Fab mama


Kate Pancero


The cucumber has gone hi-tech

Your poor eyes are puffy, red and just plain tired these days. Relax, take five and give your eyes some well deserved time off with EyeSlices, www.eyeslicesusa.com.

The pads are made from a hydrogel polymer with organic aloe. Although the gel pads look like a Jell-O jiggler, it helps form the pads to your face so you can sit upright in the tub without them sliding off.

For extra relief, pop your EyeSlices in the refrigerator for an extra cooling sensation. Make sure you wash your face when you’re finished; our testing resulted in a bit of residue around the eye area that dries white.

EyeSlices retail for $20 and refills are $15. Once opened, the slices last for about two weeks, or 10 uses, and can be stored in their container.


Keep your pants up

Let’s face it, Chicago isn’t the driest city. In fact last year, Chicago received more than 50 inches of precipitation, a 138-year record according to the National Weather Service. With all of that water, snow and ice on the ground, it’s likely you’ll end up with soggy pant legs.

Started by a mom and her frustrated daughters living in New York City, Zakkerz, www.zakkerz.com, were made to keep your pants at the proper length based on the shoes you wear. The product isn’t just for a quick, temporary hem of your pants, it’s also a great way to keep your pants out of the wet street.

Zakkerz sell four to a set and come with a handy carrying case small enough to fit in your purse. With 12 colors, including black, brown, white, camel and denim, you’ll be sure to find the right match for your pants.

Zakkerz retail for $29 for the original set and $30 for a long set. Just in case you lose one, two-packs are available for $15. Because this product uses strong magnets, Zakkerz are not recommended for children.

The good, the ugly and the yummy

Beauty isn’t everything. Mom always said, ‘It’s what’s inside that truly counts.’ This adage is perfect when you’re describing the contents of the plain brown box of damn good cookies and ugly truffles from chocolate gourmet, www.chocolategourmet.com. These little goodies are just plain heaven.

Chocolate gourmet is a branch of mom Mary Winslow’s Chicago-based wedding cake business, take the cake.

The hand-rolled truffles were invented as a party favor when the company moved into its current space in the west Loop. Later, the cookies became a takeaway at a local museum event, where someone said, "These are damn good cookies." The rest is history.

Don’t let the name fool you. The hand-rolled ugly truffles, which come in 10 flavors, are quite beautiful. The names add to the sweetness factor including gordito picante, morning after merlot and campy. "We call them ugly, but they actually are kind of pretty because they’re very natural looking," says Winslow. Ugly truffles retail from $18 for a six-piece box to the $250 84-piece "show off" box.

If you’re more of a cookie gal, damn good cookies aren’t just good, they’re so delicious you won’t want to share with your kids. You’re going to melt over the chubby wubby chocolate, maternal macademia nut and rockabye raspberry. Damn good cookies retail from $18-$26 for a single variety cookie pack to $69 for a 66-piece box of assorted cookies.

Chocolate gourmet also sells rugelach, a sweet, flaky cream cheese pastry stuffed with apricots, hazelnut, cherry or peach. Rugelach sells for $24 for a 12-piece assortment to $42 for 24 pieces.


What are you tired of?

We’re all tired of something, whether it’s a disease that has touched our families or global issues. Having a cause is one way you can make an impact on our planet. One fabulous way to help your favorite cause is by wearing it for the whole world to see. I’m tired of… (www.imtiredonline.com) has introduced bracelets to help support a wide array of charities. In a great play on words, the bracelets are made from recycled tires and metal.

One important factor in the company’s design was that the products be environmentally friendly and affordable. In doing so, the company has helped pull materials out of landfills.

Currently, there are 10 causes to choose from—including autism, child abuse and AIDS—with more on the way. If you don’t find your favorite cause, you may vote for or suggest one on the Web site. I’m tired of… bracelets retail for $10, with 50 percent of the profits going to the bracelet’s selected


Kids Eat Chicago

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