BJJ Is About Community

Get out of your comfort zone and learn the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, a martial art and self defense system that is both effective and efficient.


At first glance, BJJ seems intimidating since it’s a combat sport.  On the other hand, the community and resilience you will gain from mastering the art is a gratifying feeling. The amount of support a student can receive from the instructors will empower you to become a stronger athlete.  

Ilya’s BJJ provides a safe fitness training to individuals and groups interested in improving their overall fitness and health. Instructor and owner, Ilya Bodnya, who has a black belt, will guide you by breaking down the moves and avoiding common mistakes to progress quickly.

What separates Jiu-Jitsu apart from all other martial arts is the use of the guard. This unique attack position and system keeps your opponent trapped and always in danger of the submission. You will learn BJJ submission techniques like joint locks and chokes, as well as the ability to escape from dangerous uncomfortable positions. Students will learn all these skills in sequence for best results.

If you’re intrigued to test out your skills at BJJ, Ilya welcomes you to give it a whirl! Anyone is invited to discover jiu-jitsu and no experience is needed. And remember…your first class is FREE!

Adult Classes Tues 6pm-7pm Wed 6pm-7pm Thurs 6pm-7pm Sat 1030am-1130am

Kids Classes (Ages 6-13) Tues 5pm-545pm Thurs 5pm-545pm

Women’s Only Classes Tues 730pm-830pm Thurs 730pm-830pm

Ilya’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is located at 2068 First St. Highland Park. IL. For more information, please visit or call (847) 943-9611.


Downtown Highland Park, an upscale outdoor shopping destination with over 100 shops and 40+ restaurants, is expanding its flair for fashion with the addition of five new stores in town.

Here’s the list:

Alchemy & Cloth – 1854 First Street. A European-inspired fashion boutique with an edgy style. In addition to apparel and accessories, styling services include closet editing, wardrobe restyling, and personal shopping. Owner Carla Levi found her niche in fashion merchandising for Jolie Femme, an avant-garde style boutique in Winnetka. Levi believes fashion is “not about boundaries, rules, or a need for validation; it’s about confidence, self-expression and the desire to curate a style that is uniquely yours.”  Furthermore, “fashion is powerful in that it allows you to be self-expressive without uttering a word.”

Vintage Bliss & Co. – 1822 Second Street. Boutique for artisan jewelry, apparel, handcrafted soaps and more. After opening Queen Bee Artisan Market, an artisanal market in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, owner Nancy Gissendaner decided to land a second location in downtown Highland Park. According to Nancy, “Vintage Bliss is a jewelry studio, as well as home to artisan-made clothes and gifts that are new, yet vintage-inspired.”  Vintage Bliss will host a Girls Night Out and Grand Opening Celebration on Thursday, September 7th from 5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Raffles, refreshments and giveaways for all who attend (including a free charm from the charm bar). Enjoy 10% off anything purchased and a portion of all sales will go to the Northern Suburban Special Recreation Association (NSSRA). Beelow’s NorthShore is offering a 25% discount to all those attending the Girls Night Out event.

Sanctuary by Vintage Nest – 458 Central Avenue. Specializing in time-worn furniture, vintage home decor and women’s accessories and clothing. This is Vintage Nest’s second location, with their first located in The Glen. Express your inner desire to get creative and shop for farmhouse, architectural and industrial-inspired designs. “Our collection of plush velvet pumpkins and fall accessories are the perfect items for decorating your home in the upcoming season,” said owner Mindy.

The WEARhouse – 1833 Second Street. Men’s & Women’s athleisure wear. Grand Opening October 2, 2017. Authentic Kit & Ace merchandise on sale for up to 50% off. Don’t miss this opportunity! Open Thursday – Sunday, 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Final Sale – 1883 Second Street. A designer sample store operated by the Marcus Lemonis Fashion Group. Search extensive racks for the best deals in town on jeans, women’s and men’s apparel, and accessories. Premium brands of jeans include 1961, FRAME, Joe Jeans, McGuire, AG, Paige, and J Brand.



Soul2Sole Dance’s You & Me classes are an exciting opportunity for young children to explore and learn about the wonderful world of ballet.  Combining creative movement with beginning ballet moves and terms, dancers pretend to be their favorite princesses.  As a princess, your child is learning coordination, muscle development and musicality. Along with movement, this class is a great beginning to socialization and listening skills — gaining trust in a new teacher while being supported by a caregiver just one hug away!

Taught by Ellen Isaacson, a highly qualified dance instructor, the You & Me classes are designed for children 18 months – 2.5 years old. All You and Me, Preschool and Kindergarten classes are based on creative movement so that your child’s introduction to dance is cheerful and fun. Children learn proper studio etiquette and behavior, while never losing sight of the joy and fun of dancing. brings. Classes are limited in size, however, a waiting list is available for any class currently filled.

Class schedule:

Monday 9:45-10:30

Tuesday 10:00-10:45

Wednesday 10:45-11:30

Thursday *9:00 am class upon request if there’s interest.

Friday 9:45-10:30 (*Class FULL*)

Friday *10:45 am class upon request if there’s interest.

For more info & to register, go to


Pulling Down the Moon is a unique place of community and holistic healing for women and couples trying to conceive a child. Since 2002, PDTM has been providing integrative care for women’s health, including fertility, pregnancy, hormone imbalances, postpartum, menopause, and family wellness. PDTM is an expert in aiding women in all stages of life through mind, body, and spirit.

As a woman-owned business, PDTM and its holistic practitioners specialize in fertility and have been trained by medical infertility specialists to help them blend their specialties in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), acupuncture, and fertility yoga seamlessly with your medical fertility treatment.  Whether you are trying naturally or through fertility treatment, the practitioners can help maximize your efforts and aid you throughout your entire pregnancy. Their Yoga for Fertility is a clinically proven program that is not available anywhere else. PDTM also offers Mei Zen facial acupuncture as a unique treatment, only available at the downtown Highland Park office.

The comprehensive treatment plans are customized to your specific needs.  Individuals who are seeking to conceive without medical intervention will find our practitioners knowledgeable and supportive of whatever path they may choose.  Best of all is their welcoming tea room, a place of support and comfort where you’ll see that you are not alone on this journey.

If you’re curious about how yoga can support fertility, join the FREE Yoga for Fertility Community Class this Sunday, August 27th from 2-3:30 p.m. This class is open to friends or family members who are interested in how fertility affects the body and mind. All levels are welcome. Breathe, stretch, and relax!

For the month of August, PDTM is offering 20% off their books, The Infertility Cleanse and Fully Fertile for the month of August. Use promo Code: BOOKS20 at

Pulling Down the Moon is located at 1770 1st St. Suite 400 in downtown Highland Park. For more information, please call 312-321-0004 or visit



Need to book reservations for an upcoming date night, private event, or just a girls night out on the town? Look no further than Beelow’s NorthShore. Their newly renovated outdoor patio space is a must-see in downtown Highland Park!

Located at 1850 Second Street in the Renaissance Place, Beelow’s has an elegant atmosphere with large windows, a dining area that sits approximately 160, a private party room, and their newly renovated outdoor patio has a retractable roof, heated floors, and a bar. (See video below).

All the beef served at Beelow’s comes straight from the family’s Mundelein farm. Owner Dan Beelow comes from a family that knows meat. The restaurant offers high-quality beef that is dry aged for 30 days.

The eatery (now serving lunch) has six different menus that will please anyone’s palate. Their extensive menu includes steak and seafood combos, large salads, burgers, pork chops, seafood, chicken, a children’s menu, in addition to vegetarian and gluten-free options.

Don’t forget about their happy hour…cocktails are half-priced from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily.  Also, with 30 craft beers on tap, you’re sure to find a drink that suits your mood.

Swing by Beelow’s NorthShore to enjoy their outdoor patio after a day of shopping in downtown HP. To make a reservation, please call 847-780-3300. Want special offers & exclusive events sent straight to your inbox? Go to


Freedom Home Care has been a key resource for North Shore families for years.  Allowing parents and grandparents to age gracefully in their homes, Freedom Home caregivers provide attentive support according to your family’s needs.

Experts in elder care, Freedom Home Care can help families navigate parents who may be resistant to assistance in their home.  Interested in learning more?  Join Freedom Home Care at the “Backyard Bash”!

The Senior Center back yard provides some of the best views in Highland Park. Overlooking beautiful Lake Michigan, it is the perfect spot to enjoy a fun-filled afternoon. Sit back and listen to live entertainment, enjoy a meal catered by a popular local restaurant, and play some games including bocce, baggo, & horseshoes. Relax at the new picnic tables, featuring seats with backs and umbrellas to provide shade. Early registration deadline: 1 (one) week in advance.

On July 28th, join us for lunch (Sunset’s Summer Salads) & enjoy a musical performance by Steve Carson – vocalist and keyboard player who plays popular music from the 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s!

The Backyard Bash will be Friday, July 28th at Noon – 1:30 PM at the Highland Park Senior Center.  Enjoy Sunset’s Summer Salads.  To learn more, click HERE

You may also call the Highland Park Senior Center at (847) 432-4110.


HP Tops has been the place to go in Highland Park for camp t-shirts, high school club apparel and more now for 40 years.  A true family-owned and operated business, the family spends their days creating unique items for families throughout the North Shore.

Located at 667 Central Avenue, HP Tops is housed in what was once Highland Park’s City Hall.  Generations of families have passed through these doors – first for city business and now for exclusive designs from HP Tops.  Though they offer an incredible range of complete design options, HP Tops will literally take anything and turn it into an image to emblazon your apparel – whether it’s t-shirts, tank tops, shorts, sweatpants, or sweatshirts.  Let your imagination run wild to conceive one-of-a-kind items (even if you need 25 of them for your lacrosse team!).

“From one family owned business to another, Ballet Makkai congratulates HP Tops on an amazing 40 years in business.  I loved HP Tops as a kid and I continue to love them for my business.  Their attention to detail and genuine care for the community they serve are a testament to Highland Park.  We are so lucky to have them – Happy 40th HP Tops!”, says Lilla Makkai Daniels of Ballet Makkai.

Personally, we at Downtown HP created t-shirts and magnets with them, while friends have designed sweatpants, sweatshirts and carry-all bags.  Stop in, say hello to one of our “Unique to HP” businesses; let your creativity flow and sit back while HP Tops images what you imagined!


Planning on attending Highland Park’s Independence Day Parade or the Grand Finale Bitter Jester Music Festival at Wolters Field? Add downtown Highland Park to your Fourth of July festivities! There’s plenty of parking, restaurants and retail stores open today. PLEASE NOTE: The parade starts at 10 a.m. at the intersection of Laurel and St. Johns Avenues and heads north on St. Johns Avenue, then turns west on Central Avenue and continues to Sunset Park.

Paper Source – Heading to the beach for the 4th? Paper Source has all of your summertime essentials. Shop the collection ==>

Ooh’lah Lash – Time to treat yourself this week!

Campus Colors – Shop the summer’s top tees, 5x NBA Champs shirts, authentic sports gear, or old school classics at Campus Colors.

Jayne – Open from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Michael’s Chicago-Style Red Hots –Celebrate the 4th of July weekend in style with 4 pairs of Michael’s festival shades. Available in every #Feastival box. Order yours today!

Ruby of Siam – Enjoy delicious Thai food on the 4th. Chicken satay and spring rolls are yummy choices!

Walker Brothers – Take 25% off Blueberry Pancakes during July! Locations will remain open until 3:30pm on July 4, 2017.

Arrivadolce – Open 8 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Coffee + Ice Cold Water + Treats!

The Perfect Blend – Park your bike and grab a bubble tea or gluten-free breakfast, lunch or dinner at The Perfect Blend. Free Wifi!

Photo courtesy of @missnewfoodies

Dairy Queen – Try the MISTY Slush, available in 5 fruity flavors! Only $1 for a small during Happy Hour, Monday-Friday from 2-5pm.

Potbelly – The frozen Raspberry Lemonade and all-new Turkey Club are always great choices.


Enjoy the many outdoor eating spots in Highland Park throughout the summer season.  Use this interactive map to find the perfect place to have a picnic lunch with family, a delicious light salad with your Mom, or cocktails in the evening with friends. For a full list of restaurants in Downtown Highland Park, click here.


SPYRL Charles Peanut Tillman

SPYRL is the latest fitness solution coming from New York City.  Utilizing a Gyrotonic pulley tower, pulleys and weights are used to improve fitness in three-dimensional planes.

On Tuesday, May 23rd from 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM, SPYRL is hosting their ribbon cutting ceremony.  Meet former Chicago Bear Charles “Peanut” Tillman, who is a dedicated SPYRL practitioner.  50% of new sign up fees, through June 2017, will be donated to benefit the Charles Tillman Cornerstone Foundation. This 50% of your initial package fee is tax deductible and you will receive a tax deduction letter.

Participating in Gyrotonic exercise helps the user to gain flexibility and agility, create balance, and strengthen the core.  Even more importantly, Gyrotonic exercise mobilizes the spine and helps to relieve back pain. Your lower back pressure will feel released and feel inches taller by practicing this natural style of movement.

One of the best benefits of Gyrotonic exercise is that it can be practiced by anyone.  Guided by an experienced instructor, athletes, weekend warriors, those just completing physical therapy, and seniors wishing to maintain mobility can all use the system.

Watch our latest YouTube video with Amy Pena, SPYRL™ Chicago’s Studio Director, as she discusses the benefits of the GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® Methods.

New Client Special: 3 private sessions for $210 (a $270 value). First class is free for new clients ($20 off).

Receive 1 free smoothie from True Juice with any private gyrotonic purchase OR 2 free smoothies with any package during the month of May. 


Therapeutic Kneads recently celebrated their 20th Anniversary with a large crowd of clients and friends.  As an experienced business owner, Sandy Saldano knew the right time to bring enhanced technology to her clients.  Sandy has an in-depth understanding of their needs, and was ready to respond.

“For 20 years, we have been educating our clients about the effects of long-term, chronic pain or stress and how massage therapy can provide relief.  In the world of franchised, volume-based massage businesses, we pride ourselves on more client time and less volume in a team-based atmosphere so that we can provide high quality services and customer care.  It’s a great feeling to know that by helping our community feel better, one body at a time, that we continue to grow as a company,”  says Saldano.

But why an app?  What does an app bring to clients?  “Time is such an important commodity for our clients, so we created an app that will put their ‘kneads’ first by simply clicking a button to schedule an appointment, update their account, or purchase a gift card.  Being innovative ensures the health and longevity of our clients lives, as well as ours.” stated Sandy.  Our favorite part of the app is the “Scratch and win” screen where you can win prizes from Therapeutic Kneads.

Clients loved the innovation that Therapeutic Kneads has brought to improve their experience.  Many experimented with the mobile app at the Anniversary party to get a feel for it before the app went live.  Like the Downtown Highland Park mobile app, the Therapeutic Kneads free mobile app is now available in both the Apple Store and Google Play.

Learn more at:


Mother’s Day is this Sunday. Let us help you find a one-of-a-kind gift she’ll love from our extensive deals list for  Downtown Highland Park. Treat mom to a mouthwatering brunch and take her to out to enjoy an afternoon tea or treat after your meal. If you’re crafty, make something special for her by hand with one of our workshops in town. Celebrate the most important women in your life, whether it be grandma, a new mom, sister, or aunt with a thoughtful gift they’ll treasure forever!


  • Uncle Dan’s – Uncle Dan’s Mother’s Day Gift Guide is here! Thank mom with gifts she’ll love from her favorite outdoor brands including Patagonia, Arc’teryx, PrAna, Lole and Hydro Flask.

  • Love That SpiceWellness Teas deliver a powerful antioxidant punch to provide wonderful benefits for health and wellness. Take $10.00 off any loose leaf tea order over $25.00 – USE DISCOUNT CODE: ilovemom2017. Offer applies online only. Expires May 10, 2017.
  • Floral Garden – Choose from the freshest flowers, the greatest selection and same-day delivery! Don’t be late this Mother’s Day, order her flowers today: (847)432-3420.
  • Florals by Mary Celeste – We are getting in fresh Orchid Plants just for your gift giving. Orchids, flowering plants, green plants, succulents, plants and cuts. The freshest and most beautiful cut flowers available. Place your orders now, so we can make sure you receive the best of everything: 847 780-4787.

  • Trunk Club (Tuesday, May 9 from 3-6 p.m.) – Treat Yourself for a pre-Mother’s Day celebration at the Highland Park Clubhouse. Come by for complimentary champagne (along with strawberries and chocolate), mini massages, and make-up tutorials while a Trunk Club stylist helps you plan your spring wardrobe.
  • Enaz – Great gift ideas under $100. As always, complimentary gift wrapping! Find something unique for mom at one of the jewelry trunk shows at Enaz.
    • May 11: Shoshanna Lee
    • May 12: Designed by Denise
    • May 13: Be Loved
  • Soulshine Shopping Party (May 11, 6-9 p.m.) – A percentage of all sales will be donated to the Alexa Weiss Brain Tumor Foundation. Come raise money for a good cause while shopping for amazing gifts for your mom, wife, sister and daughter. Show all of the moms in your life you appreciate all they do for us!

  • E Street Denim – Pick mom a special gift like cozy pajamas from PJ Salvage or lotions from Tokyo Milk. There are lots of new styles to see at the Mother’s Day Weekend Trunk Shows featuring Laurie Berg Designs on Friday, May 12 and Saturday, May 13, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. and the Rachel Rose Jewelry Trunk Show on Saturday, May 13, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Over the Top – Find beautiful clothing for the beautiful woman in your life at the Annie Turbin Trunk Show, Tuesday 5/9 – Friday 5/12. Special Appearance by Annie Turbin Thursday 5/11 – Friday 5/12. Hours: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Cos Bar
    • (May 8-12) Reserve a facial for Mom (a $50 gift card is required for a reservation. Gifts with qualifying purchases).
    • (May 14) Mimosas & Makeup with mom. Stop by to celebrate your first and best role model.
    • (Through May 14) Spend $70, or more in Rituals and receive an Ancient Beauty Gift Set. While supplies last. Receive complimentary gift wrap and Makeup Application Certificate with any fragrance purchase.

  • Style Shack – Treat mom to a special gift from brands like Sugarfina, Katie Loxton, and Kris Nations.
  • Cy Fredrics – May Madness Sale. Take 20-50% off all jewelry through May 31st.
  • Adesso – The perfect place for phones, cards, and everything else for Mom! Come visit us at our new location at 1813 St. Johns Avenue.
  • Riche Organics – Pick up a MOM goat milk and manuka honey soap in sunflower scent. Limited edition item. A great handcrafted, organic, and cruelty-free gift!

  • Ami AmiFind the perfect gift for Mom and treat yourself too! Buy one item and receive the second item at 25% off!* Offer valid now through Saturday.  *Discount taken on the lesser priced item. No adjustments on prior sales. All sales final.
  • Posh Essentials – A special boutique owned by women, for women. Save 20% on loungewear, yogawear, fragrances, and much more this Mother’s Day and find her something special!
  • Garfinkle’s Fine Jewelry – Take 20% off and more…* Exceptions Apply! Ends May 31st. Fabulous Évocateur Jewelry cuffs make a great gift for mom.

  • re:HOME/re:LOOKa small business owned by two local moms, we’re offering 15% off until Mother’s Day when you mention Downtown HP!


  • Beelow’s NorthShoreWhen it comes to Mom, it’s never too early to start planning a special celebration! Serving brunch from 11am – 2:30pm, reservations suggested. Nosh on prime rib, smoked ham, crab legs, chicken, salmon, tilapia, biscuits and gravy, eggs benedict, omelettes, pancakes, waffles, fresh fruit, salads, homemade desserts, and more. For the full menu and prices, click here

  • Bella Via – Celebrate mom with brunch or dinner at Bella Via. Brunch is served from 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. and dinner is from 4:30 p.m. – 10 p.m. on Sunday, May 14. Receive a complimentary mimosa during brunch! Call to make a reservation at 847-681-8300.

  • Real Urban BBQCelebrate Mom with a delicious meal from RUB – and the best part of all, on Mother’s Day all kids 12 and under eat FREE!* Gift cards are a great way to say thanks to all the moms in your life, too! Pick one up in our stores or online.

  • Goodies, Etc. – Sprinkled with ❤️ love for MOM/MOTHERS! Custom chocolate covered pretzels make for a yummy gift.


  • Ladies Night Out (May 11, 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.) – Head over to the Renaissance Place for a fun-filled Ladies Night Out and find something special for Mother’s Day. Get pampered with mini treatments, sip while you shop amazing discounts, and end the night with ½ priced cocktails. You can be a lucky winner…sign up for a raffle at every participating location!

  • Storybook Mom at WeOrbit (May 12, 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.) – Ms. Yelin captivates children and parents alike with her full performance of the written word, even though the words are few, rhyming, interactive, and surrounded by pictures.  FREE with General Admission.

  • Highland Park Library: Mother’s Day Crafts (Saturday, May 13, All Day) – Stop by the Youth Services Department to make a card for your favorite mother figure! Just in time to celebrate Mother’s Day. We’ll have all the supplies you need to create your own handmade card.
  • Paper Source: Personal Stationery Workshop (May 11, 6:00 p.m – 8:00 p.m.) – Join us to create handmade personal stationery. We will provide all the materials (including a custom printed monogram) for you to paint, stamp, upcycle and collage your own unique designs. You will come away with 4 beautiful cards and a stationery folio.

  • 86 Hair Studio – Are you a Mom or do you know a Mom in need of some TLC? Enter the 86 Hair Studio contest for a chance to win a Full Hair ???????? and Makeup???? Makeover. We will pick two lucky ???? Moms and show the results before and after on our FB page.  Here’s how to enter:
    • *Send your current selfie ???? to our FB page or email it to [email protected]
    • *Like our FB page to find out the winner and see the results before and after. Entry deadline is May 13th!

  • Classic Kids Photography This Mother’s Day, give her the gift of memories with a mini photo shoot that gives back. Benefiting Lauren Smoke and Family & Lauren’s efforts to help new moms going through chemotherapy treatment. $50 minimum donation. Through May 14th.
  • Professional Nail Spa – Mother’s Day is just around the corner. Show her how much you love her by pampering her with lots of love at Professional Nail Spa!

  • CryoPure Spa – Treat your mother to a free cryopure facial with the purchase of any session or package. Call 847-881-6081. Valid through 5/14.
  • FreshSkin Medical Spa & Wellness Center – Are YOU a mom? Simply let us know what your FreshSkin wish list is, and tell your significant other to give us a ring or visit and we’ll handle the rest. Email your wish list to: [email protected]

  • Central BloBar – Make sure mom looks her best with a $20 blow out, free haircut with any color service, partial highlights w/ single process + haircut ($85), or a Brazilian blow out special for $180. *Cannot be combined with any other offers. Some restrictions apply.

  • Therapeutic Kneads – Keep calm and treat mom with the gift of a relaxing massage. Get a free enhancement with a gift card purchase of $100. Includes aromatherapy, hot stone, reflexology, herbal remedy oils, PureLight Hot Oil treatment & more. Give mom the TLC she deserves!