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  WINDY CITY TIMES

2011 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE, page 1
2011-11-30

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Brew everything

I thought I was seeing things when I saw there is a company called Gay Coffee ( www.gaycoffee.com ) . I thought I was also hallucinating when I saw flavors such as Red Hanky Roast, Weekend Pass, Second Date, Good Morning Mary! and Stone Butch ( $13 each ) . However, the company and the tasty flavors certainly do exist—and think of the delicious names they could come up for future ones.

Bracelets for a cause

Renee Trikolas, the mind behind Isabella Rose Designs ( www.isabellarosedesigns.com ) , has come up with the "Be Aware" collection, handmade bracelets with Swarovski crystals to benefit three different causes—breast cancer, HIV/AIDS and scleroderma. However, there are also other stunning designs in other collections ( such as Couture, Luxe and Glo ) , with bracelets such as the Alexandria, Beverly Gold, Diamante and Josephina.

Kitchen duty

Williams-Sonoma ( www.Williams-Sonoma.com ) has a variety of items that will make even the most boring kitchen chore seem pleasurable. The Kuhn Rikon Melon Knife ( $24.95 ) has an extra-long microserrated blade that slices through even the toughest rind without bruising the tender flesh. Reward yourself afterwards with Whammies ( $19.95-$34.95 ) , a crunchy-chewy-salty-sweet candy that combines pretzels, peanut nougat, salted caramel and milk chocolate.

Being part of the Military

The company 2 ( x ) ist introduces Military ( www.2xist.com; $20 ) , a line of men's underwear modeled after modern combat uniforms and body armor. Military features a series of bindings and accents that create strong lines to reinforce masculine features. Depending on where you walk around in these, you might need extra reinforcements.

Danger zone

Peligroso Tequila ( www.peligrosotequila.com; $39.99-$49.99 ) is no joke—in fact, it's name means "dangerous" in Spanish. Peligroso is a smooth, 84-proof blue agave tequila, grown and harvested on a private estate in Jalisco Mexico, and each bottle is corked and numbered by hand to certify its authenticity. Remember: Tread carefully.

Feeling saucy

The Chicagoland business Teaspoon Willie's ( www.teaspoonwillies.com; $99 ) features Everything Sauce—which is a fitting name, because it goes on hundreds of your favorite foods, from tacos to tofu. Also, for the health-conscious, there are only 15 calories per serving and its gluten-free. By the way, this sauce has a little kick—but there's also Spicy Sauce. Have fun with that.

We are family

Family Matrix ( www.familymatrix.com ) allows you to be creative. Most people are fine with personalized gifts—but everything from mugs to T-shirts can sport the names of family members and/or friends. Just be ready to explain to your stingy cousin why her name isn't on the family tee.

Hat's entertainment

You can't be a wallflower and wear Jg Hats ( www.jghats.com; $360-$380 each ) . Designed to catch attention, the hats come with feathers, ribbons, bows and other details—and come with names such as "Christine," "Samantha" and "Victoria." Kentucky Derby, here we come!


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