Spotlight: Favorite Things Gift Exhange

For at least 10 years my friends and I have been having gift exchanges around the holidays. Each year we have a theme for our gift giving; we started with undergarments (one pair naughty, one nice, haha), and moved on to jewelry, “as seen on TV”, beauty products, and this year: favorite things!

Here’s the gist: you pick one of your many favorite things and buy three of the item for the exchange. Then each person’s name is put into a bowl three times, and each person picks three names out of the bowl. You get to enjoy those girls’ favorite things!

So what favorites did I bring? I love candles (I have one burning as I type!), so I brought three Voluspa candles in delicious scents like persimmon and pink grapefruit. I paired those with Clinique’s chubby sticks. Ladies, you must try these–they’re both moisturizing and the color lasts. My color of choice is Richer Raisin, but I got an assortment for the party.

My gal Bridget was an excellent hostess, and I gotta say, I thought the theme was fantastic. I came home with a makeup bag, cleansing wipes, chocolate, lip gloss, nail polish, nail files, and self-tanning towels. What a fun way to try out products that are approved by those you love: your friends! Other gifts from the night included large ramekins, jewelry cleaner, and nipple balm for your lips!

The best part? Spending time with my gals, of course!

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Week #8 – Lincoln Antique Mall

My first job was working at a charming gift and home store in Park Ridge called Raffia Gifts (a must-visit if you’re ever in the area!). During my time there, I not only discovered my love of home decorating, stationary, and accessories—I got to work with two of my best friends, Bridget and Lauren! Bridget went on to be an interior designer, and I asked her to come up with some places we could visit each month (for fun and to share with you for the blog). Lauren’s currently in the middle of a kitchen remodel and Bridget just bought a new condo, so I have a feeling our shopping excursions will be a regular thing!

I’ve recently discovered my love for antique malls because there’s an amazing one that my sister-in-law and I go to, Galesburg Antique Mall, whenever we go to my husband’s hometown. I’ve scored some serious finds here, including tons of milk glass (my favorite!), a mint-condition vintage map of Knox County (where Nate is from), and the most special: our vintage china that Nate surprised me with for our first wedding anniversary.

Here are things I always look for when I go to the antique mall:

  • milk glass
  • all other glassware
  • anything with a crown on it
  • crocheted doilies (I really want to make a runner out of them like I saw on Pinterest)

So Bridge picked two places: Lincoln Antique Mall and Architectural Artifacts (next post!) for our first time antiquing in the city, and Lauren came too! Lincoln Antique Mall is very easy to find and has really unique pieces just waiting to be scooped up! The owner does a great job displaying all of the merchandise, and it seemed to be in great condition.

Nate and I don’t really need any major furnishings so I had my eye on accessories, but they had really unique and affordable chests, tables, and chairs that I will come back to shop for when I’m in the market for those bigger items.

They had a good selection of Venetian mirrors (which I really like), and I really enjoyed their glassware! They had nice matching sets, and Lauren even said she bought some of each set to create her own collection (so cool). My friends got me a beautiful, delicate milk glass bowl from here for my birthday, but, unfortunately, there wasn’t much in stock when we went. But that’s the beauty of antique malls—you have to keep visiting because they have new products all the time!

But they had so much more than just these few items I mention. I HIGHLY suggest you check out their website to see the merchandise they have, complete with good-quality photos, descriptions, and pricing. Hey, if Nate Berkus recommends it, don’t you think it’s worth a look? I did, and once I buy a place, I’m definitely coming here for one-of-a-kind wares.

**Get a sense of my home style on my Pinterest “Dream Home” board!

Lincoln Antique Mall
3115 West Irving Park Road
Irving Park

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