-Hendrickx Belgian Bakery: This Gold Coast bakery ( hendrickxbakery.com ) continues to impress, offering everything from crepes to croissants to its signature white-chocolate bread. Also, people can order European desserts off the menu. ( Think mille-feuille. ) Treat someone you know to this place.
-Showplace ICON: The movie theater, 1011 S. Delano Ct., is elevating its viewing experience with the VIP Premium experience. Perfect for watching those big-screen action pictures ( as I recently did with Spectre ), it involves custom-designed, extra-wide recliners with personal tables so you can enjoy gourmet food and cocktails right at your seat. Gift certificates are available.
-Happy Water: According to a press release, Happy Wateran all-natural lithia and alkaline spring water has been clinically shown to provide an upswing in mood and behavior. I don't know if I felt happier after every swig I had of it, but the fact that has essential elements like potassium, odium, calcium, magnesium and protein is pretty cool.
-xSense: Ever heard of "functional scents?" No? xSense has three products ( WorkSense, PlaySense and RestSense ) that have been clinically tested ( extensively ) and found to help people increase efficiency and relax, depending on the item. See xSenseWorld.com .
-Bordo Locks: Your favorite bicyclist will love this gift. Put out by Abus Security Tech Germany ( Abus.com ), this item is something different: the folding lock, which simultaneously provides flexibility and sturdiness. I was pretty impressed with it.
-Music Muffs: Looking for a last-minute gift idea? Music Muffs ( from Chicago-based company Yatra ) are advertised as "the first headphones to incorporate on trend fashions with high-quality components at an affordable price point ( $34.99 )." Each pair of faux fur-lined Music Muffs has been outfitted with advanced audio technology that can answer calls, control volume and shuffle through playlists at a touch of a button.
By Andrew Davis
( Andrew@WindyCityMediaGroup.com and @azygous60610 )