Bruce Yacko, creator of JAWS (Just Add Water System), says that his line of products is environmentally friendly because it eliminates the use of plastic spray bottles that get used once and then thrown away. Even if you recycle them, the recycling process requires a lot of energy. Bruce's line consists of kitchen, shower, glass and hardwood floor cleaners in heavy-duty plastic bottles with premium sprayers. It includes cartridges that contain liquids that leave surfaces clean with no streaking and without the use of harmful chemicals. In Northeast Ohio, JAWS is available at Discount Drug Mart. Or you can order by going to the JAWS website.
Bob Gaither, owner of Quality Carpet & Flooring, is a charter member of a buying group that purchases flooring products in large quantities. This allows locally owned carpet dealers such as Quality to sell carpet and flooring at the same prices as national dealers. Quality Carpet & Flooring, which Bob's father started more than 60 years ago, is located at 1755 Akron-Peninsula Road in Akron. For more information: 330.923.0929 or qualitycarpetflooring.com
Julian Severyn is a painter and the owner of Julian Severyn Studio Gallery in Bath. He offered holiday decorating ideas including using Star Showers, a product that projects little points of light onto the exterior of your home to create a constellation of stars. Other ideas include decorating with turquoise faux poinsettias and cool sapphire blue Christmas ornaments. He derived many of his ideas from the following companies: Nordlie, Maison by Paysage, Urban Home & Garden, Lighthouse Pools, and the Hallmark store at Broadview and Pleasant Valley. Julian's gallery is on the second floor of the Garth Andrews Building at the corner of North Cleveland-Massillon and Ira Roads. To reach him, call 330.665.0565.
Erin Chenault is the owner of Viva Bene Gourmet, a store specializing in personalized gourmet gifts, select wines, handcrafted cocktail kits, Italian specialty foods, and both imported and local meats and cheeses. Erin hosts monthly wine tastings and offers a wine club with discounts, and she sells the most beautiful imported handmade pasta. Her store is located at 219 N. Main St. in Hudson, behind the All Brides Beautiful shop. For more information, call 330.653.9800 or visit her website.
Joanna Wilson, the author of The Story of Archie the Talking Snowman, is an expert in Christmas entertainment. She will be leading a free walking tour from 4 to 6 this evening of downtown Akron's Christmas history. Following the event, which is part of the Akron 2 Akron series, Joanna will sign copies of her book. To join the tour, meet at 4 p.m. at Lock 3, which also is the site of an after party benefiting Ronald McDonald House. For more information about Joanna's book, visit her site.
This is a big season for Mr. Fun's Costume & Magic Emporium. Co-owner Marilee Pocock says that Christmas is a close second to Holloween, the store's biggest holiday. Mr. Fun's is open all year round, offering costumes for sale or rent, repairs and all kinds of festive accessories. The store is located at 4130 State Rd. in Cuyahoga Falls. For more information, visit Mr. Fun's website or call 330.923.3339.
Dave Halaby of Heather's Heat & Flavor brought in a sampling of the shop's inventory of gift ideas, including sets of hot sauces, flavorful tea, baking ingredients and holiday rubs, as well as various kitchen accessories. Heather's is located at 91 First St. in Hudson's First & Main shopping district. For more information, visit the website or call 330.653.5131.
This is a season for fun and also for taking precautions to prevent fire and theft. Randy Evans and Terry Shepherd of Koorsen Fire & Security offered tips for staying safe over the holidays that include keeping your smoke detectors up to date and making sure that you lock your doors and keep lights on when you're away from home. In addition to selling equipment such as fire extinguishers, Koorsen also recharges them. For more information, visit the website or call 330.762.3343. Koorsen Fire & Security is located at 577 Miami St. in Akron.
If you want to avoid gaining weight over the holidays, check out these five tips from personal trainer and yoga therapist Kathy Hammonds. Here's what she suggests:
1. Eat no more than three meals a day.
2. Move! Walking and doing yoga are your best bets for burning fat.
3. Hydrate. Most Americans are dehydrated, Kathy notes.
4. Get plenty of sleep.
5. Load your plate with non-starchy vegetables.
Kathy has succinct explanations for why these five tips will work for you. She teaches classes and does personal consultations, including metabolic makeovers. To reach Kathy, visit her website.
When your body burns fat efficiently, you won't have to give up some of the beverages you enjoy, like good beer. Fred Karm, founder and brewmaster of Hoppin' Frog Brewery, takes great pride in crafting the kind of beer he likes to drink. He poured us two of his favorites: Hoppin' Frog's Frosted Frog Christmas Ale, an imperial nut brown ale, and Infusion A, which is a peanut-chocolate-coffee porter.The brewery, at 1680 E. Waterloo Rd., Akron, also has great food made in-house and just started serving lunch. It's open six days a week. For more information: call 330.352.4578 or visit the website.
Mary Jo Alexander, co-founder of Actors' Summit, talked about this year's holiday show, Guys on Ice, which is a comedic musical about ice fishermen who dance an "Ode to a Snowmobile Suit" and sing "Fish is the Miracle Food." The show continues through Dec. 20 at the Actors' Summit stage in Greystone Hall in downtown Akron. For tickets and more information, call 330.374.7568 or visit the website.
Sarah Binder co-owns Ohio Stone Restoration with her partner Ron Lardie, who is an expert in restoring marble and travertine floors to their original beauty. He also restores granite countertops and has an effective way to clean even the worst-looking grout. To reach Ohio Stone Restoration, call 216.644.4176 or visit the website.
Renowned artist Don Drumm created this year's First Night button, 20 years after he created the button for Akron's first-ever First Night. The family-friendly event takes place every Dec. 31, and the colorful button serves as admission to all the venues associated with First Night. For this year's event, Don drew a Phoenix with fuchsia feathers and a long beak. It's pictured on a turquoise background. Don also designed Christmas ornaments to benefit one of his all-time favorite nonprofits, One of a Kind Pets. You can purchase the dog and cat ornaments at the animal shelter, 1929 W. Market St. in Akron. Visit the First Night website to find out where to purchase the $10 buttons; children 10 and under are admitted free with a button-wearing adult. Also, this is the perfect time of year to visit Don Drumm Studios & Gallery, 437 Crouse St., near the University of Akron campus, to buy beautiful and unique holiday and hostess gifts. At any one time, 500 artists and craftspeople from all over North America are represented at the gallery. Call 330.253.6268. or visit the website for more information.
Evelyna Nightengale and her husband Rick Kalister visited the WAKR studio from their home in Parma. Evelyna wears many hats, as long as they're Victorian. She's on the board of the Hower House Victorians, and she gives many programs on Victorian life and customs. She also serves treats that she's made from the Victorian recipe books that she collects. For today's show, she brought ginger crinkels, cranberry pecan tarts and soft pumpkin cookies. She also brought a couple of pink flamingo cookies that she made for the Ghoulardi Fest over Halloween weekend. Evelyna sells her delicious specialty baked goods through her home-based business, The Avocado Tree. You can place orders by calling her at 440.884.2165. Wearing her Hower House hat, she encourages people to come to the Victorian-era home this holiday season for events that include breakfast with Santa and self-guided tours. For more information, call 330.972.6909 or visit the Hower House website. Rick, a retired English teacher, is also a guitarist who performs at Hower House and other locations. He can be reached at the same 440 number as Evelyna.