New Year’s Resolution Guest Post by Charlie Roth and Owen Schnaper of Salmon Cove – Wear More Bowties


beer bowtie

Wear more bows and neckties this year.  The world around us is changing quickly and casual dress has become the norm.  This has been great for our brand, Salmon Cove,  because we specialize in classic wovens that stand the test of time.  But one of our office goals this year is to have our sales, customer service and business development teams dress up with a bow or necktie – especially for our weekly office happy hour.

Two of our favorite neck wear brands outside of our own are located right here in Chicago.  One is Bird Dog Bay by Steve Mayer and other by the Berre brothers called Artfully Disheveled, both available online.
While shopping online is easy, don’t forget about your local men’s store , which is a great place to shop for your husband or son.  MH Frank, located in Clemson, SC on College Avenue is our favorite locally owned shop.  It is a wonderful place to stop when we head south to avoid the Chicago winter for a few weeks.

A final thought, make sure every guy in your house can tie a bow tie.  At some point he will need this skill for a black tie fundraiser, wedding or an SEC football game.

Thank you, Owen and Charlie, for contributing to Market Square Musings! Please visit Salmon Cove at www.salmon.com and shop our favorite bowties at www.salmoncove.com


New Year’s Resolution Guest Post by Shelley Johnstone Paschke of Shelley Johnstone Design and ShellKare


One of my New Year’s resolution is to use bursts of color for my interior design business and for our clothing business, ShellKare. I went for orange for my own home. Painting a ceiling Hermes orange and filling the house with fresh flowers in the same bold color. With ShellKare we came out with the Gigi Caftan in the same fabulous orange hue. This resolution is definitely making the grey days of winter feel brighter!

Thank you, Shelley, for contributing to Market Square Musings! Please visit Shelley Johnstone Design at www.shelleydesign.com and shop our favorite caftans at www.shellkare.com


New Year’s Resolution Guest Post by Molly O’Neil – Hold Yourself Accountable



Hold Yourself Accountable & Be Proud of Your Progress

 If you made the New Year’s resolution to lose weight, gain energy, or just be more mindful & healthy, I urge you to buy yourself a daily health log.

I really believe that tracking your daily health habits and reviewing them weekly, works to achieve lifelong health and weight loss.  Depending on your goals, I recommend tracking what you eat (including calories), daily exercise, water intake and amount of sleep.   It is a great habit to get into as it holds you accountable, makes you more mindful of what you are eating and definitely makes it easy to see what works (and what doesn’t) for your body and weight loss.

I’ve tried out many different “food and exercise” logs and my favorite one is the Diet Minder: Personal Food & Fitness Journal,” and can be found on Amazon.com.  It has a weekly progress page where you note your weight, energy levels, and general health.

For those of you who are “paperless,” there are apps you can download and are really fun to use.  They will show graphs of your progress, calorie burn for any activity you engage in and will give nutrition facts on the foods you consume… all you do is plug them in (most importantly: calories, fat, sodium and fiber). My personal favorites are “Livestrong” and “My Fitness Pal.”

Try it out! And remember, even if you have an “off day” or even an “off week,” do not get discouraged… just update your goals for the new week and push forward.

Oh and most importantly…When you do notice you start drop a pound or two or gain muscle and energy at the end of a week, feel proud and REWARD yourself (i.e.: dark chocolate, a pedicure, 30 minutes with a trashy magazine…. The list of possible rewards is endless).

Thank you, Molly for your Guest Post!  We know that we are inspired to find a a daily tracker that works for us.  We always love your posts!


Local Fav’s – Lulu’s Chocolate Donuts

Lulu’s Chocolate Donuts. The best part of our Sunday. Not only are they the best, best donuts on the planet, they are served on a real plate and savored while we sit at a sweet little table and chat it up with Reggie and Tammy (the super sweet owners who always have an interesting and inspiring personal story to tell). We drink strong, super hot coffee out of a real coffee cup. Lulu’s in Lake Bluff has great yogurt but in my opinion the morning donuts, coffee and conversation are what keep us coming back every Sunday.

You have GOT to try these chocolate donuts!


New Year’s Resolution #15 – Be In Shape!

One way to get in shape is to set goals, right? Well,  my goal is to do three small triathlons this summer (someone’s got to hold me to this!). So I’ll be in the pool a lot in the next few months. Any kind of workout is more fun with the right gear. Some of my favorites come from Rocket Science Sports. Really love the little gym bag, goggles, bathing suits and other swimm accessories like these groovy Rocket Swimming Caps. 

When the weather is so yucky and treadmill running gets a little boring swimming is such a fun way to mix it up! Especially when you have crazy gear from Rocket Science Sports!




New Year’s Resolution – Eat More Soup!




I love soup and think it makes the perfect meal in the Winter, both for Lunch or Dinner.  It is so easy to prepare and can be eaten for multiple meals.  This Cream of Tomato Soup by Ina Garten is one of my favorites.  Hopefully, this will give you something to look forward in these frozen temperatures.  Make a pot, stay in side and warm up!  If you have any favorite soup recipes, please pass them on.

Cream of Fresh Tomato Basil Soup

3 TBS Good Olive Oil
1 1/2 Cups Chopped Red Onions (2 Onions)
2 Carrots, unpeeled and chopped
1 TBS Minced Garlic (3 Cloves)
4 Pounds Vine-Ripened Tomatoes, coarsely chopped (5 large)
1 1/2 tsp Sugar
1 TBS Tomato Paste
1/4 Cup Packed chopped Fresh Basil Leaves
3 Cups Chicken Stock
1 TBS Kosher Salt
2 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
3/4 Cup Heavy Cream
Julienned fresh basil leaves, for garnish
Parmesan toasts (recipe follows) or croutons
Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat.  Add the onions and carrots and saute for about 10 minutes, until very tender.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Add the tomatoes, sugar, tomato paste, basil, chicken stock, salt and pepper and stir well.  Bring soup to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 30 to 40 minutes, until the tomatoes are very tender.
Add the cream to the soup and process it through a food mill into a bowl, discarding only the dry pulp that’s left or blend it with an immersion blender.  Reheat the soup over low heat just until hot and serve with julienned basil leaves and /or Parmesan toasts.

New Year’s Resolution #12 – Cook Less?



Well, I don’t really mean, cook less… I actually mean, cook more with the help of Meez Meals.  (hint, hint…Keep reading because details on how to receive $20 off your first order is below) 

Meez Meals is a Chicago-area meal delivery service that provides healthful and tasty meal choices for everyone, but is especially helpful for those who view cooking as a chore.  This service makes putting dinner on the table easy and convenient.  It is unique because, while you can choose from a weekly menu of up to five meals, the meals do not come pre-made.  The ingredients and cooking instructions (yes, everything is measured and prepared for you!) for the meals that you choose are delivered directly to your doorstep in a provided cooler which is picked up at the end of the week.  So, you are able to make the recipe from scratch at your convenience!

All Meez Meals are vegetarian which helps to keep the cost more affordable, but they can be doctored to include meat at  home if you prepare or to even become vegan depending on the your taste.  And, this service IS affordable –  Three-two serving meals is $65 a week (which breaks down to approximately $20 per meal or $10 a person), Three four-serving meals is $80 (which breaks down to less than $30 per meal or $7 a person) and five four-serving meals is $110.

I love to cook, but I don’t always love to do the prep work and sometimes find it hard to think of new and nutritious meals to feed my family.   This takes all the prep and guess work out of meal planning.  And, the meals sound delicious – this week, for instance you can pick from the following menu:

Black Bean & Butternut Squash Chili

Spinach Pancakes with Lemony Ricotta

Campanelle Pasta with Pea & Pistachio Pesto
Indonesian Peanut Noodles
Roasted Vegetable Curry

A special thank you to Meez Meals , who have graciously offered our readers a $20 off their first purchase.  All you have to do is mention that you read about Meez Meals on MarketSquaureMusings.com. 


New Year’s Resolution #11 Go Somewhere Warm

It’s 12 degrees today. I think I need to plan a trip. Someplace sunny and warm. On the trip I’ll bring my family and these darling zebra beach mats. Nice and big – roomy enough for two sun bathing bodies. They are super chic and with a sturdy leather handle they are easy to tote down to the beach.