Holiday Ideas That Won't Break the Bank

Holiday Shopping Guide

On Wednesday, C-House Chef/Owner Marcus Samuelsson, will be signing copies of his latest book "Soul of a New Cuisine" at the C-View Lounge located on the 29th floor of the Affinia Hotel (166 E. Superior). The meet and greet book signing will take place from 5-7 p.m., no reservations required. The book is $45 and would make a great stocking stuffer for the gourmets in the family.

Come meet the Broadway and Joffrey stars of "Dirty Dancing" in a benefit for the Joffrey Ballet’s Academy of Dance on Monday, January 5th, in the Joffrey Tower (10 E. Randolph) from 6-8 PM. There will be a wine and cheese reception, silent auction and performances from the cast to benefit dance scholarships. It will be an exciting once-in-a-lifetime evening for a very worthy cause. Tickets are $40 in advance and $50 at the door. To purchase tickets please go to or call (312) 386-8944.

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? If you haven’t, check out the best gift guide I’ve seen in a very long time: The December issue of Elle magazine has 10 pages of incredible finds with over 100 items under $100, 50 under $500 and 20 under $1000. This is the kind of guide you need, unless you're Warren Buffet!

Some of my favorites include a necklace by Yves Saint Laurent that holds a duo lip color combo in its gold pendant on a black silk cord for $65 (Marc Jacobs makes a similar, daisy-shaped solid perfume charm necklace on a leather cord for $35 at Sephora), a travel clock in a croc box by Charlotte Moss for $100, leather faux python flats in multiple colors by Nine West for $69, Fashion Rules board game for $100 at Fred Segal in L.A., 12 months of colorful journals boxed at Pottery Barn for $99, beautiful Left Bank candle by Charlotte Moss for Agraria for $55, colorful suede baby booties a la UGGS by Cole Haan for $55, silver champagne straws (set of two) by Christofle for $150, red lizard dice set by Tod’s for $295 and a gold champagne cork necklace by Maison Martin Margiela for $295 at Fred Segal in L.A. This is just a sampling of the terrific and unique gifts in this issue.

There is a new chef in town that you won’t want to miss at the Peninsula’s Shanghai Terrace (108 E. Superior Street). His name is Chef Ping Xu and he has 12 years of culinary experience and hails directly from Shanghai. The food and ambience are incredible! Hats off to the Peninsula for scoring another 10 with Chef Ping! Book your reservations now to celebrate the Chinese New Year at (312) 573- 6744. Also, January 22 - 29, the Peninsula will be hosting a Chinese New Year Afternoon Tea with a tasty menu and some surprises for the kids!

Read more of Candace Jordan's work on and the NBC Chicago Street Team Blog.

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