Featured Stories

Townhouse Books and Café in St. Charles, IL – A review by SAGA*

Saga Seeds – that inspired our group name are those scarlet, glossy, heart-shaped beads that are unique to certain parts of Southeast Asia. They symbolize love in that region and literally mean, “longing peas”. We long for unique gastronomical experiences and plan to share them with the readers about four to six times a year. SAGA also happens to be the initials of the members of this group.


Townhouse Books and Café is a hidden gem in St. Charles- about 35 minutes drive from 95th street in Naperville. We decided to have lunch there a few weeks ago and are sharing our review.

Townhouse café and bookstore is housed in a Victorian building on a tree-lined street, on the east bank of the Fox River. It was built in early 1970s when a leisurely lunch accompanied by animated conversations about literature and politics was the norm.

Before heading out for the lunch, we decided to take a walk in the scenic surrounding area of  Pottawatomie Park.  We enjoyed a 40-minute stroll along the Fox River, shared a few private jokes, called out to strangers to get a picture clicked. Well what can you say- girls will be just girls!

The car parking is right along the river and from there it is a quick 2-3 minute walk to the café so you only park once for the walk and lunch. But trip to the car was several times, because either one of us forgot our shades, or left the purse in the car- you know it right? Girls being girls!


There was a 10-minute wait at the café that is typical and allows you to browse at the bookstore.

There is something magical about bookstore-cafes. The aroma of books and food together creates a very inviting space.

It is easily one of the best bookstores we have been to. Various sections/genres are separated into small rooms in a never ending maze. While we were waiting we walked through the maze, discussing the many authors on display. If you have kids, a trip just for the kids is a must. The kids section has rugs on the floor, tiny stepping stools to sit or to get  the book from the top shelf and books-lots of them. Most kids will find the books they love and our prediction is- spend endless hours on the rug reading.

The wait was worth it as we got a spacious round table by the window that overlooks the back porch. The menu at Townhouse Books and Café is a bit limited but the quality and freshness of the ingredients and the lively atmosphere makes the visit well worth it.

The walls are adorned with various authors, which add to the history of the place. The place itself was packed, people of all ages engrossed in quality conversation. Sound of forks and knives and just words.
S ordered a Florentine Melt Sandwich on Pumpernickel bread and savored the Spicy Dijon.
A ordered a Hummus Melt on whole wheat bread with Kalamata Olives and Avocado
G ordered an Apricot Chicken Salad Sandwich with dried apricots and rosemary
A ordered a Townhouse Signature Salad with roasted Pecans and a homemade buttermilk dressing.

Of course we tried each other’s food- that’s the best part of girls’ outings. And everything was made just right.
We finished up with a homemade peach caramel bread pudding that lingered on our tongue on the drive back.We plan to make the peach bread pudding very soon.


The cost of the meal per person  was $10 plus change.


Plan a walk by the fox river and al fresco lunch at the Townhouse Books and Café soon.


Questions and queries – email us – [email protected]


Address: 105 N 2nd Ave, St Charles, IL 60174






Why is Keystone Pipeline disputed?


Keystone pipeline is a designed pipeline of 1,179-mile (1,897km) that would carry 830,000 barrels of oil from the oil sands of Alberta, Canada, to Nebraska. In Nebraska the pipeline would join an existing pipeline.


The pipeline will be privately financed by oil companies in Canada ( TransCanada) and other oil shippers. The go ahead to the project which President Trump signed will grossly reduce North America’s dependence for oil on Gulf countries.


President Obama had not approved the project following the reports of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Critics of the project argue that Keystone pipeline will exacerbate the environment. Oil spillage is one of the main concerns. The EPA argues that the gas emissions from development and use of oil sands crude is about 17% greater than emissions from average crude oil.


President Trump believes that construction of pipeline will create construction jobs. He says that pipes will be built in the US and lot of steel workers will be back to work.

“The story of the Keystone XL pipeline is the story of how we built the grassroots climate movement in this country,” said Joelle Novey, the director of Interfaith Power and Light, a religious advocacy group that supports climate action. Novey showed up to the White House protest on Tuesday night; she said it was only the most recent of countless protests she attended against Keystone. “It’s a symbol,” she told me, “which is probably partly why Trump went for it on his fourth day.”


Power of Choice- Help when you need the most

I belong to a culture that values family values, education and a conservative outlook towards life. That’s what I thought before. Now having lived in Naperville for almost a decade, I have changed my opinion.

Few years ago, a teen from Waubansee Valley High School was caught in a compromising act, that kid was an Indian girl.

A teen from Neuqua Valley last year was found with drugs on him, he was an Indian kid.

A teen from Metea Valley school was suspended from school for possessing drugs. He was an Indian kid.

In all the social parties that I attend ( mostly just with Indians) there is free flowing alcohol. Sometimes, the kids who are still not at the drinking age are rumored to drink surreptitiously.

Point of this narrative: We are now a part and fabric of the  society here. Apart from adopting the good things of the local society, unfortunately we also take on the vices of the society. Our children belong here. Things with kids do go wrong sometimes. They can fall into a bad company and addiction. I pray it doesn’t happen to you or anyone reading this, but if unfortunately it does, then there is a local organization that can help.

360 Youth Services has been committed to substance use prevention education, counseling and providing housing for homeless youth and young adults.

Out of the three programs 360 Youth Services support I will talk about Power of Choice program today.

360 Youth Services coordinates this highly effective and proven drug and alcohol abuse prevention campaign for students in school districts 203 & 204 and their parents. The Power of Choice initiative focuses on correcting miconceptions about the prevalence of substance use and emphasizes that most students are making healthy choices regarding tobacco, alcohol and drugs. It utilizes classroom presentations, posters, journals located in school bathroom stalls, and many types of media and communication tools.

Ultimately, the high school based program acknowledges that when a community consistently supports its students’ healthy choices, the number of kids making good decisions about substance use actually increases.

The Power of Choice also includes a junior high/middle school communications campaign for district 203 & 204 students and their parents. This campaign increases knowledge around risk and harm associated with alcohol, tobacco and other drug use.

Parents of High School Students:

Positive Ways to Cope

Many teens report feeling overwhelmed. Students stress during the school year has been reported at levels higher than those experienced by adults. Check out this month’s Power of Choice newsletter for tips on how to help your teen cope.


Parents of Middle School Students:

We are not alone…and that’s a good thing!

Studies show that a feeling of connection to family builds resilience. When we have connection to those who care about us, we find strength to face life’s challenges. What can we do to connect with our adolescents even when it seems like they don’t want to connect with us? This month’s newsletter provides some tips!


Our Family Story

Family history helps to create our story and connects us.  Understanding that history helps adolescents as they begin to understand who they are and how they fit into the world.  Use this PowerTalk activity to create your family’s story.