% said they “know and understand” the financial process involved in buying a home, they also gave answers that suggest otherwise. For example:

•30% of respondents believe that only individuals with high incomes can obtain a mortgage
•64% of respondents believe they must have a “very good” credit score to buy a home
•44% believe that a 20% down payment is required

In actuality many of these beliefs are unfounded. Let’s look at the question of down payment:

Freddie Mac, in a recent blog post addressing the issue, confirmed that there is misinformation regarding the amount necessary when determining the down payment for a home purchase:

“Did you know 40 percent of today’s homebuyers using mortgage financing are making down payments that are less than 10 percent? And how about this: since 2010, the number of people putting down less than 10 percent for conventional loans has grown three fold. So, not only are low down payment options real, they represent a significant portion of today’s purchases.”

In a separate Executive Perspectives, Christina Boyle, Freddie Mac’s VP and Head of Single-Family Sales & Relationship Management explained further:

•A person “can get a conforming, conventional mortgage with a down payment of as little as 5 percent (sometimes with as little as 3 percent coming out of their own pockets)”.
•Qualified borrowers can further reduce the down payment coming out of their own pockets to 3 percent by lining up gifts from family, grants or loans from non-profits or public agencies.

Education is the Key

Boyle talked about the importance of educating potential buyers:

“Letting more consumers know how down payments are determined could bring more qualified borrowers off the sidelines. Depending on their credit history and other factors, many borrowers can expect to make a down payment of about 5 or 10 percent.”

Codel agreed:

“It is important for prospective homebuyers to feel empowered to ask lenders and real estate agents questions about available options, such as down payment assistance or FHA loan programs or VA loans for veterans.”

Bottom Line

If you are saving for either your first home or that perfect move-up dream house, make sure you know all your options. You may be pleasantly surprised.


10 of America’s best lake vacations –

If you are still trying to plan a summer vacation within driving distance from Chicago, this article recommends Door County WI, Traverse City MI, Lake Winnebego WI & other destinations in and around the great lakes! Follow link to read full article and recommendations.  HAPPY SUMMER!

(CNN) — Waking to another cloudless morning, you dive off your houseboat into the wild blue of Lake Powell in southern Utah. The water takes the edge off the heat, and you float along, contemplating a lazy day of navigating spectacular red-rock gorges and flooded canyons.

Brian Raub, founder of, says lakes have an inherent advantage over the ocean when it comes to vacations.

“You’ll probably prefer the feel of freshwater over salt, and you probably won’t miss seasickness, seaweed or sharks. You can choose your outdoor temperatures; lakes exist at elevations from below sea level to 13,000 feet above.”

See more of America’s best lakes

And temperature isn’t your only choice: America offers a lake vacation for every season and activity, and no matter where you live, even in the Southwest desert, chances are there’s one near you. Satellite mapping has yet to yield a precise answer, but the best guess is that there are between 3 and 4 million lakes across the U.S., ranging from duck ponds to wonders like Oregon’s Crater Lake.

While Lake Tahoe is most popular for winter sports and Wisconsin’s Lake Winnebago reaches its windsurfing peak in fall, we associate most lakes with summer, as places to cool off and chill out. A recent study by named lake vacations the most popular summer travel trend of 2012, ahead of%2

via 10 of America’s best lake vacations –

Interested in better family relationships, a better job, or improved health?

Did you say YES to at least one of these?  I did!

My good friend is organizing a CHAMPION’S WORKSHOP presented by Klemmer and Associates.  I didn’t know who K&A was, so I googled Here is what I found…

“Our workshops produce results for corporations and individuals because they explore beliefs around commitment, loyalty, communication, honesty, success, leadership and many other key issues. Once people “see” things differently, they automatically behave differently. This is what distinguishes us from purely “motivational” work which produces a temporary high. People are inspired, but because it is experiential they literally view life differently, and it lasts. Sustainable  results are a key to change.”

I am attending.  Would you like to join me?

Champions Workshop

Presented by Klemmer and Associates

Where:  Hotel Arista

2139 City Gate Ln Naperville, IL 60563

(Off Rt. 59 just north of I 88)

Date: Wednesday December 5, 2012

Time:  7:00 PM-10:00 PM

Cost:  $20 in advance, $59 at the door

Contact:  Stacey Hoeft (630)802-8200


Are you interested in better family relationships, a better job, or improved health?

Whether your passion is for excellence in your professional life, your personal life or both…The Champion’s Workshop contains the tools and techniques to assist you in making it happen NOW!  The goal of the Champion’s Workshop is to:

  • Uncover the limiting beliefs that were poured into you by life.
  • Replace your limiting beliefs with more productive thoughts that serve your growth going forward.
  • Discover which areas in your life you struggle with most, and discover how to create more fulfillment in those areas.
  • Unblock and resolve conflicts with yourself and others.
  • Learn a “Formula of Champions” used by individuals and companies throughout the world to see measureable change within 30 days.

The Champion’s Workshop is a valuable training that produces results.  Take a small step to make a large difference in your life!  Come join us for a time of self discovery!

The Sports Doctor: Football unsafe at any age

Some of you may know my youngest son had an accident 5 weeks ago that resulted in a blood clot/brain bleed.  He is doing GREAT!  But I also have a son who plays on his school football team.  This article in the Beacon News yesterday on brain injuries really hit home as Liam continues to heal and Josh heads to a football game this afternoon.  Such a contradiction…

I’m sure most of you have seen last week’s Sports Illustrated cover story. I’m really sorry and aggravated to see former Bears great and patient Jim McMahon featured as one of the latest examples of the crisis with concussions. I also worked with the late Dave Duerson whose suicide was attributed to tragic results of multiple brain trauma.

What these former players and their families are going through is brutal! Meanwhile, the game goes on — the mighty NFL insists its doing “all it can” for player safety. Unfortunately the fact remains, football is unsafe at any age.

It’s one of the great debates in sports — what can be done about the concussion and head trauma concerns in American football.

We all knew in sports medicine the physical orthopedic toll a collision sport like football involves. The brain injuries, the potential catastrophic consequences of the head hits? That’s different! Now that the reality has hit the sport so hard, parents are facing the decision whether to allow their kids to play at any age. The dementia, the suicides, the debilitated players — it’s scary.

I have to admit that I’ve been a fan and am still a fan — Go Bears! — of football but  now we know the reality, as presently structured, there is no way to predict and no way to protect the head from this consistent trauma. It’s a “crap shoot”; we don’t know how many hits, how often, how young causes concern.

Experts used to think that numerous concussions were the culprit; that those “bell ringing hits” were the concern. Now the reality is no one knows how the “routine” collisions” without getting concussions per se will affect these young players.

The average high school player probably sustains hundreds of head-related micro-trauma per season — how much is too much?

Read More via The Sports Doctor: Football unsafe at any age – Aurora Beacon News.

U-Pick Strawberries…I recommend Guelde Strawberries

My boys and I went early this morning and picked just shy of 24lbs of strawberries!  35 min west of Sugar Grove, we recommend Guelde Strawberries in Earlville IL  I will record the number of days it takes these boys to eat their way thru!

Check out the western Suburban farmers market guide


Wilder Promenade, 350 N. River, 7:30 a.m. to noon Saturdays, June 2-Oct. 27.

West Plaza Shopping Center, 1901 W. Galena, 2 to 6 p.m. Wednesdays, July 11-Sept. 12.

Spring Lake Park, McCoy Drive, Wednesdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 11-Sept. 12. 630 256-3370.

Batavia 28 S. Water, between Wilson and First. 8 a.m. to noon. Saturdays, June 16-Oct. 27. 630 761-3528.

Brookfield Brookfield Village Hall, 8820 Brookfield. 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays, June 2-Oct. 27. 708 268-8080.

Burr Ridge Village Center, McClintock and Burr Ridge. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursdays, June 14-Sept. 13. 630 920-1969.

Downers Grove Main Street Metra parking lot, 1000 Burlington. 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturdays, May 12-Oct. 20. 630 968-8400.

Elmhurst Parking lot, northeast corner of York and Vallette. 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays, June 6-Oct. 31. 630 832-4550.


Metra parking lot. South and Fourth. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays, May 6-Oct. 28. 312 575-0286.

Green Market, 75 N. River. 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursdays, June 7-Oct. 25. 630 377-0373.

Glen Ellyn Main Street parking lot, adjacent to Giesche Shoes. 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays, May 25-Oct. 26. 312 575-0286.

Hinsdale Burlington Park, on Chicago Avenue, between Garfield and Washington. 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays, June 4-Oct. 8. 630 323-3952.

La Grange Parking lot, Sixth and Harris. 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursdays, May 10-Oct. 25. 708 387-7550.

La Grange Park 31st Street and LaGrange. 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays, May 8-Oct. 23. 708 387-7550.

Lisle Commuter lot, west of Village Hall, 925 Burlington. 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays through Oct. 28. 630 222-3403.


French Market. Metra parking lot, on St. Charles between Garfield and Martha. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays, June 2-Sept. 29.

Yorktown Mall, Highland and Butterfield. 3 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays, June 6-Sept. 12. 630 235-1376.

Maywood Maywood Public Library, Fifth Avenue and St. Charles. 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays, June 4-Oct. 15. 708 865-8028.

Naperville Fifth Avenue Station, 200 E. Fifth Ave. 7 a.m. to noon. Saturdays, June 2-Oct. 27. 630 369-5638.

Oak Park Parking lot of Pilgrim Congressional Church, Lake and Elmwood. 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays, May 19-Oct. 27. 708 358-5780.

Oswego Tripp Insurance parking lot, 5 N. Main. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays, June 3-Sept. 30. 630 554-4433.

Riverside 27 Riverside Road. 2:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays, June 13-Oct. 3. 708 447-2700.

St. Charles Baker Memorial United Methodist Church, Fourth and Main. 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays, June 1-Oct. 26. 630 584-6680.

Sugar Grove Village Hall, 10 S. Municipal. 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays, June 2-Oct. 20. 312 575-0286.

Villa Park Park and Ardmore. 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays, May 6-Oct. 28. 312 575-0286.

Western Springs On Hillgrove, between Lawn and Grand. 2 to 7 p.m. Thursdays, May 3-Oct. 25. 312 575-0286.

Wheaton Municipal Parking Lot 3, Main and Liberty, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays through Nov. 10. 312 575-0286.

Winfield Prairie Trail Center, southwest corner of Geneva and County Farm. 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays, June 6-Oct. 31. 630 682-3712.

Yorkville Town Square, Illinois 47 and Church. 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays, June 9-Oct. 27. 630 553-4357.

via Check out our annual farmers market guide – Aurora Beacon News.

How to be a happy Mom

I found this article to be such good medicine as I read it this Mothers Day morn.  No new, earth-shattering revelations here. But, if practiced daily would result in me being a happier Mom for certain.

There’s more than a bit of truth to the old saying “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”

Some people think that wanting to be happier is selfish — though I disagree. Research shows that happy people have stronger relationships with family, friends and co-workers. They are more altruistic: They give away more money, and they are more likely to volunteer. They are generally more forgiving and helpful, have better self-control and are more tolerant of frustration.

We “catch” emotions from other people, especially from the people closest to us. That means happy people help make people happy — and, alas, the opposite is true as well.

So if it is selfish to be happier, we all should be selfish, if only for selfless reasons. This Mother’s Day, let me suggest a few free, fast strategies you can try.

Get enough sleep!

You may think you’ve adjusted to a chronic lack of sleep, but studies show that a sleep deficit affects your mood, energy and immune function. It may even contribute to weight gain. Most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep a night. Do the math: If you get up at 7 a.m., you shouldn’t stay up until 1 a.m (even if you’re throwing in a last load of laundry or, be honest, watching your favorite bad TV). If, every morning, you’re jolted out of bed by the alarm or by a child yelling “Are we late?,” or if you drift off whenever you happen to sit in a quiet place for 10 minutes, you really need more sleep. Treat yourself like a toddler and give yourself a firm bedtime — and stick to it.

Have some real fun.

Many adults find it surprisingly hard to have fun. We think about what we ought to find fun, or what our kids or spouses find fun, and lose track of what’s actually fun for us. Ask yourself: What did you do for fun when you were 10? You’d probably enjoy that now. Walk in the woods with a friend, play with your dog, make things with your hands, take pictures, play ball or bake. Don’t wait until you have “free time,” because you may never have any. Schedule it in your calendar like a dentist’s appointment.

Don’t let screen time eat up your precious time.

Make deliberate choices instead of using the TV and the Internet as time-fillers. Screen time can so easily crowd out activities that take more energy but provide much more happiness. It’s more work to plan an outing or set up a 500-piece puzzle, but it’s more fun in the long run. So set aside a particular time slot for screen activities. At other times, do other things. You may protest: “But I’m too tired to do anything except flip on the TV.” If you’re too tired for anything but reruns, go to sleep. (See above.)

Connect to your family with daily affection.

Make each of your children helpless with laughter at least once a day. Go out of your way to hug and kiss every family member each day. Give your loved ones a real welcome every time they walk through the door, and give them a real farewell when they leave. These sound so simple, but they can make a big difference in the feel of warmth and connection in your home.

Take time to be silly.

I struggle with this myself; I’m always marching around trying to cross things off the family to-do list, and I resist any goofing around. But I’ve come to realize that it’s more important to have a lighthearted, fun atmosphere at home than it is to get every item checked off as soon as possible. I do some silly dance moves, or let my younger daughter plaster my face with makeup, or pull harmless pranks that add some spontaneity to our lives.

Remember: The days are long, the years are short.

The things that drive us crazy as parents, the things we feel we’ll be dealing with forever, are mostly just phases of childhood. Right now, I complain about having bottles of nail polish and magic markers scattered everywhere. One day, I’ll look back at this time with longing. Appreciate this time of life.

via How to be a happy mom | USA WEEKEND |

Test Drive a New Ride & $20 goes to support Autism

I ‘m going to head over to a Naperville dealership to test drive a Ford Explorer.  The dealerships in the link below will donate $20 to Turning Pointe Autism Foundation for every test drive.  A good friend of mine is very involved with this organization as her family is affected greatly by this disorder.  What are you going to test drive?

via TestDrive « Turning Pointe Autism Foundation – Center for Autism Lifestyle Development and Education – Naperville, IL.

I am going to head over to a Naperville dealership to test drive a Ford Explorer.  The dealerships in the link below will donate $20 to Turning Pointe Autism Foundation for every test drive.  A good friend of mine is very involved with this organization as her family is affected greatly by this disorder.

via TestDrive « Turning Pointe Autism Foundation – Center for Autism Lifestyle Development and Education – Naperville, IL.

Affordable Winter FUN!

We just got back from Portage, Wisconsin near the Dells.  My boys skied at Cascade for 3 days straight because KIDS 12 and younger SKI FREE (with paid adult)!  So we only had to buy my husband’s 3-day lift ticket!  We have been going to Cascade for years and would highly recommend it for outdoor, winter fun.


35 of 36 trails open!

The natural snow we recently received, plus the great snowmaking weather that we had, have allowed us to be nearly 100% open. Although it has been a strange beginning to the ski season with warmer than normal temperatures, our investment in snowmaking over the years has helped us to have very good skiing conditions.Currently, every trail is open except the Glades.


Sugar Grove Destroyers wear pink

The other day I was getting my annual flu shot.  As the nurse was about to give me the vaccination, she was interrupted by her cell phone ringing.  She took the call and quickly told the person on the line that she was at work and would call back.  After she hung up, she apologized and told me that was her daughter and she was very sick.  She then went on to tell me that her 37yr old daughter has breast cancer and the cancer had spread to her spine and brain.  This Mom’s daughter has terminal cancer.  I cannot even describe how I felt in that moment.  My heart just broke for her.

I admit I have been immune to breast cancer.  I am lucky that my family and my close friends have not been affected by this illness.  But in more recent years I have learned of a few women whom I know that have been affected by breast cancer.  But for some reason it took this total stanger who had a daughter with a terminal diagnosis to really open my eyes.  After my flu shot I gave her a big hug and felt convicted to remind women to get checked, do self-exams.  Men, remind your wives, mothers, sisters to get checked.

This entire month my son, Josh, and his football teammates have been wearing bright pink socks to raise awareness and money to fight breast cancer in honor of breast cancer awareness month.  Saturday, 10/22, is their last game.  If you would like to donate any amount to breast cancer research charities, please let me know.  I will make sure your donation is accounted for.  Thank you.