Category Archives: Chicago Real Estate

#instacart – Personal Grocery Shopping Service Delivered to your doorstep

On blustery winter days like today it is simply a pain to bundle up the kids and go anywhere outside of the house.  However what do you do when you have zero fruit or anything remotely edible for dinner.

One of my clients recently posted on Facebook ‘thank goodness for instacart’…As I was about to ‘like’ her post I realized I had no idea what she was talking about.  When we met at her new home closing the next day she told me about this wonderful ‘app’ that has saved her life!  She is a new mom with a baby and as we all know babies have unpredictable schedules and sometimes you just can’t leave the house even when you need to run errands.

She explained to me that for a nominal fee a personal shopper would go to your favorite grocery store, pick out all of your food with your specifications (i.e.; green banana’s vs. yellow) and then deliver them to your home within a few hours.  Shopping while your kids nap?…I was SOLD and had to try it immediately.  This incredible app is called Instacart (you can also order via their website  It isn’t available in all locations yet, but it is available in our city (woo hoo).instacart2

I downloaded the simple app, selected my choice grocery store (Mariano’s) and started shopping.  One thing I noticed was that I could really stick to my grocery list and not be suede by temptations, which ends up saving me money.  One negative I found so far is that the app doesn’t show when my selected items are on sale, and I don’t believe they credit you if they are (meaning they don’t use a Mariano’s value card during checkout to get discounts).  This may prompt me to shop at a store that doesn’t have a preferred card and gives a discount automatically, like Jewel.  This theory is yet to be tried and tested.
There is a $10 order minimum and shipping is free on your first order.  Thereafter the shipping runs about $5.99 on the high-end.  Tipping is also available right online so you never have to exchange money with your personal shopper/delivery person – think Uber.

My 1st experience was great!  My personal shopper was super nice and even called me from the store when something I ordered wasn’t available and he gave an alternative which I accepted.  I placed the order around 1:30pm and the food arrived at my door by 4:00pm – now that was fast!  It probably would’ve taken me longer to get the kids schedules coordinated, bundled and out the door.  In this case, I wasn’t even home when ordering and it was ready for my nanny to receive!  So awesome!  You do have a choice if you want to be home to receive the delivery, you can opt for within the hour to next day delivery.

They even emailed me today stating that if I order again they would offer free shipping!  I love it when companies send me deals.  This is one app I will be a shopping at again and again.


Enjoy Chicago,


The Yeager Team: A Chicago Real Estate Family

We Live Here, We Work Here, We Are Raising Our Kids Here!
Residential Real Estate Sales | |

Like Italian Food? Then Get Ready to Head to River North!

tl-horizontal_mainBread, milk, eggs and
ricotta cheese?  That is a typical staple grocery list for our family. I’m 50% Italian, but even if I was 0% Italian this cultures food would still be my all time favorite.  We eat a lot of pasta in our house and of course it’s only fitting that now my sons favorite food is Italian, and will most likely be our daughters too {once she is able to eat that is}.

I subscribe to Chicago Magazine and love all their great articles about our fine city.  Their most recent online article literally had me grinning from ear to ear and clapping.

Soon to be opening in hot River North…….Eataly.  It is described as an enormous, 63,000 square foot space housing coffee/breakfast shops, retail/grocery stands and 8 restaurants serving and selling all things Italian.  Currently the only other U.S. Eataly lives in New York City, and rumors have it that the Chicago location is sure to trump the New York outfit in terms of size and suppliers.  YUM, I can’t wait to go myself and take the kids…hello Nutella Bar!  It will be a little field trip for our senses.  I lived in Italy for summer back in my college days and I’m sure it will feel, smell and taste like a walk down memory lane.  I am already craving authentic Gelato, Bread, Pizza, Cheese, Wine, Olive Oil and all the scrumptious things that will be at our disposal.  I love that we will be able to have lunch and come home with many wonderful Italian ingredients to prepare dinner.


Not only will this be a wonderful place to frequent, but it will be incredible for River North property owners.  What a huge perk and selling/buying point to live near this incredible new shopping and eating superstore.  It will be located next door to Room & Board at 43 E. Ohio

Check out some more details via Chicago Mag and I’ll report back once they open (some say as early as 11/22 to as late as mid December)!


Enjoy Chicago,


The Yeager Team:  A Chicago Real Estate Family 

We Live here, We Work Here, We Are Raising Our Kids Here

Residential Real Estate Sales   |      |

2013 Illinois Test Scores – Top Schools Ranked

This just in::  Chicago SunTimes posts the top 25 elementary and top 25 high schools across the state.

As you know I follow all the school blogs, but I’m particularly fond of The writer is a fellow Chicago mom obsessed with CPS schools.  She makes great notes and it is always a good read.

Check out her latest post about the new school rankings:

Enjoy Chicago,


The Yeager Team:  A Chicago Real Estate Family 

We Live here, We Work Here, We Are Raising Our Kids Here

Residential Real Estate Sales   |      |

Halloween Events for the Entire Family – This weekend!

Halloween is almost here, but it’s time to start celebrating now!


There are a ton of great events around the city, so pick a spot, dress up in your spookiest or silliest costume and have fun!

First up: Gethsemane Children’s Fall Festival

Saturday October 26th

11:00 am to 4:00 pm

Screen Shot 2013-10-25 at 3.09.33 PMAttractions include:

Patch 22 – Pony Rides and Barnyard Petting Zoo
Tony the Balloon Man – Incredible Animal Balloons
Amazing Corn Maze
Face Painting

Featured performers:

Scales & Tales – 1:00 & 2:30
Chicagoland’s traveling exotic zoo! Be sure to bring your camera.
Gus Giordano Dance – 3:00 pm
Dance thrills from our local Dance School. Two special performances!
Join the fun and dress in your costume!!

Halloween at Navy Pier:

The Fear(less) – Daytime Lights-On Low Scare

Noon – 5:00 PM on these dates: 
Saturdays – Oct 26
Sundays – Oct 27

The Fear(less) – Daytime Lights On Low ScareScreen Shot 2013-10-25 at 3.09.05 PM Regular Admission – $12
Click here for a $2 off coupon to The Fear(less)

The Fear(less) – Daytime Lights On Low Scare
Regular Free Parking Pack – $60

500-lb. Pumpkin Carving: Friday, October 25: 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Family Pavilion

Costume Contest
Saturday, October 26
Family Pavilion

Chicago Botanic Garden

Screen Shot 2013-10-25 at 3.08.33 PM

Hallowfest October 26 & 27, 2013  $17/member or $22/non-member
Saturday: 6 – 9 p.m.
Sunday: 4 – 7 p.m.

Celebrate Halloween, if you dare, at the Garden! Take either the friendly or spooky path to activities in the Regenstein Center and McGinley Pavilion. Experience family-friendly thrills and chills this year including Mysterious Magic with Dracula and a live show and tell of creepy, crawly creatures. Then get in the Halloween spirit with face-painting festivities! As night falls, walk through the Model Railroad Garden, decorated in ghostly lights and running special ghost trains; then take a ride around the Garden on the Howlin’ Express — keep your eyes peeled for spooky sights!

Enjoy Chicago,


The Yeager Team:  A Chicago Real Estate Family 

We Live here, We Work Here, We Are Raising Our Kids Here

Residential Real Estate Sales   |      |


Now what about High School in the city?

So you have researched and poured over a gazillion pages of pre-school and elementary school paperwork, but have you thought as far ahead to High School?

There are definitely some dud High Schools, however there are a lot of top ranked high schools right in our back yard!  I too fell into the misconception that I can handle city elementary school, but would have to do something else when High School approached, and that meant heading to the burbs or going private, however I would like to be able to afford college for my children, so private is out.  After a lot of research and digging on my own I can now say that I would feel perfectly comfortable sending my children to one of the several top ranked high schools that are right here in the city, that’s right several!

I think we automatically assume all high schools in the city are, in one word, bad, however have you check the school ranking website lately?  You will be amazed to find that out of the top 10 ranked schools in all of Illinois, the city of Chicago has 5 on the list where the top 1-4 spots are right here in the city, pretty amazing if you ask me!

I have posted a screen shot from so you can see for yourself.

The tricky part is navigating on how to actually get in to one of these fabulous schools.  On my next post I will be focusing on the infamous Tier system and selective enrollment process that CPS has developed.  However, the list below should get your pre-planning juices flowing so you can also think about buying your 30 year home right here in the city!

Illinois High School Rankings

11th Grade

PSAE Reading & PSAE Math

Rank* (of 669)

School District City Low Grade High Grade Total students (2011) Student/ Teacher Ratio (2011) PSAE, avg Math** (2012) PSAE, avg Reading** (2012) PSAE Combined Rank Change From 2011
1 Northside College Preparatory High School City Of Chicago School District 299 Chicago 09 12 1088 16.4 99.6 99.2 198.8
2 Young Magnet High School City Of Chicago School District 299 Chicago 07 12 2177 18.9 98.7 96.9 195.6
3 Payton College Preparatory High School City Of Chicago School District 299 Chicago 09 12 895 15.7 98.3 95.9 194.2
4 Jones College Prep High School City Of Chicago School District 299 Chicago 09 12 848 16.0 97.8 91.2 189.0
5 Deerfield High School Township Hsd 113 Deerfield 09 12 1705 14.9 91.7 88.7 180.4


6 Lane Technical High School City Of Chicago School District 299 Chicago 09 12 4170 18.3 90.1 88.6 178.7
7 New Trier Township H S Winnetka New Trier Township Hsd 203 Winnetka 10 12 3075 13.0 90.0 88.0 178.0


8 Hinsdale Central High School Hinsdale Township Hsd 86 Hinsdale 09 12 2723 16.5 87.2 85.7 172.9
9 Adlai E Stevenson High School Adlai E Stevenson Hsd 125 Lincolnshire 09 12 4182 16.3 88.3 82.4 170.7


10 Glenbrook North High School Northfield Township Hsd 225 Northbrook 09 12 2102 13.1 86.4 80.1 166.5


Enjoy Chicago,


The Yeager Team:  A Chicago Real Estate Family Helping Chicagoans Move 

Cabin Fever? According to Groundhog Punxsutawney Phil, Spring is around the corner…

Even though the famous groundhog didn’t see his shadow this February 2 we still need some fun things to do while we wait out the rest of the winter.

I know that on cold days when I’m home with my son {and are tired of playing blocks} we both feel anxious to get outside and do something.  We typically run to several stores so I can get my errands done, but really that is no fun for him.

First up, I adore the indoor playgrounds, they are a blast for Holden but also fun for adults too, especially if you have a playdate at one.  Most of them serve coffee and food so you can really make a 1/2 day of it.  They are all drop in play and average about $12 per child (adults are free).  Here is a list of my favorites, but please comment and let me know your favorites!

1. Little Beans – Bucktown | Elston & Webster | This place is like having every toy and pint sized jungle gym in your basement, except you don’t have to house all the stuff!  They have a great cafe and wi-fi so you can get some work done too if you choose.  You can pay a little extra to have a staff member supervise your child while you work…great for those days when your nanny calls in sick.  We love to go in the afternoons and burn off extra steam before dinner.  They do fill up so check their facebook page for capacity notices.

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2. Pump it up – Lincoln Park | Blackhawk & Kingsbury | Jump and climb until your hearts content and then go have pizza next door or hit up Whole Foods after for lunch or a healthy snack.

3.  My Corner Playroom – Lincoln Park | Clybourn & Kenmore in the complex with the Treasure Island and Pottery Barn Kids.  This spot is really low-key with a great staff and a ton of fun toys to play with.  They have a rice box (alternative to a sand box) where Holden played in for the longest time!  They also have various classes so check their website for class schedules.  They also have sitter care in the event you need to drop your child off and go to an appointment.

4. Explore & Much More – Southport Corridor | Southport & Grace next door to LuLu Belles.  This

bi-level play spot has a huge slide, jump house, glow in the dark room and so much more!  I found that this is better for 2 year olds and up since there are a lot of stairs and it seems that the kids need more coordination to really enjoy this spot.  Go in the morning and then hit up LuLu Belle’s next door for brunch/lunch.  Kids eat free on Tuesdays!

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5.  Pickles Playroom – Lincoln Square | Lawrence & Oakley | We are going to head to this one soon for Holden’s first big boy haircut.  They have a cute kids salon and the kids get to play for free for 30 minutes when you purchase a kids cut.

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6.  Kookaberra – LIncoln Park | Clybourn & Webster | We haven’t been to this one yet, but it looks clean and modern with a lot of fun things to climb on.

7.  Kid City – 1837 W. Grand @ Wolcott | We haven’t been to this one, but it sounds great!  Complete with a marketplace with mini shopping carts and a boutique with dress up clothes.

Next, who doesn’t like free?!?  Here is the list for the museum free days for 2013!!  This is free fun for both you and the kids!  Enjoy!

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2013 Chicago Museum Free Days

Many Chicago area museums offer FREE days for families! Please note that special exhibits and features may not be included in the free general admission. See individual museum web sites for details.

Always call ahead to doublecheck! The following information may change without notice.

Adler Planetarium
Illinois residents can enjoy complimentary general admission on Adler Discount Days with proof of residency.
January: 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 28, 29, 30 and 31
Feburary: 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 27 and 28
March: 5 and 6
June: 4, 5, 6, 10, 11 and 12
September: 10, 11, 17, 18, 24 and 25
October: 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29 and 30
November: 5, 6, 12, and 13
Art Institute
Admission to the Art Institute of Chicago is free to Illinois residents every weekday from January 7 through February 13, 2013. Children 13 and under always free.
Brookfield Zoo
Free on Sundays Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays through February 28. Admission to Hamill Family Play Zoo also free through February 28.
Chicago Botanic Garden
Always free.
Chicago Children’s Museum
Always free: Free for everyone from 5-8 p.m. every Thursday, and the first Sunday of every month for kids 15 and under. Always free to children under 1.
Chicago Cultural Center
Always free.
Chicago History Museum
Illinois residents can enjoy free admission to the museum during Illinois Resident Discount Days. January: 21
February: 4 – 28
March: 4
Always free for children ages 12 and younger.
DuSable Museum of African American History 
Admission is free to all on each Sunday of the year. Admission is also free on school days to all Chicago Public School students.
Field Museum
Illinois residents may enjoy free general admission on the following days:January: 7, 8, 15, 16, 17, 18, 22, 28, 30
February: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 19, 20, 21, 22, 25, 26, 27, 28
March: 6, 7
June: 3, 5, 6
John G. Shedd Aquarium
Illinois Resident Discount/Free General Admission Days:
January: Mondays and Tuesdays; Sunday, Jan. 20
February: Mondays and Tuesdays; Sunday, Feb. 17
March: Mondays and Tuesdays
June: Mondays and Tuesdays
September: Mondays
October: Mondays
November: Mondays
December: Mondays
Museum of Contemporary Art
Admission is FREE for Illinois residents on Tuesdays year round.
Family Days take place every second Saturday of the month from 11 am to 3 pm at the MCA from October to May and are free for families with children 12 and under.
Museum of Science and Industry
Illinois residents can enjoy free general admission on the following days:
January 7-11, 14-18, 21-25, 28-31
February 6, 13, 20, 27
March 4
April 22
May 6
June 3-7, 10
September 9-13, 16-20, 23-27, 30
October 1-2
November 4
December 9
National Museum of Mexican Art
Free Admission Every Day. Open Tuesdays to Sundays.
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
Free for Illinois Residents on Thursdays.
Smart Museum of Art
Always free.

Enjoy Chicago,


The Yeager Team:  A Chicago Real Estate Family Helping Chicagoans Move