Apparently, it was not easy to hunt down, because Chicago's very own Oprah decided to make it one of her "favorite things" this year.
Let's not let Oprah have all the fun... Here are some of my favorite things this holiday season:
Terry's Toffee-- made right here in Chicago. Fancy-pants toffee-- the very same that is found in the Academy Awards gift baskets each year-- in incredible flavors. My favorites are the Cran-Orange and the Chai-cago Spice. Their biscotti is also life-changing.
If you're ever in town, stop by their flagship store to try samples of their confections. If you're lucky, Terry himself will be there-- such a sweet guy (both literally and figuratively!)
The Spice House is another favorite place of mine. Every day, they blend spices on the premises, fresh. You can choose from hundreds of spices and mixes... and they have six (count 'em-- SIX) different types of cinnamon!
I'm pretty sure this is the one place on earth where my love can be bought. If you only try one thing, though, make it the Old Town Sugar Blend-- perfect in your morning coffee!
Beautiful letterpress stationery makes my heart go pitter-patter, too. I love Paper+Cup designs-- they make really darling fill-in-the-blank invitations and emergency cards. I have some of these sitting on my desk at home, waiting to be sent out for my birthday:
One thing I never leave home without is my SPI belt. It collapses and folds up nicely, but unfolds and expands to hold all your necessities while on the go. I usually stash my cell phone, iPod, ID, cash, and keys in it when I run-- it doesn't budge!
My last obsession is something that my dear friend Kay gave me for the holidays: A Corkcicle.
You pop it in the freezer, then put it in your wine bottle to chill and cork it. Perfect, since I always forget to put the bottle back in the fridge and end up with a second glass of warm wine. (Yes, second glass-- don't judge!)
Do yourself a solid-- buy someone one of these lovely items and buy yourself some love!