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Friday
Jul222011

The Ice Cream Diaries: The Dairy Hut on Main in Oswego

You know the old saying. If you can’t stand the heat, you might as well just eat ice cream. So it’s a perfect day to welcome back one our personal favorite features from last summer, “The Ice Cream Diaries.”

Photo by Tara Burghart.Name: The Dairy Hut on Main

Address:  121 South Main Street in Oswego

Hours: Summer hours are Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 12:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Note that those hours become more limited once summer is over and it closes entirely in the winter. To make sure you’re not making a trip that might end in disappointment, call 630-554-6800.

Good For: Anyone who likes ice cream – or a slice of Americana.

The Experience: The Dairy Hut in Oswego is located on Main Street, and that’s perfect, because it seems as American as apple pie – even if that’s a weird comparison to make for an ice cream shop.

Once known as the “Dari-Boat,” this tiny ice cream joint has been around since the 1960s. While you place your order and pick it up inside, the seating is all outdoors, much of it under an awning that provides good shade.

The Dairy Hut services soft ice cream – vanilla, chocolate or twist – and it’s one of the least expensive spots I’ve visited recently. A small cone is $1.65. A “kiddie” cone is just 50 cents. If you want to get a bit more fancy, you can order sundaes, shakes floats, smoothies and “tornadoes” (like a DQ blizzard). If you bring your pup along, you can order a "Doggie Dish" for him.

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Friday
Jul222011

Weekend Spotlight: Beat the Heat With Some Indoor Activities

This sauna-like weather we’re having is supposed to continue through Sunday, so here are a few family-friendly activities happening this weekend inside. Out of the sun. In an air-conditioned room.

Photo by Artful Magpie on Flickr.Saturday Stories: Nearly every Saturday morning, the Oswego Public Library offers a free, drop-in storytime for children ages 2-6. The 10 a.m. storytime is offered at both the Oswego and Montgomery branches.

The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow: The Elgin Summer Theatre is performing the classic musical “Annie” at the Hemmens Cultural Center on Friday and Saturday night and Sunday evening. This one is a hot ticket, so if you’re interested, call the box office today.

Geodes and Gems: The Elgin Public Museum is having a free drop-in event on Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. focusing on geodes and gems. Your kids might even get a chance to crack open a geode to see the wondrous quartz formations inside.

Oompa Loompa: Steel Beam Theatre in St. Charles is performing “Willy Wonka Jr.” on Friday night, Saturday afternoon and evening and Sunday afternoon. It’s an adaption of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and features songs from the film “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.”

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Thursday
Jul212011

A Go West Mom You Should Know: DiDi Foley

Diana Foley has a lot on her plate.

She is the Aurora/Copley Campus Manager for Waubonsee Community College. She recently completed work on her master’s degree. And she also works part-time as as DJ at radio station WTMX (101.9 FM). Did I mention she has two young children? Foley and her husband Sean are parents to Duncan, who is nearly 6, and Roxanne, who is 18 months old. Sean is the director of human resources for a security company in Chicago.

Photo by Waubonsee Community College.Nearly everyone calls Foley, 35, by her awesome nickname “DiDi.” She grew up in Naperville but graduated from high school a year early because she was so desperate to get out on her own. Now she and her husband are back raising their children in Naperville – proof that you really can go home again.

Read on to find out why we think DiDi Foley is a Go West Mom You Should Know.

Q. I hear you jut finished your master’s degree. Congratulations! How on earth did you manage to get an advanced degree while working two jobs and having two children? Any advice to share with other moms trying to keep many balls in the air?

A. I just completed my Masters in Leadership Studies from North Central College.  I look back and don't know how I did it, but I know that I could not have done it without the support of my husband, children and my mom and stepdad. They were all instrumental in the logistics and the support.  My co-workers and supervisor at Waubonsee also gave me a lot of encouragement.  I took one class a quarter (minus two due to bed-rest and the birth of my daughter) and it took three years to compete the program. While I was unable to always give 100% to everything (something has to give, right??) I just kept plowing through. I knew it was all temporary and the education that I was getting will be an asset during my life and also to my children's.

I am not sure how to relax. I need to practice! I enjoy being busy and am always moving.  I think the busier that I am, the better I function. I don't think I can pass any specific advice on to someone with out knowing her situation. What works for me might not work for her. However, you must believe in yourself that you will accomplish your goals. Just stay focused and persevere!

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Wednesday
Jul202011

She'sWrite: Making the Most of my Mobile Home

Who knew that with motherhood, I’d also be gaining a mobile home? It’s got a dining area, a great place for the kids to play, nap and nurse, and there’s office space for Hubby and me.

Enjoying breakfast in the Jeep. Bacon, blackberries and blueberries. Yum!My mobile home is my SUV. I’ve served breakfast, lunch and dinner in my Jeep Commander, changed the poopiest of diapers, napped alongside my children, blinded high school boys in the Kohl’s parking lot with my boobs while breastfeeding in the backseat.

I’ve edited stories, had conference calls, written blog posts, filled out birthday party invitations. The list (obviously) goes on and on.

My husband marvels at all that’s in the car. I’ve got diapers stashed everywhere, along with juice boxes, bottled waters, changes of clothes, a quart of motor oil,

Goldfish, a stroller, blankets, toy cars, trucks, binkies, “emergency” lollipops. (The “emergency” usually being I need Logan to not speak while I’m in the middle of an important phone call.) The most unique item is a small doohickey (the technical term) that if your car was submerged in water, it effortlessly breaks the glass so that you can escape.

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Tuesday
Jul192011

Five Great ... Ways to Stay Cool on the Cheap

The weather forecast is predicting a scorcher this week, with the high temperature every day supposed to be in the 90s through at least Sunday. And of course we’ll likely have a couple more runs of extra-steamy weather before Labor Day. So we thought we’d offer up some ideas for how to stay cool without spending too much cash.

Photo by tjstaab on Flickr.* "Check Out" the Libraries: Most of the area libraries seem to be hitting the high point of their summer reading programs right about now. That means the Go West Calendar is packed with drop-in crafts, storytimes, movies and special programs, all free! Just to highlight a couple coming up: The Messenger Public Library in North Aurora is offering family bingo on Wednesday at 2 p.m.  The Sugar Grove Public Library is showing “Despicable Me” today at 2 p.m. And the Gail Borden Public Library’s Rakow Branch in Elgin will host a “Renaissance storytime” at 11 a.m. Thursday. Your kids will be treated to a “highly interactive” show about pirates, princesses, Robin Hood, Irish faerie legends, etc.

* Cheap Flicks: Nearly all of the local movie chains have some kind of summer promotion aimed at families and children. Goodrich Quality Theatres will be showing “Stuart Little” for $1 this week at its theaters in both Oswego and Batavia at 10 a.m. “Rio” is on the bill at the Marcus Theater in Elgin on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 10 a.m. with admission $2. Classic Cinemas in St. Charles shows a $1 movie each Wednesdy at 10 a.m.; this week the movie is “Alpha & Omega.”  

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