Top 5 #ShopSmallSaturday Places

Gotta be honest, Black Friday has never been our thing.  We appreciate experiences, like a rock climbing class or cooking night, or those one of kind items that no one has.  Tickle Me Elmo can keep his hands to himself…we have better gifts to choose from.  This Saturday, let’s support our neighborhood businesses that we love and give our fam and friends something to brag about.  Here’s 5 places we frequent in the Chicagoland area as well as some bonus best neighborhood tips to Shop Small.

For your vintage modern clothes lover: Jayne Boutique – Forest Park

One of Kate’s favorite gifts from Monica originated at Jayne Boutique, a soft fleecy reindeer neck scarf-now lost and mourned often.  Jayne Boutique satisfies your desire for quaint dresses, lined holiday leggings (tasteful of course) as well as organic body products, one of a kind home goods and shoes.

For Kid’s Gifts: Cat and Mouse Games -West Loop, Chicago

When’s the last time you sat down and played a board game?  Beware: these things can be addicting and make you spend face time with your loved ones.  Cat and Mouse Games has a wide selection of board games, toys and children’s books.  Try out Settlers of Catan if you dare.

For that crazy friend you love through thick and thin: Paper Doll – Wicker Park, Chicago

Yes, a unique gift shop with an adorable fuzzy pug that hangs out with you as you shop!  Paper Doll is the place to be.  If you’re looking for a quirky touch of obscenities on a birthday card or hand made goodies, your choices are sure to surprise and delight.

For your coffee fanatic: Bowtruss (6 Chicago locations currently)

Your java lover will freak with the gift of a coffee roasting class or coffee subscription to this ever expanding micro-roaster.

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For your hipster sister: Wolf Bait & B-Girls – Logan Square

Wolf Bait & B-Girls delivers your desires for up cycled earrings, and has the best reasons for why you should shop local!

 

If none of these meet your shop small needs, check out these best neighborhoods to shop small (in no particular order).  With dozens of local clothing stores, gift shops, food and drink options, you are sure to find your local love.

  1. Logan Square
  2. Pilsen
  3. Hyde Park

Where’s your top pick to shop small?

A Holly Jolly Holiday Gift Guide

A Chi Organic Girls Holiday Gift Guide

Is it just us or did the holiday season creep up on us like those giant spiders in the new Hobbit movie?  We’ve been feeling the adrenaline of the season, hitting the streets in our snow boots and clicking away with our mouses in a fury of gift giving.  OMGS Christmas is only 4 days a way!  The biggest dilemma we’ve been facing: How to find that one of a kind perfect gift for the foodie, fit fanatic or Chicago adventurer.  Holiday gift guide to the rescue!!

Do you have an artist in your life?  How about Grizzclay by Chuck Borchers, a Deaf artist who has been experimenting with clay for several years now at Lillstreet Art Center.  These one-of-a-kind bowls can make a great centerpiece for a new home or a fancy fruit bowl to liven up a blah kitchen.

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Grizzclay by Chuck Borchers

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Grizzclay by Chuck Borchers

Something for your highly caffeinated friends?  We recommend Bowtruss Coffee Roasters, located in River North and Lakeview.  One of Chicago’s bustling micro-roasters, their bean blends offer complex flavor profiles like cherry or apple undertones.  Read more about our experience at Bowtruss here.

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For foodies, check out recommendations of Chicago food experts (including ours) in the Chicago Food Bloggers Holiday Gift Guide.  For example, We love Vosges Haut-Chocolat, with boutiques located in downtown, Lincoln Park and of all places, O’Hare Airport.  Pick up a custom box of regional truffles (think Mexican coco dusted in chili) or an exotic chocolate bar, like the newly released Coconut Ash and Banana Dark chocolate bar.  For your veggie and vegan peeps, try Chicago Diner with a gift card for a tasty “I can’t believe it’s vegan” shake or have your friends rep their veg style with a Chicago Diner t-shirt.  Click here for more food gift ideas.

Fit Fanatics: For a yoga lover or to help someone get off their asana (haha) and get fit, gift them one week of unlimited classes at  Zen Yoga Garage (plus first-timers automatically get one week free pass with a coupon).  Learn more about this 2013 new hotspot here.

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Zen Yoga Garage

And for a more one-on-one fitness focus, how about some serious calorie crushing sessions with our fave certified personal trainer, Sabri Xhaferi, NASM CPT.  Sabri offers nutritional counseling, myofascial (muscular relaxation) techniques, and one-on-one highly individualized personal training with flexible payment arrangements.  Email sabriCPT@gmail.com and find more background info here.  You can also grab some healthy tips on his Facebook page.

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Sabri Xhaferi, CPT
Photo courtesy Ela Miszczyszyn

Oh and for fun fun fun person in your life: The Chicago donut scene has been rolling (like a rolling pin, get it?) this year.  For the fun chasing type, how about tickets to the first ever batter-y, deep-fried Donut Fest in Chicago on Jan 26th!  Tickets are on sale Monday, Dec 23rd at noon.  For more info  http://donutfest.com

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Glazed & Infused Donuts and Firecakes Donuts

Whew!  It’s time to break our the tape, scissors, and wrapping paper and get these gifts in the sleigh!

What are your recs for Chicago’s best gifts?  Where do you eat, sweat and play?