Just A Chi Town Girl’s Last(ish) Minute Gift Guide

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2015 Holiday Gifts

For those on your list that didn’t specifically ask for a robe (again), Christmas shopping can end up snowballing (holiday pun intended) into an ordeal. Here are a few things that are on my gift go-to list that I think are great for everyone from your sister to her boyfriend that you have never met to the co-worker who you know is getting you something so you should probably have something wrapped and ready to go.

Cooking Like a Master Chef: Chef Graham Elliot has won Michelin Stars, cooking shows (any heard of a little thing called Master Chef?), James Beard nominations all while running 2 very successful Chicago restaurants and now he has another winner on his hands- his new and first ever cookbook. It’s equal parts inspiring and accessible which means this is something your pro-in-the-kitchen dad will eat up as well as your roommate who is hoping to make something other than ramen in the new year. Our holiday menu is filled with recipes from this cookbook!

KeySmart: I know, I know- getting someone a key chain for Christmas sounds lame but I have been using my KeySmart for 6 months and I love it. Fishing in my bag for a jingle of keys that resembled that of a janitor was annoying so when I saw a co-worker with this neat stack of keys that fit cleanly in his pocket, I ordered one immediately. With the extensions, up to 20 keys can fit in there and it will hands down be the most useful thing under the tree this year.

Duke Cannon Soap: It’s pithy, honest, American and doesn’t give a f*ck. Did I mention its soap? With product names “Big Ass Bar of Soap” that “smells like victory/productivity/accomplishment”, this men’s skin care company is for dude’s dudes. Aaand  I am going say women who like dude’s dudes too because I most certainly bought 2 bars, one for my dad and one for my husband, and while my dad did get his I definitely took ownership of the one in our house because it smelled so damn good. And who doesn’t want to start the day smelling like victory?

NARS Gipsy Lipstick:  My best friend always gifts me the best beauty products. I mentioned this to her on my birthday this year and she said that she loves giving people something they can love, use up and then not have it laying around the house. I think she is on to something. This sheer red lipstick is my daily go-to and the perfect new color to play with after you change out of your Christmas jammies.

Club W: The gift that keeps giving, Club W is a wine club that allows the recipient to select what wine arrives each month. With videos of sommeliers discussing the bottles available via their sleek app, there’s no surprise when a shipment arrives and it’s a really great way to try new varietals you’ve never heard of. Winter is coming (in theory)- the people on your Christmas list might as well be well prepared, right?

Just a Chi Town Girl Gift Guide

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There are 13 days until Christmas which means there’s still plenty of time to finish my holiday shopping and I should probably make a list and start to check it twice. Here are a few of my favorite things in case your lists have a little room to grow.


Nike Sneaker Boot: I call mine my “Shoots” (aka shoe-boots) but these are perfect for going on winter walks in the city, when you’re heading out to run an errand…basically, anytime when it’s not snowy enough to need your massive snow boots. They’re really warm, water resistant and fit like tennis shoes.

David’s Tea: Any tea lover or even tea liker would love David’s Tea. A starter kit includes a perfect mug w/ diffuser and their top 3 teas. Forever Nuts is my favorite and tastes like apple pie.


Tastes of Chicago: Such a fun way to share a bit of our fair city, sending Lou Malnati’s deep dish with other Chicago classics is one of our go-to gifts.


Aveda Energy Composition Oil: I keep this in my bag for after yoga, to perk up after long flights and to soothe dry skin. Especially relevant now that we’ve hit the freezing cold, dry air season of the year.


Restoration Hardware Wine Bags: dress up that bottle of holiday cheer you’re bringing as a hostess gift to the party this weekend or for that co-worker you love. On sale for $8!


Map Necklace: a teeny diamond marks the spot of a special location.


And if you’re really struggling for ideas, booze. I got home last night to find this at our door and now I am convinced that I have the best neighbors ever. You can’t go wrong with gifting someone a bottle of good champagne, liquor they love (whiskey and scotch is always welcome in our house) or if they’re a beer lover, we’re loving Breckinridge Brewery Christmas Ale.