(From left to right) January Pawluk of Oak Brook, Josephine Fish of Willowbrook, Dr. Bernadette Aulivola of Hinsdale, Kearsi Kessler of Clarendon Hills, Diane Grundberg of Clarendon Hills

 Photos courtesy of: Marcello Rodarte

Hinsdale Magazine brought five ladies from Greater Hinsdale together to get a head-start on holiday shopping at the Burr Ridge Village Center and County Line Square earlier this month.

Dr. Bernadette Aulivola is a vascular surgeon and mother of two young children; Diane Grundberg is a stay-at-home mom with four boys; Josephine Fish is the Director of Retail Sales at Pregis Corporation; Kearsi Kessler is an independent stylist for Stella & Dot, and formerly dressed women at Neiman Marcus; January Pawluk is a homemaker who previously served as a dental hygienist.


Hinsdale Magazine: How do you balance holiday shopping with your family schedule?

Diane Grundberg: With four young boys, trying to find balance is a challenge throughout the entire year, but particularly difficult during the holidays. The shopping, baking and Christmas cards will all get done–it just may not be as soon as I had planned. I try to keep things in perspective, and really enjoy the time with my family and good friends. 

Josephine Fish: I have found that a happy, productive and delightful holiday season is all about time-management. With thoughtful planning and prioritization, a busy individual cannot only accomplish all there is to do in terms of gift shopping, but also find time to make any necessary travel arrangements and home and meal preparations.

January Pawluk: Thank goodness for technology and free shipping! I have already begun online shopping. You can spot me on my iPad in various locations throughout our home on any given day, sitting on the floor while my daughters happily play in the tub, stirring a pot of soup, or lying in bed, searching my favorite online shops for the best toys and the best deals.  

January Pawluk of Oak Brook (above); Diane Grundberg of Clarendon Hills (below)

HM: Are there any trends that have caught your eye this season?  

Bernadette Aulivola: I love the festive look of jewel-toned jeans. They are a welcome pop of color in an otherwise dark wardrobe palette.

January: Chevron, Chevron, Chevron–it’s everywhere! I am sure 2013 will bring us something new to admire and covet, but for now I am loving every bit of it.  

 Dr. Bernadette Aulivola of Hinsdale (above); Josephine Fish of Willowbrook (below)

HM: Kearsi, as a stylist, what are some fashion trends we should be looking for this holiday season?

Kearsi Kessler: Look for monochromatic dress, big jewels, boots, flat and high. Also look for jewel tones, animal prints and still skinny jeans. Finish the look with a statement necklace, or an armful of bracelets. Guys, break out the RayBans and great-fitting denim with a cozy knit or plaid.

 Kearsi Kessler of Clarendon Hills

HM: In the midst of a tough economy, are you looking for more bargain buys this season?

Diane: Who doesn’t love a bargain? I am that person that runs out Christmas Eve to finish up my shopping. There are lots of bargains then too!

January: I am definitely planning better and setting limits for myself. However, I can’t deny that I am a bargain shopper at heart and love the thrill of the hunt! If I were a billionaire, I would still shop at Target and TJ Maxx. This is a great time of year to teach children the value of not only earning money, but the spirit of giving rather than receiving.  My oldest daughter is only three and a half, but she has already started earning money around the house that she will in turn be able to spend on a small gift that she will choose for her sister and father. I believe it is never too early to teach the value of earning a dollar, and that credit cards are not magic.

Kearsi: Plan ahead is the best advice I can give. Most stores are stocked with holiday goods by early November, so hit the sales and look for free shipping. Sometimes, I’m able to buy designer pieces for up to 40 percent off. Even holiday cards are discounted when you purchase early.


HM: In your opinion, what separates the holiday shopping season from all the rest?

Bernadette: Holiday shopping is so much more enjoyable than shopping the rest of the year. There’s just something about the brisk air, holiday decor and buying gifts for the ones you love that makes the holiday season special.

Josephine: The holiday season embodies a sense of community and outpouring of generosity that no other holiday entails. Focus shifts to shopping for friends and family both near and far, as well as for those in need. There is a joyful spirit in the air of giving, aiding and coming together in a brand new year that makes Christmas a unique and special time for all in our family.

Kearsi: The holidays mean different things to each of us, but indisputably, it’s a time to get together with friends and family, be thankful and generous, and remind ourselves of the joy around us.  It’s certainly not about the gifts, but it is so wonderful to see the smile a gift can bring. 



For additional photos, click: https://hinsdale60521magazine.ning.com/photo/albums/holiday-style.

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Home & Design


Whether you’re thinking about a bathroom update, kitchen overhaul or any other type of home improvement project, these tips from the experts at the National Association of the Remodeling Industry and eLivingtoday.com can help you get started.

Create a Plan
Improving your home can be one of the most exciting projects to undertake. Start by setting realistic expectations, determining your goals and needs, finding inspiration and, perhaps most importantly, setting a budget.

Renovate the Bathroom
You can improve your home’s usability and increase its value with bathroom updates or a full renovation. Before you get started, think about these factors: the amount of space and storage you need, features that are important to you, sustainability concerns and accessibility considerations.

Update the Kitchen
The kitchen serves as command-central for most homes, and you can get the most enjoyment out of yours by making purposeful changes, reconsidering the physical space, re-evaluating your shopping style and choosing appliances with care.

Start a Remodel
If it’s time for a serious undertaking, a full-blown remodel may be necessary (or simply desired). Remodeling typically calls for hiring a professional contractor, a process you can go about by gathering local recommendations, asking for licensing and insurance, checking references and comparing bids.

Find more home improvement ideas and solutions at remodelingdoneright.com and eLivingtoday.com.

National Association of the Remodeling Industry

4 Steps to Spruce Up Outdoor Spaces

The combination of heat, precipitation and use can dull the appearance and function of different outdoor spaces like textiles, light fixtures, furniture, decks and more. Try these cleaning solutions to spruce up outdoor living areas and get them in shape for patio season. Find more cleaning tips and a limited-time discount code for a S1800 electric power washer at Briggsandstratton.com/OutdoorCleaning.

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