etsy find: le papier studio

Get all your holiday shopping done with one Etsy seller this year! Le Papier Studio has a dizzying selection of over 100 items, including delicate and stark silhouettes including beautiful canvas wall calendars, pretty bookplates, handmade art, and custom made cufflinks featuring your favorite person’s profile. With prices starting at $8 and hardly climbing above $50, it’s easy to find thoughtful gifts within any budget. — Katie D.

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local flavor: chicago’s bleeding heart bakery

I have a long list of standard Chicago experiences handy for when tourists visit: the Magnificent Mile, Navy Pier, deep dish pizza, and a visit to the Bleeding Heart Bakery (1955 W. Belmont; 773-327-6934). The organic bakery boasts an overwhelming array of vegan and gluten-free treats, but fear not, stubborn carbovores — there are plenty of scrumptious traditional goodies for you, too. More punk rock than crunchy hippie, BHB features an extravagant array of cupcakes painted with neon frosting in decadent flavors like Mexican hot chocolate, mango chile, dulce de leche, red velvet, and peanut butter bacon. Their cakes have gained some notoriety, too — co-owner Michelle Garcia has appeared on the Food Network’s Extreme Cakes (dummy reproductions of their winning cakes and their medals sit above the door). Visit their website for more information, the latest cupcake flavors, or just to drool. — Katie D.

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post off: what’s your favorite part of thanksgiving?


Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday. Exactly why that is, I’m not quite sure. Maybe it’s the stuffing, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole. Or maybe it’s the drama-free memories of our family and close friends clustered around a too-tiny table enjoying a meal together. It could be how every year, without fail, my dad and I would slip into a l-tryptophan nap on the couch watching a Mel Brooks movie before pie was even served. Or it could be the simple act of gathering loved ones together over dinner and giving thanks for what the year has brought us. A whole holiday based on appreciating what you have is a beautiful thing, indeed. Of course, now we need to know what you think: what makes your turkey day special? — Megan B.

NOTE: We’re taking the rest of the week off. See you on Monday!

Photo by S Brown

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From our partners

mail order delight: this charming candy


You’d think an adult wouldn’t be so excited over lollipops as a birthday gift, but that was definitely not the case when my husband received salted caramel lollipops made by This Charming Candy. The lollipops are handmade by two friends in Seattle and Sunnyvale, CA, respectively. The small batches mean they’re super-fresh, and the pure creativity means they’re exceedingly delicious — and I am not usually a huge fan of hard candy. Choose from flavors like tangerine-clove, pomegranate, even a Twilight-inspired selection. (I’ll allow it…I guess.) Most are $18 for for 12 lollipops. Remember, they’re handmade in small batches, so order early if you want to get some for the holidays. — Mary T.

Related: Fran’s Salted Caramels

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