Val, Ryan and the WCL Family share their hot holiday picks with the audience and one lucky viewer at home.
Rogers & Hollands Love Knot Teardrop Diamond Bracelet, $495 (Holiday Price: $299)
Everyone in our lucky audience took home the Rogers & Hollands “Love Knot Teardrop Diamond Bracelet”. The elegantly designed bracelet is adorned with 66 dazzling diamonds and framed in sterling silver. On any given day, you will see Val sporting the diamond bracelet.
Rogers & Hollands is the largest family owned and operated jeweler in the United States and they’re headquarters is based right here in Chicago. The family business which originated in Harvey, Illinois boasts 79 stores in 9 states and has been in business for over 100 years! Even with their growth, Rogers & Hollands has held true to their Chicago roots & the importance of family.
PUMAgility Shoes from Finish Line, $90
PUMAgility is not your average training shoe. It’s reinforced with a stable design that doesn’t compromise comfort, flex or style. Perfect for Ryan since he’s a little wobbly after having that hip surgery! The sole has super lightweight foam shapes that compress on impact (for flexibility) and widen at the base (for stability). PUMAgility has a colorful look and unique style and Val can even get in on the product since they are offered for both men and women. The PUMAgility shoes are sold online and at all Finish Line stores.
Plus, keep an eye out for PUMAgility when you’re at the mall next time! PUMA is launching an interactive game in a few Chicago malls later this month that will allow shoppers to try out the new PUMAgility shoe and take a virtual run through the city!
C.O. Bigelow Favorites, $130
We already revealed that the C.O. Bigelow Mentha Lip Gloss was a favorite beauty product of Val’s back in October&what you didn’t know, was that C.O. Bigelow products are a favorite of Ryan’s as well! He loves the C.O. Bigelow Premium Shave Cream and Chapped Hand Remedy.
C.O. Bigelow has a big retail store in Woodfield Mall (Five Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, IL 60173) so make sure to go try out all their goodies!
The Rink at Wrigley, $40
A big thank you to the Cubs and Westrec Marinas for giving our audience 2 free admissions and ice skate rentals to the Rink at Wrigley, located just outside of Wrigley Field. This is one of Ryan’s favorite activities to do in the winter so he’s so excited that our audience will get to try it out. The rink is located in the Cubs parking lot at the corner of Clark and Waveland, so make sure to check it out!
KeyLime Cove Indoor Waterpark Resort, $250
Val’s kids Zoe and Max LOVE hanging out at KeyLime Cove. They already have plans to head there in January when it will be REALLY cold in Chicago! Everyone in our audience received a deluxe queen room at KeyLime Cove with access to the Lost Paradise Waterpark. From the moment guests step inside they are engulfed with the sights, sounds and smells of a far away tropical escape. The Lost Paradise Waterpark is 65,000 square feet of indoor fun, so families can have fun regardless of the winter Chicago weather! This holiday season, KeyLime Cove is offering a “Family Fun-shine Package” gift certificate which includes an overnight stay plus $100 dining credit. A great family gift! See website for purchasing details. KeyLime Cove Water Resort is located in Gurnee, IL.
Garrett Popcorn Chicago Mix / 6.5 Gallon Tin, $135
When our team decided to do a “Holiday Hot Picks” show, Val said it wouldn’t be complete without giving away Garrett Popcorn to everyone in the audience. She is a huge fan of the Chicago-based store and says the “Chicago Mix” is her favorite flavor. All of our lucky audience members took home a 6.5 gallon tin! Yum& now, who wouldn’t want that as a holiday gift!?
A Holiday Tradition since 1949, Garret Popcorn Shops handcrafts every small batch of their gourmet popcorn daily. Their secret family recipe, passed down three generations, is handmade in old-fashioned copper kettles and the chefs use wooden paddles to churn the caramel and mix it with their local blend of popcorn.
Back to the Future: 25th Anniversary Trilogy, $74.98
For the first time ever, the past, present and future collide in eye-popping high definition for a time-traveling celebration featuring new 25th Anniversary restorations for perfect picture and the purest digital sound. More than two hours of all new bonus features have been added, including an all-new, six-part retrospective documentary featuring never-before-seen interviews with the cast, crew and filmmakers, including Michael J. Fox, for the definitive Back to the Future experience. It’s the perfect holiday gift!
Stella & Dot Soiree Trio Ring, $49
“Since the Soiree Trio Ring has gold and silver in it, it looks great with any other jewelry!” — Val The ring probably looks familiar because it’s one of Val’s favorites to wear on the show! The ring is a trio of pave balls with over 200 stones in crystal, black diamond & light peach glass. The Stella & Dot boutique-style jewelry and accessories line is available exclusively through in-home Trunk Shows by Independent Stylists and online.
Michael Kors Eau de Parfum Spray, $95
Val says she has been wearing Michael Kors for years, which is why she treated everyone in the audience to their own bottle. The style of the fragrance is described as “sophisticated, sensual, warm and wearable” and has hints of dewy freesia, lilies and white wings peony.
Omaha Steaks “The Ideal Gift Assortment”, $59.99
Omaha Steaks is a fifth-generation, family-owned company known for the finest in premium beef and gourmet foods, including a complete line of pork, poultry, seafood, side dishes, appetizers & delicious desserts. Omaha Steaks has been bringing people together to enjoy an exceptional meal since 1917. The Ideal Gift Assortment contains: 2 (5 oz.) Filet Mignons, 2 (5 oz.) Top Sirloin Steaks, 4 (4 oz.) Boneless Pork Chops, 4 (4 oz.) Omaha Steaks Burgers, 4 (5.75 oz.) Stuffed Baked Potatoes, and a 6 inch Chocolate Lovers Cake.
In Chicago, Omaha Steaks is located in the Weed Street Shopping Center (1001 West North Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622). You can get the “Ideal Gift Assortment”, normally a $152.00 value, but it’s now on sale for just $59.99 + shipping & handling.
Primo Flavorstation, $80
This is the revolutionary new home beverage maker that allows you to customize and create delicious, naturally flavored sodas, fruit sparklers, fruit flavored teas, zero-calorie sodas and energy drinks without high-fructose corn syrup. Starting as low as $79.99, Primo Flavorstation is available online at select Lowe’s Home Improvement stores.
Dog-e-Glow Collars & Leashes, $22.95-$25.95
Dog-E-Glow was founded by dog and outdoors lovers who above all wanted to keep their pets and others’ safe while looking their very best. We think Val’ dog Kobe looks great in the “Pink Graffitti” leash and collar!
Now these are like nothing you’ve ever seen before! Bootights is the first tight designed specifically for boots. The tights combine a tight on top with a performance sock on bottom so your legs look amazing and your feet feel great all day long. Plus, they come in tons of different fun styles!
“Just Like You” by Robert Kroupa, $16.95
Values of acceptance and kindness are instilled in children’s minds with the lessons learned in this new children’s book — “Just Like You” by Robert Krupa. Val’s daughter Zoe loved the anti-bullying message portrayed by Harry, a deaf field mouse and his best friend Boris, a spider with a bad leg. It’s a message kids of all ages can appreciate. “Just Like You” is available through the Just Like You Foundation (www.justlikeyoufoundation.org) for $16.95 plus shipping. 100 percent of the profits from each sale is earmarked to one of five charities: PACER (National Bullying Prevention Center, HollyRod Foundation, The Art of Elysium, The Center for Discovery, Dreams for Kids.
Ritter Sport Chocolates, $2.99
Val’s favorite type of chocolate? Dark chocolate! If that’s not your favorite& you’ve got many other choices! Ritter Sport offers tons of flavors including Peach Passionfruit, Chocolate Pieces in Cream, Strawberry Yogurt and Peppermint (just to name a few!).
Coopers Hawk Rhubarb Wine & Wine Tasting for Two, $12.99 / $14
Val’s absolutely favorite wine is from a winery right in our backyard. The Rhubarb Wine from Coopers Hawk Winery is 100 percent Rhubarb. Get this& nearly 4.5 lbs of rhubarb goes into each bottle of wine! Each of our audience received a bottle and a gift certificate for a wine tasting at any Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant location. The wine tasting includes 7-8 wines and is a great way to explore your palate.
Vinturi Spirit Aerator, $39.95
You’ve heard of the wine aerators& but did you know they make them for spirits too? Ryan was very intrigued with the new product! The spirit aerator helps to release all the flavors in your favorite spirits (including scotch, cognac, tequila, whiskey, bourbon, vodka, gin, rum, brandy and sake).
Uncle Julio’s Fine Mexican Food, $25
Uncle Julio’s is a favorite of Val’s when she needs to unwind! Her favorites are the guacamole, beef and cheese enchiladas and their signature Swirl drink (frozen margarita with home-made frozen sangria). Uncle Julio’s is committed to providing only the freshest and highest quality Border Style Mexican Food. There are two Uncle Julio’s locations in Illinois: One in Lombard and one on North Ave. in Chicago.
Jason’s Deli, $25
If you ever want to run into Ryan, hang out at Jason’s Deli! The restaurant is a regular lunch spot for Ryan as it’s conveniently located down the street from our studio. His favorite is a turkey sandwich with lettuce, tomato, cheese, mustard and mayo on French bread. Jason’s Deli is all about healthy food and they even were named “The Best Restaurant in America!” in the March 2011 issue of Parent Magazine. There are 9 locations throughout Chicago, so make sure to try it out!
JI’S HOLIDAY HOT PICKS
Museum of Science & Industry Family 4-pack of Tickets, $60
Another favorite museum and a great place to take kids is the Museum of Science and Industry. During the holidays, I love their Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light exhibit. Also, a must see is the 40 foot indoor tornado in the Science Storms exhibit.
Museum of Contemporary Art One Year Membership valued at $60
I love all of Chicago’s amazing museums but the MCA is one of my favorites. A one year membership gets you into groundbreaking exhibitions and discounts at Wolfgang Puck’s café and the MCA store where I buy a lot of my gifts. It’s the perfect place to find something for that hard to buy-for friend that has everything. Plus, as a member you can attend opening night parties for exhibitions, First Fridays after-hours events, and Jazz on the Terrace on Tuesdays.
MCA Museum http://www.mcachicago.org/
MCA Store www.mcachicagostore.org/main/index.php
Franks ‘N’ Dawgs Restaurant Gift Certificate $20
Everyone knows I love food and spend all my money on eating and drinking out! But who needs to own a home when you can eat like a rock star! One of the best ways to eat gourmet but without spending a fortune is at my favorite hot dog restaurant Franks ‘N’ Dawgs. Owner Alexander Brunacci, in two short years has succeeded in his mission to elevate our favorite humble street food — the hot dog — to the level of fine dining with house made artisanal sausages using locally raised, free range meats and house made accoutrements and award winning sides like their brussels sprouts salad.
1863 N. Clybourn Ave
Chicago IL 60614
DAVID PLUMMER’S HOLIDAY HOT PICKS
Harry Potter: The Complete 8 Film Collection, $139.99
One of the greatest film franchises of all time comes to Blu-Ray with this 8 disc complete film collection. Follow Harry, Hermione and Ron as they literally grow up on screen and try to evade the evil Lord Voldemort.
Kung Fu Panda Two-Disc Double Pack, $34.98
A very good sequel to an excellent animated adventure. Po comes to terms with his parents’ absence from his life and leads to Furious Five against their greatest threat yet. The Double Pack includes an extra adventure and an on-line video game.
The Incredibles Blu-Ray Double Pack, $39.99
One of my favorite animated movies and the best from Pixar. It’s the perfect family film and one that you and your kids will want to watch over and over.
HANK’S HOLIDAY HOT PICKS
Linnea’s Lights Votive Candles, $15; Sets, $32
Indiana made and hand-crafted, each Linnea’s Lights soy candle is triple scented to ensure the scent remains throughout the whole burn.
Scents include: Amber, Bamboo, Blue Agave, Cashmere, French Pear, Lavender, Lemon Verbena, Linden, Magnolia, Mimosa, Ocean, Pomegranate, Sweet Grass, Tuberose, Vetiver, White Coral and Yuzu. Celebs loves these candles! Famous clients include Martina McBride, Faith Hill, Gilles Marini, Mark Ballas, and Derek Hough. Hands down, these are the best candles I have ever smelled! AMAZING! Purchase them at Greer Chicago, 1657 North Wells Street, Chicago, www.greerchicago.com, 312.337.8000. Be sure to pop into Greer’s and smell all of the amazing scents.
Boom Boom! Cards, $9.99
When I saw this, I knew I had to share it with our audience. It’s a random act of kindness in a box..actually, 26 of them. Boom Boom Cards calls it “guerilla goodness.” It’s easy. Register your Boom Boom deck online, perform the act of kindness on the card, go to the web site and tell your story about the random act of kindness you are performing. Then, give the card to someone& a friend, a stranger, anyone; each card is specially coded. Then the person you gave the card to follows the same steps you did and you did and your random act of kindness spreads. You can even watch the online map and see your card and your kindness travel. Boom Boom Cards come in several versions including Green, Teen, Family and Original.
“A Christmas Story: The Musical”,
America’s number 1 Christmas movie comes to life on stage as a hilarious holiday musical. It chronicles young and bespectacled Ralphie Parker as he schemes his way towards the holiday gift of his dreams – a Red Ryder Action Air Rifle BB Gun – “You’ll shoot your eye out kid!” Produced by the film’s original Ralphie, Peter Billingsley, A Christmas Story, The Musical! features a bright holiday score by composer/ lyricist team Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, a hilarious book by Joseph Robinette.
JARED (APP MAN) HOFFA’S HOT PICKS
Air Swimmer from ThinkGeek.com
ThinkGeek is the premier retailer for the global geek community. A wholly owned subsidiary of Geeknet, Inc. (NASDAQ: GKNT), ThinkGeek was founded in 1999 to serve the distinct needs and interests of technology professionals and enthusiasts.
The AirSwimmers RC flying sea creatures stalk through the air with incredibly smooth and life-like motion. Fill your AirSwimmer with helium at the nearest party store, florist shop, or grocery store that carries balloons. (Or use the helium tank in your friendly mad scientist’s lab.) The AirSwimmer’s body is made from a high-quality, durable nylon material that will stay inflated for weeks and can be refilled over and over again. Grab the infra-red remote and you can guide the shark or clownfish up, down, and 360 degrees around.
Air Swimmer: http://www.thinkgeek.com/geek-kids/3-7-years/e7f7/?pfm=Search&t=Air%20Swimmer
Think Geek online retailer: www.thinkgeek.com/
250 GB Xbox 360 Console with Kinect and Dance Central 2 video game
The 250GB Xbox 360 console comes with two games “Kinect Adventures” and “Child of Eden.” In addition, with the largest portfolio of games to choose from, there’s something for everyone –from classic titles to the biggest blockbuster games. The spacious 250GB hard drive gives you the space you need to store arcade games, movies, demos, and even full Xbox 360 games. Plus, with built-in Wi-Fi, it’s easy to access tons of great entertainment on Xbox LIVE–from HD movies and TV shows to live sports.
Kinect for Xbox 360 is changing the game. Well, it’s changing how you play games. And how you watch TV. And movies. And listen to music. Because with Kinect, there are no controllers. Or remotes. There’s just you. And if you ask us, that’s all you need.
The sequel to the best-selling dance game for Kinect for Xbox 360, “Dance Central 2″ offers new simultaneous multiplayer and all-new routines set to an unstoppable soundtrack featuring Usher, Rihanna, La Roux, Nicki Minaj, Montell Jordan and more.