Give your favorite Baldwin the book AS IF!: The Oral History of Clueless as told by Amy Heckerling and the Cast and Crew, by Jen Chaney ( $16.99 ). It's especially special since it's the 20th anniversary of one of the most quotable movies of the '90s.
Every time I pass by or enter Lake View's The Leigh Gallery ( TheLeighGallery.com ), I see another item that I wish I owned. Among some of the items currently at the gallery are Amy Hutto's acrylic work "Bighorn Sheep" ( $975 ), Austyn DeLugo's "North Halsted" ( $700 ) and Bary Reithmeier's digital work "Seasons" ( $1,400 ).
Don't go for second-best, baby! AlwaysFits.com has a Madonna makeup bag ( $29.99 ) with imagery from the singer's Rebel Heart tour on one side and the Blonde Ambition series on the other, courtesy of artist Kayci Wheatley.
The Gold standard
Who doesn't know that Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams ( MGBWHome.com ) is one of the premier home-furnishings companies throughout the country? Cool pillows, bedding and lightingthey're all there. However, did you know that there are limited-run game gift items like a modern ping-pong table and a dartboard?
Here are three acts in three different genres with three holiday albums. Tony winner and "Let It Go" singer Idina Menzel ( aka Adele Dazeem ) has Holiday Wishes, while seemingly omnipresent group Train has its first-ever holiday album, Christmas in Tahoe. Lastly, renowned opera star Placido Domingo belts classics like "Silent Night" on the album My Christmas, which features guests such as ... Idina Menzel! Life is so circular sometimes.
Skin is in
Black Lace Skin Jewelry ( BlackLaceSkinJewelry.com ) offers a new way to sparkle. The jewelry is gorgeous and comes in several varieties, including matte and metallic. Also, these tattoo-like applications are temporary ( and how many people have gotten tats they later regretted? ).
The write stuff
For those who believe communication is more than texting emojis, Dempsey & Carroll ( DempseyAndCarroll.com ) has a variety of intriguing items. Whether it's through wedding invitations, personalized stamps, love notes or even gift tags, this company ( which even has items through collaborations with people such as Colin Cowie and Isaac Mizrahi ) can add some style to practically any event.
Toast of all
The new KRUPS Control Line Breakfast Collection ( KrupsUSA.com ) helps your morning ( as well as that of your spouse, partner or overnight friend ) start well, featuring a filter coffee maker, electric kettle and two-slice toaster. The toaster features an extra-high lift and adjustable browning control while the electric kettle boasts a 1.7-liter capacity and button-activated flip-cover opening.
OrbitKey ( OrbitKey.com ) presents a stylish way to carry keysthink of it as Keychain 2.0. It looks cool, and even incorporates a locking mechanism to stop keys from becoming undone. There's even an optional USB drive to keep those urgent files near you.
Chicagoland's Graham Cracker Comics ( GrahamCrackers.com ) is one of the area's top stores for novices and for those who know that figures such as Batman, Superman and Wolverine are just the tip of the comic-book iceberg. ( Angela, Queen of Hel, anyone? ) However, a recent stroll through the Lake View store revealed there are also items related to everything from Jem to Orange Is the New Black. In other words, there's practically something there for everyone.
Bear in mind
Football fans will get a kick out of the the NFL Homegating collection ( NFLShop.com/Homegating ). Offering readers a variety of high-quality gift options and price points, the collection features all 32 teamsincluding our Chicago Bears, of course. You'll find everything from tumblers to toasters that imprint the teams' logos on the bread. Punt-pernickel, anyone?
Sometimes food that's sent via delivery service can taste, oh, less than desirablebut I was immediately sold on Sticky Toffee Pudding Co. ( StickyToffeePuddingCompany.com ). Made with all natural ingredients, the varieties include personal-sized versions of the titular dessert, molten chocolate-fudge cake, tart lemon pudding and sticky ginger puddingor there's the sample box of four flavors ( six puddings ).
The suite life
Suite NY ( SuiteNY.com ) is a modern furniture company with some really cool-looking items. Tank Barware ( $65-$125 ) incorporates a mix of space-age design and medieval apothecarian shapes, and Tokujin Yoshioka's prism glass armoire ( request quote ) definitely falls within the realm of functional art.
Buy and Cell
Perfect for the iPhone 6 ( and with an upcoming version for Android ), the TurtleCell Case ( $59.95; TurtleCell.com ) comes with integrated retractable headphones and a microphone for safe, hands-free calling. In addition, the built-in headphones makes them less likely to be lost or left behind; they are ideal for students, the gym and anyone who uses a cellphone and has an active lifestyle.
Manduka ( Manduka.com ), an eco-conscious yoga gear company, has all sorts of gear for those who love getting into their adho mukha shvanasana ( downward-facing dog pose ). The company encourages people to "find their soul mats" ( seriously ), but there are also towels, bags and props such as body rollers.
Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto
Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry ( MSI.org ) has items that will even entice those who are not into microscopes. In honor of the world-premiere exhibit "Robot Revolution," the museum is offering several related items, including a robot tea infuser, the robotic ball Sphero and Aquabot Robotic Fish ( that can swim in multiple directions ). However, if those don't get your asteroid moving, there's a range of other items, such as a Star Wars Science Death Starâ„˘ Planetarium kit, various T-shirts and the Museum of Science and Industry Timer, which resembles a lava lamp.
Nothing but bubble
Share the gift of Champagne this holiday season. Moet & Chandon ( ReserveBar.com )the official Champagne of New Year's Even in Times Squarehas several tasty options. Choices include Festive So Bubbly, Grand Vintage Brut 2006 and Grand Vintage Rose 2006with the latter two aged for seven years in the cellar.
Mule love this
The idea behind Cocktail Courier ( CocktailCourier.com ) is pretty ingenious: The company has paired with ShakeStir.com, an online community for professional bartenders, to showcase cocktails. Those cocktails' ingredients are then sent to people who order themand the customers become bartenders. For instance, the Moscow Mule kit is delivered right to your door and includes one bottle of Stolichnaya Premium Vodka, fresh ginger syrup, Stolichnaya ginger beer, whole limes and a step-by-step recipe.
Tooth or dare
You know it and I know it: Appearance is everything. Make sure your teeth dazzle others with the Intelliwhite CoolBlueâ„˘ Pro Teeth Whitening System ( $225; ShopIntelliwhite.com ). And, to improve efficiency, the award-winning system has been scientifically developed to provide much more rapid whitening results in very short treatment periodswithout increased sensitivity or side effects.
Perfect for anyone who works out or engages in any sort of intense physical activity, Snapbac ( GetSnapbac.com ) is hot/cold therapy that stays put. Among the various items are calf, elbow and knee sleeves as well as shirts, shorts and therapy pods. What's better is that most items won't break the back; for example, the pods are $7.95-$9.95 each.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is on the cinematic horizonpresumably leaving other filmmakers shaking in their boots at the sci-fi movie's predicted box-office take. JC Penney ( JCPenney.com ) is featuring its own set of Star Wars-related items, including a twin comforter set, glassware and event a rather cool-looking Stormtrooper suitcase.
Analog watches ( like vinyl records ) are coming back in styleand technophiles are likely to appreciate the Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar Quartz Watch ( $1,250; TissotShop.com ). A perfect traveling companion, this watch ( powered by solar energy ) has 25 features, including weather forecasting, altimeter, a second time zone, a compass and an azimuth. By the way, if you know what an azimuth is, you definitely should get this watch.
The state-of-the-art Skin Perfecter ( $225; SkinPerfecter.com ) is an ultrasonic, at-home beauty tool that combines four skin treatments into one tool to deep-cleanse, exfoliate, extract and infuse serums. The system aims to exfoliate cellular debris, extract imperfections, reduce the appearance of enlarged pores, and resurface lines and wrinkles, among other things. If it could work all-over body magic like my masseur, I'd never have to go to the spa again.
Inspired by a dog named Charmin Charles Buckaroo ( I couldn't make that up if I tried ), Chester & Company ( ChesterAndCompany.com ) offers pendants, keychains, pillows and even paperweights in the shapes of various dog breeds. Your favorite dog lover will give you a pugum, hugfor this.
Outside the box
For years, The Container Store ( ContainerStore.com ) has featured innovative ways to organize items. For example, check out the origami hanging organizer by Umbra ( $39.99 ), which has 10 cotton canvas pockets that can hold everything from shoes and handbags to toys. There are also the bamboo magnetic KNIFE-dock ( $29.99 ) and the crystal clear earring and ring organizer and drawers ( $8.99-$19.99 ), which looks as cool as it sounds.
Boystown offering purchase card
Chicago's Boystown neighborhood is now offering a Proud Purchase Card that rewards shoppers for buying items in that area, according to a ChicagoPride.com item.
The campaign is an extension of the Northalsted Business Alliance's Holiday Bucks gift card, and the new card can be used at more than 40 businesses, including Whole Foods, Roscoe's Tavern and even Steamworks. However, there is now a charity-related component: The Alliance will donate 5 percent to its charity members, such as AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Lakeview Pantry and Center on Halsted, among others.
The full article is at chicago.gopride.com/news/article.cfm/articleid/72306004.