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?

My Email is Yelling At Me

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 I woke up this morning to 34 emails. My initial reaction was a bit of panic (omg what happened?!?) but it turns out that these weren’t work emails or notes from friends…it’s Cyber Monday so BUY! SALE! SHOP! NOW!

I felt it on (Black) Friday and now today: my email is yelling at me. 

Even after I deleted everything and did a lot of unsubscribing, I started my day with this nagging feeling that I should be doing something else. What was I forgetting?

Marketing, man- despite being annoyed at all of those emails, my subconscious was still going “You are missing out on once-a-season sales, you should be Christmas shopping! Now!” 

I even started compiling a gift guide to post on this blog of things we love to gift. Because everyone needs one more list with links and a reminder that you should be shopping NOW!

So instead I leave you with a picture of margaritas from a really fun dinner with friends this weekend and the Christmas tree lot that popped up right outside of Big Star. Because just like people over pie, on this Monday I am choosing to reset my subconscious to having visions of friends and tacos and naps and memories of connecting with the things that matter to me from a great Thanksgiving holiday dancing in my head instead of messages from retailers in my inbox. 

If we are being honest, I would rather send everyone tacos and margs for Christmas anyways. Does Big Star ship?

Happy Monday, Friends. I hope you had lovely weekends and Thanksgivings. xo


Excessive Christmas Cheer

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I refused to tell Ryan where I went shopping tonight because he is the worst with gifts- the second he knows they’re purchased, he wants to open them. “Fine.” he replied. “I’ll just call the stores and ask if you were there. Green hat, green eyes, humming Christmas carols under her breath, glitter and Christmas cheer shooting out from her pores- someone will have recognized you and tell me what you bought.”

So close, baby. So close.

While he is delusional that calling any retailer at any time will yield him a “Oh yes, her” result, he pretty much nailed the description of me tonight. Oak Street, Christmas lights, loaded up with bags, full moon rising over the lake…there is just nothing like Christmas in Chicago. So in love with my city, the holiday and my shopping is done. Falalalala….

Bloomingdales Shoe Relaunch

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Tonight was the launch party for Bloomingdales new shoe department. Drinking wine while trying on shoes = my kind of activity. The 3rd floor makeover looks beautiful, a much needed update…and of course tons and tons of shoes. The male models carrying trays with a single high heel on them was also a very nice touch- my fingers are crossed that they will be a permanent fixture…

Thanks for the invite, CS Magazine!