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?

The Queen of Side Eye and Style

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I’m late to a lot of trends (peplum? Am I too late for peplum?) but something I cannot believe I didn’t fall in love with immediately is Mad Men- if not for Betty Draper side-eye, for Betty Draper style. Whether she’s impressing her philandering husband’s colleagues, smoking and drinking (amongst other things) while pregnant, hosting the perfect dinner party, yelling at her kids to go play or shooting pigeons in the backyard, Betty is always perfectly coifed, wearing lipstick and gorgeously tailored, high-waisted everything. I finished Season 3 tonight and, thanks to Netflix, can’t wait for Season 4 to commence in about 2 seconds.



(Images via)

Ba-nanas- Brad Goreski at The 900 Shops

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As I mentioned last week, the Magnificent Mile Shopping Festival is on!

I am not a huge reality tv show person (how on earth did all these Real Housewives get invites to anything in this Festival?  Gross.) but I do love me some Rachel Zoe Project…and therefore, I love me some Brad Goreski!  The man’s got chutzpah, impeccable taste and will be gracing the Windy City with his presence on Thursday evening!  From 6-9pm, Fashion’s Night Out will take over the 900 Shops with a flash fashion show, speciality cocktails, fashion bazaar, bites from your fav Gold Coast restos and Brad Goreski, himself.

So. Freaking. Jazzed.

Click here for more on events this week.

Mile of Style c/o the Girls of Lincoln Park

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Attention Chicago ladies: the Magnificent Mile Shopping Festival is about to begin this Friday, August 26th. This two-week event includes celebrity appearances, designer meet-and-greets, as well as trunk shows, concerts, cooking demonstrations, discounts, and more.

The kick off is bright and early Friday morning with giveaways from stylist and fashion designer, Carson Kressley (former Bravo’s Queer Eye), at 401 N. Michigan. Other events to note: an appearance by Project Runway designer Mondo Guerra at Macy’s Water Tower (Friday, 8/26 at 5:30pm) and a Vosgos Haut-chocolat and cocktail tasting at Escada (Tuesday, 8/30 from 6-8:30pm). The festival will end on Fashion’s Night Out Thursday, 9/8. Get ready to get your shop on! – GOLP

(Reblogged via GirlsofLincolnPark.  These girls are my new go-to for style/design inspiration, inspiration inspiration and share my mad love for sweet home Chicago- what’s not to love about their darling blog?! )

Fashion vs. Style

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It’s often the case that what a woman reads makes her more attractive and more elegant than what she wears.”

Carine Roitfeld on instinct and elegance, in Spiegel

I’ve been giving much thought lately on what really evokes great style.  Not expensive bags or red-soled shoes or items from an “it-list” that someone else dictated to you but style.

Former editor-in-chief of French Vogue, Carine Roitfeld, hits the nail on the head in this interview, being candid and provocative in a way that only the French (and maybe Italians) can.  Even Carine’s words are stylish.  She’s made a mint telling people what fashion is but in this interview, we learn what we have always known: fashion is what you wear, style is who you are.

Worth a read.

(Side Note: this 90th Anniversary Edition of French Vogue was a birthday gift from my best friend that she picked up in Paris.  It now lives on my coffee table and I love it.)