Show your spirit with personalized cards

There are two types of holiday card recipients — those who display them well into the new year, and those who throw them away the second after they’ve opened the envelope. If you don’t want your card to fall into the latter category, try sending something a little different this year: cards you’ve made yourself.

Serenity now

Thanksgiving is over. You’d think we’d be relieved the big day is past us, but some of us can’t get beyond the fact it’s just that much closer now to Hanukkah and Christmas. OK. Take a deep breath and relax. We’ll get through this together. “In today’s world we’re all running around all the time, so it’s difficult for many people to slow down at all,” says Kathleen Galvin, a Northwestern University professor who specializes in family communications.

DIY divas

While her friends would dream of having their daddies build them the perfect dollhouse, Tina Hanson was figuring out ways to make her own. Armed with a hammer and nails, she would build little sheds next to her family’s house. Flash forward about 30 years. Hanson, now 40, has done enough work on her Skokie home to make Bob Vila jealous. “Instead of going in the business finance world, I wish I’d had the foresight to have studied architecture in college,” says Hanson, who works as a bookkeeper for a local travel agency. “I think I would’ve been pretty good at building houses. I do all right repairing them.”

Split ends: Celebrity prenuptial agreements

Divorce attorney to the stars Raoul Felder once said a celebrity who doesn’t draw up a prenuptial agreement needs a psychiatrist, not a lawyer. After all, if your net worth was $32 million, would you marry a guy whose car was repossessed? OK, but say you’re Britney Spears and you really, really want to marry backup dancer Kevin Federline and think this love will last 4-ever!

We’ve gotta have it: The status of status symbols

It’s not enough these days to have a cool million in the bank and a house in the Hamptons. Now you need that something extra to make your neighbors really take notice. Not sure what to start acquiring first? Here are a few hints to help you get started: Hummer: Yes, we know they’re not the most stylish of cars, but everyone who’s anyone is all about this vehicle. Off-road or not, the ride isn’t as smooth as, say, a Mercedes. But dahling, luxury cars are so last year. And if you can pay to fill the tank, you’ve got even more cred.

Cycle city

June 20, 2004

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Cycle city

That Bicycling Magazine picked Chicago as the best big cycling city in the United States isn’t surprising to us. Chicagoans have been taking advantage of the more than 125 miles of new or improved bikeways for years. More than 100 million Americans own a bicycle, and the number of people biking is growing at a rapid pace. “With Mayor [Richard M.] Daley’s help, cycling has really exploded in the last 10 years in Chicago,” says Theresa Cowen, coordinator for the city’s Bike Chicago program. “Chicago actually is one of the most bike-friendly places. Besides all our bike lanes and paths, we have more bike racks than any other city in the country — 9,400.”


Madonna’s been striking quite the twisted pose during her live shows. It’s not ours to ask why Madge would want to do this to herself. However, we couldn’t help wondering whether it would be easy — or wise — to emulate the Material Mom’s contortions in our own workouts. After talking with experts, the answer, in a word, would be no.

Avoid June ruin, study this wedding etiquette refresher

It’s June. So chances are you’re invited to a wedding, will be attending a wedding or are in a wedding. It’s a confusing time for all of us, especially if we’re not sure we’re even invited. To help make this a less trying time all around, we’ve come up with some do’s and don’ts to help keep this joyous occasion relatively stress-free.

Let the sun shine in: Spring Cleaning

It’s a sad time for all of us: No Martha Stewart to guide us through spring by telling us when to plant our seeds, how to fold those unruly fitted sheets or which salads work best for a light al fresco supper. Still, we must go on. Now that the sun has passed through the vernal equinox, spring is officially here. And boy, are we ever ready for it.

She’s a beauty, she’s a beast 

With her sallow complexion, sagging jowls and bloated body, the woman onscreen in “Monster” isn’t recognizable as Charlize Theron. Best known for her killer legs and babydoll face, the 28-year-old actress was an unlikely candidate to portray real-life serial killer Aileen Wournos. But when you look at side-by-side photos of the two, the likeness is uncanny.

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