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Thanksgiving isn’t like it used to be. When we were younger, the table with filled with family, friends, kids, barking dogs and lots of frenetic activity. It actually used to grate on my nerves but, now that it’s gone, I miss it.

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If you think the post-pandemic staffing battle will be over once you get a fair number of your younger employees back in the office, you’ve got a very rude awakening heading your way. Getting bodies back is a good start but only if hearts and minds follow. There’s a great deal of work still …

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Dear Candid Candace: I knew it was coming sooner or later, but apparently “sooner” won out. My 12-year-old daughter is now starting to wear makeup, wear shorter dresses, and is getting texts from names not normally in her previous friend group (translation: boys). My wife and I discussed it …

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Children can be taught to appreciate life’s little things

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I just finished reading the latest in a series of posts by older folks who—much to their surprise—were abruptly laid off after decades of often exemplary employment. I’m not sure these events were really as surprising to the authors as described.

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Dear Candid Candace: I'm a pretty normal, functioning person apart from one major, admittedly somewhat insignificant, flaw. Whenever I'm at the dentist office, sitting in the chair, and the drill sound comes on I go into full-fledged body debilitating panic mode.  Really quite embarrassing, …

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A week before September’s Riot Fest, I stopped into The Vic Theatre to see live music because that’s what aging Gen Xers do. The featured band was Echo & the Bunnymen, a late-1980s act whose songs you know, even if the name doesn’t ring a bell. Anyhow, I’d forgotten how friendly and fami…

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I think we’ve turned a corner and I couldn’t be happier. It’s been a long time coming, but the days of walking on eggshells to appease snowflakes, Millies, and other entitled employees could soon be ending. The timing couldn’t be better because, if we’re planning to compete for the future on…

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If you are a baseball fan, September is the month you have been waiting for. It is when nearly five months of play all comes down to the final moments. October may be the home of the “World Series Classic,” but it is September when teams can truly earn their playoff stripes.

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Dear Candid Candace: Looking for some "Candid " advice here.  My significant other and I (18 years together and still not married, but that is a whole other story) seem to be in a rut in our things-to-do category.  We go to the same couple restaurants, walk the same park every day and usuall…

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Last week the Chicago Tribune’s blog platform, Chicago Now, surreptitiously shut down. Whether it was a business decision or the Trib simply forgot to pay the GoDaddy bill (believe me, I’ve done this), it was disappointing to see the web community go. Chicago Now was the first place, being d…

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Two-year-old Shenzi is the cutest little hyena (Catahoula Leopard Dog mix, 33 lbs.) that you’ll ever meet! She has such a unique look that people constantly stop to meet her on walks. She’s a fun, playful girl with a great energy level. She loves to play fetch, go for walks, and zoom around …

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As social media climbs in popularity, its role in its users’ lives has grown tremendously as well. From 2017-2022, social media platforms and apps have evolved drastically, creating new ways for people to communicate, advertise and influence online.

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I’ve always believed that good music has a magic all its own. It can inspire and excite. It can bridge gaps and unite. And it can comfort and console. In a matter of minutes, music quickly takes us somewhere else for a moment in time and it can stay with us for a lifetime. Magical music neve…

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To some, New Buffalo, Mich., a quiet escape an hour east of Chicago, could be labeled as quaint. But quaint doesn’t quite do the town justice. Not when you factor all the wonderful lodging and dining experiences that await you in this peaceful lakeshore town.

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Waiting for the corn stands to open, anticipating friend-filled picnics in the American Legion Park and visiting with former classmates at my No-Class Reunion are just a few of the many activities I look forward to every summer in my little hometown of Dupo, Illinois, nestled near the banks …

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I am going to make a quantum leap here, so brace yourself.

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It was sometime back in the 1990s when I first met someone with the name Payton. Payton, from what I remember, was about my age, mid-twenties at the time. She was

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Boy, were we ever wrong. We’ve been misleading our young adults about certain life skills which we’ve assumed were gospel. But it turns out that the self-congratulatory conferences, the unending TED lectures, the entrepreneurial liturgy and business press, and, of course, celebratory media o…

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I’ll meet you at the AMC 21 this Friday or maybe over at Webster theater, Archlight or the Icon theater—whichever is more convenient. Wait a minute, I think the Archlight Theaters went under and the AMCs are nearly bankrupt. Actually I can’t go this Friday after all ‘cause I’m still binge wa…

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I worried a lot as a kid. Although outgoing, I quit after school activities for fear my mom would forget to pick me up. I ended every conversation with my dad by saying, “Wear your seatbelt.” 

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Many of us forgot one of the most striking things about the last great college sports scandal – the Varsity Blues - where the fancy, famous, and affluent parents bribed coaches and other admissions officers and used fake resumes to get their so-so kids admitted to prestigious colleges throug…

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If you told me when I was 9 years old I’d become a stand-up comic, I’d argue an actress, but anything with a mic would suffice. If you told me at 19 or 29 that I’d become a standup comic, I would’ve said no way. Somewhere in my teens, my creative passions were put aside and I focused on spor…

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My author friend Jeff Winkowski is your classic Wisconsinite. He loves Old Style beer, cheese curds and the Green Bay Packers, and he won’t shut up about NBA champions, the Milwaukee Bucks. Recently he said how fond he was of his time living in Chicago (and I’m paraphrasing): “Chicago was 10…

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To say that these are “touchy” times doesn’t begin to fairly describe what we can all expect our office lives to be like as we slowly return to the workplace. There are many reasons to look forward to getting out of the house, off the Zoom calls, and back to the office, but one of the most s…

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In life, like all games, there are rules, skills are required and we are all playing to win. Regardless of who you are, where you’re from or any details about your past, you can achieve and do great things. Here are five tips from my personal playbook on how to win in the game of life.

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I turn 40 this month, and the universe gave me the best birthday present. I was gifted with AOA. My apologies if you’re not familiar. AOA stands for Adult Onset Acne: The gift every woman is praying for at night.

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I wrote recently about the need for parents heading back to the office to honestly explain to their kids why they work. I said avoid blaming it on the need to make money in favor of more meaningful reasons, such as trying to make a difference in our own and in others’ lives.

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People have told me my name sounds like a bar, and funnily enough, it was. Bridget McGuire’s was a popular bar in South Bend, Indiana frequented by Notre Dame and St. Mary’s students. It was shut down after being raided for underage drinking, which is fitting, considering I had my first beer…

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​Most of us now associate the term “March Madness” with the beginning of the college basketball tournament, an event always accentuated with screaming fans, thrilling finishes and David-over-Goliath type upsets. That term, by the way, actually originated here in Illinois, where it first refe…

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It’s our birthday! One year ago, we launched the Chicago Star with a unique vision — creating a local newspaper dedicated to positive news and all of the things that make this city special.

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Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays since I am a complete and total romantic. I’ve loved it since grammar school when we all had to craft little Valentine’s Day cards with crayons and drawing paper and then hope and pray that the little boy/girl you had a crush on would accept it.

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Get ready folks for the Winter Olympics, live (or maybe taped) from Beijing, China. We will soon be reintroduced to the beauty, if not the unique oddness, of the sports of curling, bobsledding, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, speed skating and the biathlon, as well as the more traditiona…

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Next month will be a very exciting milestone for us as we celebrate one year as the Chicago Star. Since we published our first issue in March 2021, we've only gotten bigger and better. We've added talented new writers and a videographer, expanded into many more neighborhoods and teamed up wi…

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Dear Candid Candace: I need your advice. I love going to the movie theaters and have so missed going and watching on “the big screen.” Lately, I’ve been thinking about going back as there are a couple of movies I would really like to see but my husband doesn’t think it’s safe yet, and I’m no…

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No, despite the headline, this is not going to be your typical “it’s a new year, so bring in a new attitude” column. Although nothing is wrong with those, and any kind of motivation to improve one’s outlook on life is not to be minimized. However in this month’s column, we take a slightly di…