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In honor of Purple Heart Day

by Rouso Group

Honoring our Purple Hearts Recipients


Today is the day that we honor members of our military who have been wounded or killed while serving in the United States Armed Forces. This is a great time to pay our respects to the many men and women who have fought for our country and who are fighting for our country. Both of my grandfathers fought in World War II and my father’s father was awarded the Purple Heart. I’m sure many of us have stories like this one. I’m always in awe when I think about how brave these men and women were/are. I’m going to take a moment today to be grateful and think about the sacrifices being made by the men and women who are serving now and the men and women who gave their lives in the many terrible wars in our history.


Know Your History

Some Interesting Purple Heart Facts

  • The Purple Heart was first created on August 7, 1982 by General George Washington and at that time it was called the Badge of Military Merit. After the Revolutionary War the medal wasn’t used until it was revived in 1932.
  • John F Kennedy is the only American president to receive a Purple Heart.
  • Major General Robert T. Frederick was awarded 8 Purple Hearts which is the highest number of Purple Hearts awarded in a single conflict.
  • According to a 2012 article in, the youngest recipient to receive a Purple Heart was Calvin Graham who was just 13 years old. Although the rule was you had to be 16 and with your parent’s consent, Graham forged his mother’s signature and lied about his age.
  • In the 1950’s there was controversy as to whether or not to give out the medal for frostbite. Eventually the military decided that frostbite was not an eligible injury for the Purple Heart.
  • 1.8 million recipients of the Purple Heart

Real Market Reports La Grange June 2018

by Rouso Group

Fun Father's Day Facts!

by Rouso Group


Fun Father’s Day and other Dad Facts


  1. One of the fastest growing groups in the United States is stay-at-home dads. Last year there were 1.9 million stay at home dads in the United States.


  1. Single dads are also on the rise according to a Pew Research Center from 2013. There were 2.6 million single father households in 2011.


  1. Americans will spend $15.3 billion for Father’s Day this year according to a study released by the National Retail Federation.


  1. The Stevie Wonder song “Isn’t she Lovely” was about his newborn daughter, Aisha. If you listen closely, you can hear Aisha crying in the background of certain versions.


  1. The necktie is still the most popular gift, but of course if you’d really like to impress your Dad, we can always help you buy him a house. 😀

On a serious note, we wish all of your friends, family, neighbors & co-workers

a great Father’s Day!

Rouso Group

Dean Rouso, Erika Trinidad, Nikki Peterselli, Kris Rabig, Natalie Larrick and Janna Shebli

Committed to providing a Level 10 Real Estate Experience

More 5 Star Zillow reviews than any other La Grange, La Grange Park or Western Springs

 Realtor or Team.

Who you work with matters!

Get Fit in Spring!

by Rouso Group

Get Fit in Spring in the Western Suburbs!

Want to stay in shape or get into better shape but are sick of the same routine? Spring is finally here, even though the weather isn’t agreeing with us so far. I miss getting outside and getting a good workout or just going for a walk to clear my head. Whether you like walking, running, biking or something more challenging, the list below has several great places to get outside, enjoy the beauty of nature and get an awesome workout. It’s good for the body and the mind.


Morton Arboretum in Lisle

This amazing place features 1,700 acres of beautiful trees, flowers and rolling hills and is known as “the great outdoor museum” of trees. Whether you’re walking, biking or running you will have plenty to look at and keep your mind occupied.

Bike or run on the 9 miles of paved roads that wind through the awesome collection of trees.Hike 15 miles of pedestrian only trails that weave into the woods, prairies and wetlands on the property.

Fullersberg Woods and Graue Mill trail in Oak Brook

This 3.3 mile loop follows along Salt Creek and is pleasant and pretty with all the wild flowers and trees. Take your dog, but it must be kept on a leash.


Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve in Darien

This forest preserve offers 11 miles of crushed-limestone trails, featuring gentle rolling hills and a beautiful waterfall. This is a great trail for hiking, running or mountain biking.

Salt Creek Trail

This awesome running or biking path stretches 27 miles from Brookfield Zoo to Busse Woods Forest Preserve and goes through many forest preserves. It is never too crowded and is a great way to get in a nice long ride or run.

Swallow Cliff in Palos Hills

Ready for a challenge? Try walking or even running the stairs at Swallow Cliff. This 100-foot natural bluff — used as a ski hill and toboggan run before being decommissioned in 2004 — will not disappoint. There are two sets of stairs to climb. The original set is 125 stone steps; the new stairs include 168 steps and are more uniformed. Try them both to see the difference in your workout. If you only want to go up the stairs once, Swallow Cliff also offers great walking/running trails through its 800-acre forested terrain.

Lilacia Park in Lombard

For a short stroll or maybe an ending to your run, finish up in Lilacia Park. This 8.5 acre botanical gem is in the heart of Lombard and will impress you with its amazing collection of tulips and lilacs amongst many other flowers.

You don’t have to spend weekends to get in the holiday spirit. We’ve gathered a list of wonderful, easy-to-do easter ideas to make your home more festive in no time!

1. Ribbon Eggs

No time to dye eggs this year? There are many different ways to use a ribbon to decorate the eggs in a unique and fun way. Just bring up your pile of ribbons. Wrap the ribbon around the egg, make a ribbon bow and you’re done. Improvise and use your creativity to make easy, simple, wonderful eggs with no dye and in no time.

Check the images bellow for more ideas:




2. DIY 1 Minute Mason Jar Easter Treat


Have some old mason jars? Use them to make quick, easy and super fun Easter treats the kids will love. All you need is a mason jar, candies and an edible grass (ribbon, tag and/or stickers is optional). Start by placing the edible grass at the bottom of the jar. Add candies, chocolate bunny or any other cookie or candy of your choice. Seal the jar – that’s it!


3. Washi tape plastic cup Easter baskets​​ Source:

Surprise your kids with these super cute, easy-to-do Easter baskets. Use a plastic cup of your choice, white, red, green, small, big... – whatever you prefer.

Start by making the handle. Cut two same size pieces of the washi tape and stick them together. Leave some room at each end of the tape to stick the handle to your plastic cup. Then you can start decorating your plastic cup by wrapping the tape around the cup. If you use red, green or any other color of plastic cups you can place the tape only at the bottom of the cup – or don’t use any tape at all. Once you are done fill the cups with Easter grass, chocolates or candies.


4. Easter bunny napkins

Source (left):

Source (right):

Having friends and family over for Easter lunch? All you need to do to impress your guests with your creativity are: napkin, egg and ribbon. This Easter bunny napkin is VERY easy to make. Follow the simple instructions bellow:



5. 4-ingredient Easter egg Oreo truffles

An Easter celebration wouldn’t be complete without a dessert, right? Well, if you are on the rush try out this simple recipe requiring only 4 ingredients: Oreos, cream cheese, chocolate chips and white almond bark.

See the full recipe with directions here:


Water - The Fountain of Youth

by Rouso Group



Water – The Fountain of Youth

Water. This may sound like a boring topic, but considering that hydrating yourself is one of the best things you can do for your health, I thought it was worth taking the time to give you some interesting facts and information.

"Think of water as a nutrient your body needs that is present in liquids, plain water, and foods. All of these are essential daily to replace the large amounts of water lost each day," says Joan Koelemay, RD, dietitian for the Beverage Institute, an industry group


  1. Drinking Water Helps Maintain the Balance of Body Fluids.

Your body is composed of about 60% water. The functions of these bodily fluids include digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature.


  1. Water Can Help Control Calories.

For years, dieters have been drinking lots of water as a weight loss strategy. While water doesn't have any magical effect on weight loss, substituting it for higher calorie beverages can certainly help.


  1. Water Helps Your Kidneys.

Body fluids transport waste products in and out of cells. The main toxin in the body is blood urea nitrogen, a water-soluble waste that is able to pass through the kidneys to be excreted in the urine, explains Stephen Guest, MD. "Your kidneys do an amazing job of cleansing and ridding your body of toxins as long as your intake of fluids is adequate," he says.


  1. Water Helps to Maximize Physical Performance

If we do not stay hydrated, physical performance can suffer. This is particularly important during intense exercise or high heat. Dehydration can have a noticeable effect if you lose as little as 2% of your body's water content. However, it is not uncommon for athletes to lose up to 6-10% of their water weight via sweat. This can lead to altered body temperature control, reduced motivation, increased fatigue and make exercise feel much more difficult, both physically and mentally


  1. Hydration Has a Major Effect on Energy Levels and Brain Function

Your brain is strongly influenced by hydration status. Studies show that even mild dehydration (1-3% of body weight) can impair many aspects of brain function. In a study of young women, fluid loss of 1.36% after exercise impaired both mood and concentration, and increased the frequency of headaches. Another similar study, this time in young men, showed that fluid loss of 1.59% was detrimental to working memory and increased feelings of anxiety and fatigue. A 1-3% fluid loss equals about 1.5-4.5 lbs (0.5-2 kg) of body weight loss for a 150 lbs (68 kg) person. This can easily occur through normal daily activities, let alone during exercise or high heat.


  1. Drinking Water May Help to Prevent and Treat Headaches

Dehydration can trigger headaches and migraines in some individuals. Several studies have shown that water can relieve headaches in those who are dehydrated. However, this appears to depend on the type of headache. One study of 18 people found that water had no effect on the frequency of headaches, but did reduce the intensity and duration somewhat


  1. Water Helps Keep Skin Looking Good.

Your skin contains plenty of water, and functions as a protective barrier to prevent excess fluid loss. But don't expect over-hydration to erase wrinkles or fine lines, says Atlanta dermatologist Kenneth Ellner, MD. "Dehydration makes your skin look more dry and wrinkled, which can be improved with proper hydration," he says. "But once you are adequately hydrated, the kidneys take over and excrete excess fluids."

I think we have enough reasons to make sure we stay adequately hydrated. How much water is the right amount? This depends on how much you exercise each day, your size and weight among some other factors, but a safe estimate is 6-8 eight-ounce glasses per day. One helpful way to achieve this is to always have a refillable water bottle with you. So let’s all stay hydrated!


Information and facts provided by Joe Leech, Kathleen M. Zelman, and Joan Koelemay, RD., Kenneth Ellner, MD., Stephen Guest, MD


Local St. Patrick's Day Parades 2018

by Nicole Spagnola


3rd Annual Countryside St. Patrick's Day Parade

Saturday, March 10th at 1pm

Kicking off at Kensington Avenue and 61st Street, and ending at 55th Place and Edgewood Avenue


22nd Annual Elmhurst St. Patrick's Day Parade

Saturday, March 10th at 12pm

Kicking off at Wilson Street and Spring Road, and continuing along Spring Road for one mile


25th Annual Naperville St. Patrick's Day Parade

Saturday, March 10th at 10am

Kicking off at Naperville North High School on Mill Street, then proceeding south on Mill Street to Jefferson, then east on Jefferson to Main Street, then south on Main Street, ending at Water Street.


Annual Lemont St. Patrick's Day Parade

Saturday, March 10th at 1pm

Kicking off at Front & Stephen Streets, and heading south on Stephen Street and west onto Main Street




Going Back to the Future Can Effect Your Health!

by Rouso Group




Daylight Savings and the Effect on Your Health


We all know the inevitable change of moving our clocks forward one hour is coming up on Sunday, March 11th. Many of us do not like what this means ... less sleep! As we all know, sleep is very important to our health. Studies show that people who continually get less than seven hours of sleep per night have increased health risks, such as obesity, heart disease, cancer, and depression, just to name a few. Studies also show that if you go into daylight saving time already sleep deprived your performance and emotional well-being can suffer. In a 2014 study at the University of California at Berkeley, researchers found that even a slight loss of sleep (40 minutes) can wreak havoc on our work productivity and relationships. One estimate says Daylight Savings Time costs the economy $433,982,548.00 due to decreased productivity. Traffic accidents and work related accidents also increase for up to a week after the clocks change.


Daylight Savings Time effects many of us. Here are five ways to help combat this change. 


1.     Eat dinner early and get your body ready for bed earlier.

2.     Avoid screen time on phones, iPads, TVs, etc. before bed.

3.     If you’re unlikely to go to bed early Saturday night, take a nap during the day to make sure your body is getting adequate rest.

4.     If your schedule allows, sleep in a little later on Sunday and then ease into the change.

5.     Keep hydrated and eat healthy to help decrease the effects that less sleep have on your body.







Employee Appreciation Day - More than a Pat on the Back

by Nicole Spagnola



National Employee Appreciation Day 

observed annually on the first Friday in March


Employees are the backbone of any business; the grease in gears; the transmission in your car- without them, progression is impossible.  Now, I know we don’t go around rewarding our transmission, but plain and simple, it’s not a human, but your employees are!  Recognition and appreciation are one of the top motivational factors in the workplace.  We’re not kids anymore, so a 100% stamp on an assignment isn’t going to happen.  So how can employers regularly express their gratitude for employees’ job well done?


Gratitude in the workplace can be expressed in a variety of ways.  Here are some to consider or even spark some ideas of your own:


Occasional Rewards:

Celebration – if the team pulled together to accomplish something significant, reward them with an office pizza party.

Early Dismissal – if extra hours and effort were spent to move the team forward, reward them with an early dismissal.

It’s On You – superior effort is worth acknowledging and rewarding.  A good way to reward an exceptional performance is with the universal gift – a gift card!


Frequent Rewards:

Flexibility – the philosophy “give a little to get a little” is an easy way to recognize employees’ value.

Good Gossip – make a point of publicly discussing an employee’s great work.

Treat Them – a little goes a long way and believe it or not, a yummy treat for your employees as a thank you will be well appreciated.


Good employees are hard to find!  Hiring and training new employees is a timely and costly process.  Retaining your valued employees should be one of your top priorities and is just as important as any other fundamental responsibility of your business.  Today’s a day to reflect and create a workplace of gratitude and encouragement. 




Double Trouble: The Biathlon

by Rouso Group

Double Trouble: The Biathlon 

Combines the endurance of cross country skiing with the expertise of rifle shooting




Have you ever wondered how some of the winter Olympics sports came to be? I was watching the biathlon the other day wondering this exact thing. The Biathlon is a winter Olympic sport that combines cross country skiing with rifle shooting. Participants race around a cross country trail and there will be two to four shooting rounds, half in the prone position and half in the standing position. For each shooting round, the participant must hit five targets and they receive a penalty for each missed shot. The penalty varies depending on the specific competition and is either added distance or time penalties. The person with the shortest time wins.   

How did this interesting sport begin? Its roots began in Scandinavia where early inhabitants hunted on skis through the snow-covered forests with rifles slung over their shoulders. Nowadays a similar activity to the sport is used as an alternative training method for the Norwegian military. It’s not uncommon for professional biathletes to list their second profession as soldier or border guard. Cross Country skiing requires endurance, strength, speed and skill. One comparison to what it feels like to compete in a biathlon is like running up 10 flights of stairs and then trying to thread a needle.

One interesting fact about the biathlon is that it is a sport that has one of the greatest varieties of Olympic winners from different countries. It is not dominated by one or two countries like some sports. That makes it interesting and fun to watch because so many countries have the possibility to win on any given day. Biathletes can also be competitive into their 40s unlike many sports where athletes fizzle out long before then.

Typically, Americans have not been good on a world level at this event. It’s the only Olympic sport where an American has yet to medal. Biathlete Lowell Bailey has competed at three Olympics games and was America’s best possibility but unfortunately it didn’t work out for the 2018 games. In many parts of the world, biathletes are a big deal and extremely popular. In America this is not the case, due to a lack of funding for the sport and the fact that half our country doesn’t get snow in the winter.

One official training center for many winter sports, including the biathlon, is the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, N.Y., which opened in 1982 and previously hosted the 1932 and 1980 Olympic Winter Games. There are also many other training centers in the United States dedicated to educating, promoting and expanding the participation of the biathlon. Hopefully by the next winter games in 2022, we can start seeing some American medals for the biathlon!

If you’d like to experience what it feels like to be a biathlete, you can get a complete Olympic experience at Soldier Hollow Nordic Center in Midway, Utah. You can sign up as a group or as an individual. Click here for packages and instructions.

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