Despite an ever-growing base of more than 1,000 clients, Amy Tripple prefers to say she's honed her skills through her main source of inspiration: her own three children. The former elementary teacher employs her advanced child-handling skills as she captures candid images of young ones, preserving childhood memories more easily than laminating a beloved stuffed animal. The National Association of Child Photographers member also shares her know-how through regular classes that cover the basic elements of DSLR photography and how to manipulate the resulting images in digital scrapbooks and Adobe Photoshop.
The Borrowed Earth Café is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:57 a.m. to 9:03 p.m. each day. Odd hours are just one way the raw, vegan food spot is doing things differently—and they’re renowned for the delicious results. They’ve been featured on “Check, Please!”, awarded five stars by Metromix, and earned the recommendation of the Michelin guide in 2012 and 2013. It all started in 2006, when husband and wife Danny and Kathy Living finished a 30-day detox. The program recommended spending a few days eating raw food before returning to a normal diet. For Danny and Kathy, a 'normal' diet meant a vegan diet, but they decided to try the raw food thing anyway. They loved it right away, but didn't love the 90-minute drive between them and the nearest raw vegan restaurant in Chicago. After the raw meet-up group they hosted swelled to more than 30 people, they realized that raw food was their calling and decided to open Borrowed Earth Café—a dream that came true in 2007. Today, from their spot in the heart of downtown Downers Grove, the couple dishes up a menu brimming with organic, raw flavor. Entrees range from a sweet potato quesadilla nestled in a corn-and-flaxseed tortilla to a gyro with "meat" made from savory spices, nuts, and seeds. For dessert, diners tuck into their signature vegan cheesecake and other specialties including a banana split made with almond butter, chocolate, and scoops of banana ice cream in place of the traditional steak.
Stephanie King-Myers and Nancy Bigley founded Bottle & Bottega as a fun, artistic space where guests could, as King-Myers phrases it on their website, “feel like they’re having a party in their living room.” Established in 2009, the guided painting emporium has already expanded to six main locations in two states.
La Grange owners and dedicated community members Paul and Meg Lefaivre were ecstatic to bring Bottle & Bottega to their neighborhood. The Lefaivres, along with a slate of local artists, encourage participants of any artistic level to unleash their creativity onto the canvas, creating their own versions of famous paintings that they can hang in their living rooms or over their bathroom mirrors in an attempt to be famous themselves.
Bob Miller has kept men, women, and children off the ropes for more than 25 years. As a certified U.S. amateur-boxing Level II coach and professional trainer, he's armed men and women with confidence and competence to jab, bob, and weave into professional boxing careers. Bob continues to focus his pugilistic pedagogy on the nitty-gritty of footwork, conditioning, and practice lessons of aspiring boxers of all skill levels. The boxing gym sports boxing rings, heavy and speed bags, and an avalanche of tools to keep warriors light on their feet and free from the wrath of inflatable, bottom-heavy clowns. After sparring, kickboxing, or jujitsuing with one of the coaches during any number of cardio-blasting classes, students can ratchet down adrenaline levels by taking a relaxing shower in the locker rooms with free towel service.
For more than 30 years, the ladies at Women's Workout & Wellness have cultivated a supportive environment in which women can focus on health, fitness, and wellness. Whether grooving through Zumba sessions, pushing weight sleds, performing lifts, or sweating, students find plenty of challenges in the center’s classes. Staffers gauge fitness level by analyzing BMI and testing cardio, strength, flexibility, and the ability to karate-chop airborne cucumbers. Experts also lend advice on nutritional intake and help clients set personalized goals. Before and after sweat sessions, ladies can suit up and cool down in the spacious showers and locker rooms at each location. Daycare is available at some locations for a nominal fee.
Voted 2011's #1 Fitness Center by Suburban Focus, Good Samaritan Health and Wellness Center’s 90,000-square-foot workout compound facilitates user-friendly body sculpting through its vast array of fitness and recreation equipment. Calibrated to absorb the pressure from running, walking, and galloping astride stick horses, the cushioned indoor track supports moving feet with a stress-free surface. Demonstrate a synchronized-swimming act in one of three pools, or take on a revivifying blast of vaporized water in the sauna and steam room. Patrons can build biceps and tone tensors with machine-bound and free weights or stack barbells until the pile resembles their favorite president. Flanked by a squadron of rowing machines and stationary bikes, a floor stocked with ellipticals, stair steppers, and treadmills keeps heart rates pumped.