Category: Renee Blue

95. Synergy HomeCare of Barrington Celebrates Six Years of Service

 For six years, Synergy HomeCare has provided home-based, non-medical services to the Barrington area and beyond. Owner Diego Uribe and his dedicated team work around the clock to ensure that Synergy’s team of highly trained caregivers delivers the very best care to their clients. As they celebrate their sixth anniversary this month, they’re taking time to look back on what they’ve learned, and ahead to a growing future.
When Diego Uribe’s mother, Gladys Uribe, began her battle with cancer, Diego knew he would do whatever he could to ease her suffering and maintain her quality of life. “She had gone to the gym twice a day for as long as I could remember–she was a very healthy woman,” Diego recalls. “So to see her in pain, and to watch her health decline…it was a very difficult thing.”
Diego, a longtime Barrington resident, had to piece together resources in the Houston, Texas, area to provide the care his mother needed. Though there were many services available for medical and non-medical care, they were impersonal and required extensive coordination from a distance.
“I was upset by the lack of personal attention my mother received. She deserved better than that.”
It was a few years after his mother’s passing that Diego decided to leave his corporate job to pursue a career in home care services.
As Diego researched the home care industry, he was drawn to Synergy HomeCare’s business structure. “It provided some helpful tools for us as we were just starting out,” he says. So in March of 2008, Diego started the first Synergy HomeCare franchise in Illinois……

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33. Barrington Author Inspires “Culture of Generosity” with New Book

 Rem Stokes knows that talking about money makes most of us a little uncomfortable, but he argues the reward is well worth the exercise in his new book titled Cultivating Generosity: Giving What’s Right, Not What’s Left. Rem is an author, teacher, veteran fundraiser and a two-year resident of The Garlands of Barrington. He’s also a voracious reader, and a tireless advocate for conscious living and generous giving.
In Cultivating Generosity, Rem invites us to do some thoughtful introspection, with the hope that we’ll consider finding more resources to share.  He challenges us to think about the influences that shape our attitudes toward money and he explores how donating money can bring more happiness and personal satisfaction.
On February 10, at 11:30 a.m., Rem will share his book’s message at a discussion and book signing at The Garlands of Barrington’s Performing Arts Center and all are welcome (more details below).
Rem, 83,  is a true Renaissance man. A former engineering manager with Bell Telephone Laboratories and Motorola, he holds 22 patents. He holds degrees in both mechanical engineering and educational psychology.
His home at The Garlands is lined with books meticulously organized by subject–and he’s read them all.  When he’s not spending time with his wife, Lee, you can find Rem writing in his light-filled office (which has a spectacular view, by the way), or teaching anything from neuroscience to history.
Rem has been thinking about our relationship with money for quite some time. In 1953, at age 23, he joined the Unitarian Universalist Church in Summit, New Jersey. When the church’s minister asked Rem to canvass for their capital campaign to raise funds for a new religious education building, Rem enthusiastically agreed. He thought people would give eagerly to the cause.
When he asked people to donate, though, he was shocked by their “enormous ambivalence.” People were hesitant to give, and even more reluctant to say why not. That was the beginning of Rem’s involvement with 77 churches’ capital campaigns, and his lifelong study of money attitudes.
In Cultivating Generosity, Rem writes “For many, money is a delicate subject. When I was a kid, it was considered to be in bad taste to discuss sex, politics, religion, or money…Well, times have changed. People talk openly about yesteryear’s most personal problems: mental illness, personal diseases, and every form of cancer…But not money! Money may be the last great taboo.”……

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354. Little Shop of Papers has Gifts Galore

 If you’re still in the market for gifts this holiday season, we have a great new local resource for you. Okay, maybe not new, but most definitely reimagined, refreshed, and restocked. Little Shop of Papers, located in the Foundry of Barrington, has long been a destination for custom cards and invitations. Did you know, though, that they’ve recently expanded their giftware to include luxe lines like Juliska and Michael Aram? And that they even have great gifts for the men in your life? Get ready to be pleasantly surprised by the wide variety of offerings in store.
When Jean Stahr first opened Little Shop of Papers in 1988, paper cards and invitations were all the rage. Jean had found a great niche, and earned a loyal following from customers in the Barrington area and beyond. They still have a very strong customer base, but Amy Hawking, Jean’s daughter and the store’s co-owner, says it’s time to “open the next chapter.” Amy came up with a plan for helping the business evolve, while still “bringing manners back.”
The shift to digital photo cards and invitations certainly changed Little Shop of Paper’s business, but not its raison d’être: Jean and Amy are still on a mission to maintain civility in a culture that often prefers efficiency. And since gift giving is such a gracious art, they’re determined to offer a selection of gifts that you’ll be proud to give.
Amy and Jean are thrilled to introduce their new high-end, collectible lines. Juliska, which is headquartered in Connecticut, and Michael Aram, based in New Delhi, India, both offer artfully designed dinnerware and home decor items. The store is currently featuring Juliska’s Winter Frolic line, which features nostalgic scenes of winter fun against the backdrop of an English country estate. The pieces are timeless, and each is packaged in a keepsake box – no wrapping required!
Each piece in Michael Aram’s line is artisan-made, and showcases natural forms. You won’t find two alike, and that’s the beauty of his creations: each are hand-crafted in metal to reflect the beauty of both the materials and the uniqueness of the subject. From candles topped with a single perfect magnolia, to cheeseboards featuring black orchids, each gift is an enduring appreciation of nature – and of the lucky person who receives it.
If you have a few more holiday parties on your calendar, Little Shop of Papers is the perfect place to purchase hostess gifts. The shelves are still stocked with fun items–from candles and holiday-themed matches, to floral trays and pillows–at very reasonable price points.
“We’ve had Michel Design Works for many years, and it’s done very well for us,” Amy says. “Plus the scents are so much fun! Even my husband, who is not exactly discerning when it comes to scents, said, ‘That is the prettiest candle!'” The candles (pictured below, on the center shelf) come in festive scents like Sleigh Ride, and White Christmas, and sell for $25. “Michel also makes these fun foam soaps, like this one, Nutcracker Sweet, which go flying out of here.”
And if you’re setting a holiday table, why not make it easy with paper placemats? These fun Roseanne Beck designs (pictured below, on the bottom shelf at left) come in packages of 20, for just $12.
Amy has some great ideas for gifts to put under the tree as well. “We also have these fun Chicago-themed items by Dish,” Amy says. One of Amy’s customers was delighted to find the collection so close to home. She purchased several pieces for her grown children, not because they live in Chicago, but because they had recently run the Chicago marathon. A large platter is $54, and will serve as a reminder of their accomplishment for years to come.
And look at the beautiful glass ornaments with a winter snowfall scene, all tied up with a plaid bow. Wouldn’t they be lovely as gift toppers?
For trimming the tree, Little Shop of Papers has an amazing collection of ornaments from designer Eliot Raffit. Raffit, who is also a Cornell-trained architect, designs the vintage-inspired shapes and covers them in glass glitter. The glitter is made from pure silver in a seven-step process, so the ornaments reflect light like a diamond….…

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