Main menu Open search menu
new york city
Amelia Buzzell

Amelia Buzzell

Amelia is a Senior Writer at Groupon who owns about 600 houses' worth of housewares. She daydreams about throwing parties and amassing more housewares.


Latest articles by Amelia Buzzell


What Is a Nail Wrap? An Investigation of the Nail Sticker.

What Is a Nail Wrap? An Investigation of the Nail Sticker.

1.31.2017

Curious about nail wraps? I was too, so I tried out the nail stickers and learned that wearing them isn’t as simple as slapping them on and going.


Four Family Vacation Ideas with Teenagers in Mind

Four Family Vacation Ideas with Teenagers in Mind

11.28.2016

Travel for teens doesn’t have to be an OMG affair—here are four family vacation ideas sure to keep them (and you) sane.


Thoughtful Mother’s Day Gifts to Suit Any Personality

Thoughtful Mother’s Day Gifts to Suit Any Personality

4.15.2016

Whether she’s outgoing or shy, stern or sentimental, or anything in-between, these Mother’s Day gift ideas will make her feel special.


A Lesson in Contouring with Makeup Artist Hayley Kassel

A Lesson in Contouring with Makeup Artist Hayley Kassel

3.17.2016

Makeup artist Hayley Kassel is used to working magic with a makeup brush, from perfecting complexions during editorial shoots for Akira to creating gory special effects for film. But when it comes to everyday beauty, she’s no less of an illusionist. Here, she leads a lesson in creating perfectly contoured features using nothing more than a few simple bronzers and blushes.


How to Create a Smoky Eye with Makeup Artist Hayley Kassel

How to Create a Smoky Eye with Makeup Artist Hayley Kassel

3.17.2016

Makeup artist Hayley Kassel demonstrates how to do her favorite kind of smoky eye.


Tips for Composed Portraits from Photographer Wendy Alas

Tips for Composed Portraits from Photographer Wendy Alas

3.14.2016

According to photographer Wendy Alas, being photogenic is as simple as feeling relaxed and comfortable.


How to Wash a Cashmere Sweater Without Totally Ruining It

How to Wash a Cashmere Sweater Without Totally Ruining It

8.27.2015

This step-by-step guide proves you don’t need to go to the dry cleaner to keep your sweaters soft.


Essential Baking Tools and Equipment for Every Baker’s Kitchen

Essential Baking Tools and Equipment for Every Baker’s Kitchen

8.4.2015

Stock up on basic whisks and measuring spoons, and then up your game with tools picked by a pastry professional.


Clean Up the House Without Dirtying the Earth

Clean Up the House Without Dirtying the Earth

7.13.2015

Learn about eco-friendly alternatives for sprucing up your clothes, car, and the carpets in your house, all without polluting the planet.


Seven Beauty Essentials for a Night Out

Seven Beauty Essentials for a Night Out

3.11.2015

Swap out a tired primping routine for a new set of beauty essentials, such as colorful, smoky eye shadows or a pro-favorite airbrush.


Poker for Dogs

Poker for Dogs

10.28.2014

Dog fashion is a $3 billion-a-year industry, and it keeps many of America’s pooches looking fly every day of the year. But Halloween is a perfect day for pets to really strut their stuff. And if their owners don’t have time left to buy a costume, they certainly have time to make one themselves. Since no dog is in the mood to dress up like a sexy cat again this year, why not try this DIY costume that takes inspiration from the famous Dogs Playing Poker oil paintings by C.M. Coolidge?


Seven of History's Most Important Leather Jackets

Seven of History's Most Important Leather Jackets

9.24.2014

Before it became the choice for punks, bikers, and other unfathomably cool people, the leather jacket was simply a practical piece of clothing. It was a toughened hide of an animal, sometimes paired with shearling, and it could keep out a chilly breeze or a splashing raindrop. That all changed in 1953, however, when Marlon Brando’s appearance in the movie The Wild Ones turned the otherwise practical bomber jacket into a must-have accessory.


Knee Socks That Are Surprisingly Stylish, Expectedly Long

Knee Socks That Are Surprisingly Stylish, Expectedly Long

9.18.2014

Knee socks are the perfect summer-to-fall accessory: not as warm as tights yet still cozy enough to stave off those early autumn chills. The versatile garment has been around in one form or another for centuries, from the silky versions that bridged the gap between a nobleman’s britches and his shoes to the wooly socks we now associate with school uniforms. Thinking of incorporating knee socks into your wardrobe? We threw together a few looks that take a cue from our favorite kneesock models, both real and fictional.


Party Decor That Smells Like Teen Spirit

Party Decor That Smells Like Teen Spirit

8.27.2014

When Nirvana was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year, it sent fans back down memory lane. Along with the baby swimming in the pool on the cover of Nevermind, another image soon comes to mind: the eerie video for “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” And while a smoky auditorium filled with dead-eyed cheerleaders may not be the perfect setting for a friendly dinner party, there’s no reason why you can’t draw inspiration from the video’s grungy aesthetic to take your table from elegant to edgy.


Forget Sports. These DIY Felt Pennants Salute What Really Matters.

Forget Sports. These DIY Felt Pennants Salute What Really Matters.

8.15.2014

Hanging a pennant on the wall has long been the perfect way to show your school spirit or pledge allegiance to your favorite sports team. Lately, though, pennants have also entered the world of interior design, emblazoned with everything from cheerful phrases to fake team names.


Two Perfectly Cromulent “Simpsons” Dinner Party Ideas

Two Perfectly Cromulent “Simpsons” Dinner Party Ideas

8.13.2014

After a soft launch at San Diego Comic-Con, MAC will officially release its line of Marge Simpson-inspired makeup online on August 28. (Prefer to shop in person? Wait until September 4. Prefer to use a makeup gun? Don’t.)


Turn Your Dining Room Into a Summer Music Festival

Turn Your Dining Room Into a Summer Music Festival

7.30.2014

Bonnaroo, Coachella, and Pitchfork may be far behind us, but the country is still in the thick of music festival season with events like Lollapalooza and Riot Fest looming on the horizon. But for all that’s good about a music fest (sunshine, bands, body paint), there are some things that are equally bad (crowds, expensive tickets, body paint). If it’s a boho-chic soiree you crave, why not skip the massive bathroom lines and selfie-snappers and bring the look and feel of a fest indoors—specifically to your dining-room table?


Dress Your Pet in Corduroy and Denim (and Chiffon)

Dress Your Pet in Corduroy and Denim (and Chiffon)

7.25.2014

Clothing was once solely worn by dogs who play poker, but these days, pet fashion is a billion dollar industry. And Halloween costumes aren’t the only things being designed with a tail-flap; pet clothing designers are now making everything from practical winter wear to fancy ball gowns, making it a cinch for cats and dogs to find the perfect outfit for any occasion.


Throw a "West Wing" Party Fit for a President

Throw a "West Wing" Party Fit for a President

7.16.2014

He may have left office in 2006, but The West Wing’s President Josiah Bartlet remains one of pop culture’s favorite presidents. And what better way to salute the fictional commander in chief than by throwing a West Wing–themed party, complete with a table so befitting of the iconic show, it just might put a smile on Toby Ziegler’s perennially anxious face.


“Paris Street; Rainy Day”? Sounds Like a Party!

“Paris Street; Rainy Day”? Sounds Like a Party!

7.2.2014

After a painstaking restoration removed decades of yellowed varnish, Gustave Caillebotte’s “Paris Street; Rainy Day” was at last re-hung in the Art Institute of Chicago this past May. Even though the restoration uncovered brighter tones within the painting, the muted color scheme still stands out in a room filled with color-saturated works by Renoir and Monet. The next time it rains, invite friends to cozy up around a table set with pieces inspired by Caillebotte’s masterpiece.


Everyone's Mad for an "Alice in Wonderland"–Themed Party

Everyone's Mad for an "Alice in Wonderland"–Themed Party

6.18.2014

Whether it’s phrases like “down the rabbit hole” or the pervasive stereotype of caterpillars smoking hookahs, the mark Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has left on pop culture is still apparent nearly 150 years after the book was first published. And what better way to celebrate Lewis Carroll’s enduring classic than with a party that evokes his colorful, off-kilter world?


We Made Our Own Beach Spray

We Made Our Own Beach Spray

6.16.2014

This DIY sea salt hair spray uses only four ingredients and gave two of our writers soft, beachy waves.


It Doesn’t Take Much to Make Over Your Desk

It Doesn’t Take Much to Make Over Your Desk

6.9.2014

Chances are you do more at your desk than just work—it’s probably also where you lunch, binge on Pinterest, and try to guess when 5 o’clock is coming. But if the place where you’re spending 40 hours a week is “decorated” only with a tape dispenser and some lidless pens, you’re missing out on making your home away from home a bit more homey. As it turns out, with a little help from things you already own (and maybe a few paper crafts), it’s easy to design a space that’s functional, themed, and personal. Last week, my coworker Jorie and I staged our own desk makeovers.


Your Purse Doesn’t Have to Look Like a Purse

Your Purse Doesn’t Have to Look Like a Purse

6.4.2014

It holds your keys, your cash, and your lip balm. It probably complements your shoes or your belt. But if your purse looks like a purse, you’re missing out on a trend that’s gaining momentum: handbags made to look like anything but.


Marimekko’s Unikko Pattern Talks About Turning 50

Marimekko’s Unikko Pattern Talks About Turning 50

6.2.2014

Even if you don’t know it by name, you’ve probably seen it before. Over the past half-century, Marimekko’s Unikko poppy print has been worn by Jacqueline Kennedy before she became first lady, painted on the body of a Finnair jetliner, and printed on countless home decor items at Crate and Barrels around the world.


My Experience with Nail Wraps (Told with Help from Actual Raps)

My Experience with Nail Wraps (Told with Help from Actual Raps)

5.22.2014

Nail wraps require no drying time, resist chips, and come in wild patterns. How do I love thee? Let me rap the ways.


Dress to Impress a Warthog

Dress to Impress a Warthog

5.21.2014

Dr. Dolittle could walk with the animals and talk with the animals, but he was special. When you visit the zoo, you can only walk near the animals and talk at the animals. (Quietly.) You’ll still want to be dressed for the occasion, though—and whether you’re communing with an herbivore or a hungry predator, we have just the outfit.


Dress Your Dining Room Like St. Vincent

Dress Your Dining Room Like St. Vincent

5.7.2014

When grunge kings Nirvana were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last month, the surviving members invited female artists to help perform some of their best-known songs. While the celebration focused on the band’s influence on rock ‘n’ roll, there was plenty of edgy style to focus on, too, like St. Vincent’s Mondrian-inspired dress and coat. (She joined the band to sing lead vocals on “Lithium.”) Though it’s rad, it’s probably not the kind of outfit a person can live in every day—but a person can definitely live in a dining room whose housewares are inspired by it.


I Was Terrified to Try Pink Hair

I Was Terrified to Try Pink Hair

4.24.2014

So I consulted a bartender, my mother, and a bus.


Your Fashion News for April, 1905 (With Commentary of an Amusing Nature)

Your Fashion News for April, 1905 (With Commentary of an Amusing Nature)

4.22.2014

Prominent attire of both honorable and dubious distinction. What were you thinking, President Roosevelt?


Five Yellow and Green Nail Polishes That Don't Look Like Fungus

Five Yellow and Green Nail Polishes That Don't Look Like Fungus

4.14.2014

True, some yellow and green polishes look like something you’d find floating in a bog. But they can also look like shamrocks, Big Bird, or The West Wing’s Donna Moss.


10 Pairs of Sunglasses That Only Look Expensive

10 Pairs of Sunglasses That Only Look Expensive

4.14.2014

If you lost any of these shades, you might shed a tear—not because they cost a fortune, but ‘cause they’re so cute.


Nothing Can Spoil a “Singin’ in the Rain” Party

Nothing Can Spoil a “Singin’ in the Rain” Party

4.9.2014

Cover the table in rain-slicker yellow and mix dark ‘n’ stormy cocktails in honor of the classic musical. Oh, and if something goes wrong, just dance your troubles away.


When You Throw This Chicago-Themed Dinner Party, Rahm Emanuel Smiles

When You Throw This Chicago-Themed Dinner Party, Rahm Emanuel Smiles

3.26.2014

Hot-dog tea towels, model CTA buses, and a table set to look like the city flag—this is how you show Chicago pride. Now pass the celery salt, please.


16 Sweet Ways to Fill Out Your March Madness Bracket—Even If You Know Nothing About Basketball

16 Sweet Ways to Fill Out Your March Madness Bracket—Even If You Know Nothing About Basketball

3.17.2014

When Selection Sunday comes around each year, some people consult rankings, statistics, and superstitions to fill out their brackets. But a truly flawless bracket is almost impossible to make—there’s just a one-in-9.2 quintillion chance someone will win Warren Buffett’s $1 billion prize for the perfect bracket this spring—so even if you’re a college basketball novice, the odds may still be in your favor. As you choose between teams in your bracket this year, bypass clichéd criteria like “Which mascot would win in a fight?” and ask yourself the following questions instead:


Oh, the Seuss-Themed Parties You’ll Throw!

Oh, the Seuss-Themed Parties You’ll Throw!

3.12.2014

They may not eat them on a boat. They may not eat them with a goat. But your guests will certainly eat anything you serve them on this cheerful spring table inspired by the colorful, bold world of Dr. Seuss.


These Vintage Dresses Are the Best Reason to Become a Vaudeville Comedian

These Vintage Dresses Are the Best Reason to Become a Vaudeville Comedian

2.27.2014

How does Plucky Rosenthal become a ukulele-strumming, live-action cartoon character? With '40s blouses and hand-me-down socks.


Let "Her" Design Your Oscars Party

Let "Her" Design Your Oscars Party

2.26.2014

Mimic the style of Spike Jonze’s Best Production Design nominee with these orange acrylic trays and cat coasters. Just try not to fall in love with your table.


Do You Solemnly Swear to Execute This Presidents' Day Party Awesomely?

Do You Solemnly Swear to Execute This Presidents' Day Party Awesomely?

2.11.2014

Replicas of White House china, a tablecloth that ribs George Washington, a boozy homage to Checkers Nixon—expect to be reelected to host next year.


The Internet Knows Everything, Including How to Braid Hair

The Internet Knows Everything, Including How to Braid Hair

2.11.2014

These six online tutorials make fishtails and braid crowns easy to master, even without three hands.


A Valentine's Party with a Pinch of Cynicism

A Valentine's Party with a Pinch of Cynicism

1.29.2014

We couldn’t decide if we loved or hated Valentine’s Day, so we put together a party that only kind of makes fun of it.


Here’s Looking at You, Dinner Guests

Here’s Looking at You, Dinner Guests

1.15.2014

Round up the usual suspects: it’s time for a “Casablanca”–themed dinner party complete with Moroccan–style lanterns and a deluxe poker set.


Stop Ignoring Your Bathtub. It Wants to Hang Out.

Stop Ignoring Your Bathtub. It Wants to Hang Out.

1.14.2014

With the warm water, scented bubbles, and guaranteed alone time, baths are perhaps the most pleasurable beauty ritual around. They become even more so once you master the arts of balancing drinks on the tub sill and not dropping books into the water. But even with literary and liquory diversions, bathtime can still fall into a rut. Put yourself in one of these scenarios to shake up your next trip to the tub.


Where to Buy Cute, Cheap Glasses Online

Where to Buy Cute, Cheap Glasses Online

1.14.2014

Try these punchy specs on at home or through your webcam. Just don't doubt your eyes when you see they cost less than $200—lenses included.


These Literary Decorations Will Be the Talk of Your Book Club

These Literary Decorations Will Be the Talk of Your Book Club

1.2.2014

Forget theme and character. Your fellow members will be too busy discussing where you got Lolita coasters and “paper” towels.


How to Set the Table Like You’re in a Wes Anderson Movie

How to Set the Table Like You’re in a Wes Anderson Movie

12.18.2013

This tablescape (inspired by recent book The Wes Anderson Collection) will have your guests lamenting that they "always wanted to be a Tenenbaum." 


“That’s an Awesome Desk! You Made an Awesome Desk!”

“That’s an Awesome Desk! You Made an Awesome Desk!”

12.12.2013

Inside Dock 6, the design collective in Hermosa where seven pals make everything from custom beds to square bikes using shared equipment.


Set the Table “Little House on the Prairie”–Style

Set the Table “Little House on the Prairie”–Style

12.4.2013

Whether you know it best as a series of bedtime stories or as the classic TV show, chances are Little House on the Prairie made you want to run away from home to become a pioneer. Instead of trading your bike for a team of oxen, try decking your homestead with a tablescape so rustic and charming even mean old Nellie Oleson couldn’t turn up her nose at it.


Miss Making Hand Turkeys? Try This Nail Art.

Miss Making Hand Turkeys? Try This Nail Art.

11.19.2013

Making construction-paper hand turkeys in elementary school was the highlight of every November. But when adulthood strikes, all that tracing and gluing (and gobbling) might make you feel a little silly. Instead, reclaim your youth with a foray into festive nail art by recreating the hand turkey’s bright feathers and goofy faces. All it takes is some polish, a little tape, and a dash of childlike wonder—even if that childlike wonder makes you spill a little polish on your hands, like I did.


Five Holiday Gifts from Wicker Park's Paper Doll

Five Holiday Gifts from Wicker Park's Paper Doll

11.13.2013

“We pick what we like ... and usually what we’re picking seems to work for other people,” says Paper Doll owner Stacy Swett of her shop’s stock of housewares, gifts, and paper ephemera. Swett’s killer taste has been working for other people since she opened the Wicker Park store with her sister, Kelly, 13 years ago. The store’s universal appeal has not only given it longevity, it’s made it into a sort of one-stop-shop for anyone struggling to cross some tough-to-buy-for names off their holiday shopping list.


Decorate for a Gender-Neutral Baby Shower

Decorate for a Gender-Neutral Baby Shower

11.6.2013

Whether the mother-to-be doesn’t know the sex of her child or is keeping the ultrasound results a secret, choosing gender-neutral decorations for a baby shower can sometimes prove challenging. But with a little creativity, you can easily put together a table that looks chic and doesn’t rely on a palette of tired yellows and greens. Hang a festive garland above a table set with a mod teapot and candlesticks, whose geometric shapes and bold colors emulate children’s toys. A coterie of colorful birds makes a storybook-like centerpiece, while Chicago-themed burp cloths can catch guests’ stray crumbs before the baby arrives to wear them out.


CLLAW’s Lady Arm Wrestlers Go Way Over the Top

CLLAW’s Lady Arm Wrestlers Go Way Over the Top

10.30.2013

Macho Ma’am Candy Savage on talking trash in hot-pink spandex at CLLAW’s upcoming match in Logan Square Auditorium.


Set the Table for a Fall Potluck

Set the Table for a Fall Potluck

10.24.2013

Whether you’re testing out recipes for a few new Thanksgiving side dishes, or just want to host a party with minimal fuss, a potluck is a perfect option. Lay out a neutral tablecloth so your guests’ favorite oven-to-table dishware can take center stage, at least until you wow them with this tuck bowl (whose lid doubles as a trivet!). Repurposed place cards let cooks write out the names and ingredients of each dish, so guests know exactly what they’re getting as they serve themselves on plates rimmed with the Chicago skyline.


Two Halloween Parties, One Spooky Table Setting

Two Halloween Parties, One Spooky Table Setting

10.9.2013

Hosting a Halloween party can be tricky. Do you want to go cute or creepy? Should the soundtrack be more “Monster Mash” or “Toccata and Fugue”? Entertaining children and adults at once can be tough, too—many youngsters aren’t ready for big scares, and some adults like to pretend they’ve outgrown the whimsical charms of Hocus Pocus. Instead of murdering yourself trying to find a happy medium, appeal to everyone by hosting two parties: one for kids, and one later in the evening for adults using many of the same table settings.


Set the Table: "Breaking Bad" Series Finale Party

Set the Table: "Breaking Bad" Series Finale Party

9.25.2013

You’d have to be living under a rock—er, mineral—to not be aware that September 29 marks the end of AMC’s critically acclaimed series, Breaking Bad. But it’s not just critics who are addicted to the show: thanks to obsessed fans, elaborate theme parties are popping up all over the internet, with everything from homemade blue rock candy to, in a friend’s case, cakes frosted with the phrase, “I am the cake who knocks.” Pay homage to the show by setting a table nuanced with Albuquerquean charm, nods to the drug underworld, and of course, plenty of Flynn’s favorite breakfast foods (but don’t even think about serving your guests plain Raisin Bran).


DIY: Crafty Ways to Revamp Old Shoes

DIY: Crafty Ways to Revamp Old Shoes

9.24.2013

When a high heel scuffs beyond repair or a once-white pair of sneakers fades to ecru, many are doomed to the dumpster. But all it takes is a few simple craft materials to rescue shoes from the trash or a life in the back of the closet. These two step-by-step guides help inject some new life into old shoes, one for sneakers and one for heels.


Set the Table: Backyard Dinner Party

Set the Table: Backyard Dinner Party

9.18.2013

Summer afternoon. To Henry James, they were the two most beautiful words in the English language. Unfortunately for most Chicagoans, they never last long enough. To make the most of the few warm evenings left this year, throw one more carefree backyard dinner party, complete with colorful table settings and several rousing rounds of horseshoes, played barefoot in the grass.


Set the Table: Ice-Cream Social

How to Take a Selfie Without Shame

How to Take a Selfie Without Shame

8.29.2013

Once the embarrassing hallmark of Myspace, cell-phone self portraits are now de rigueur on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Take some tips from a pro and avoid duck lips.


Give a Gift: Housewarming Parties

Give a Gift: Housewarming Parties

8.27.2013

Housewarming parties certainly have their ups (namely, the delicious snacks and cocktails). But there’s one huge down: stressing out once you realize everyone else got the host a new corkscrew, too. Avoid that party foul by choosing a less traditional housewarming present, whether it’s an objet d’art or a utilitarian yet whimsical household item. Bonus points for bringing something party guests can admire (and covet) right away, like elegant coasters that keep said cocktails from leaving rings on the host’s shiny new coffee table.


Set the Table: Retro-Inspired Bachelor Party

Find a Piece of Old Chicago Along Grand Avenue’s Design District

Find a Piece of Old Chicago Along Grand Avenue’s Design District

8.13.2013

"You can't let stuff like this just get thrown away," says Salvage One buyer and manager Collin Hattaway as he admires his collection. The assemblage of treasures large and small includes factory molds, pressed-tin signs, archways, statues, and other curios rescued from estate sales, basements, and demolitions across the country.


Set the Table: Fun and Frilly Bachelorette Party

Set the Table: Fun and Frilly Bachelorette Party

8.7.2013

A flowery tablescape can help set a cheery tone for any bachelorette party, whether drinks and hors d’oeuvres at home are the main event or just the first of many increasingly rowdy stops. The tasteful table below blends elements both flirty and refined, and thankfully swaps out cheesy favors (novelty pasta, anyone?) for more sophisticated touches. Stay in for girl talk—with help from the insightful questions of The Proust Questionnaire—or put some precautionary band-aids on your heels before hitting the town for some honky tonk at The California Clipper.


Set the Table: Pack a Picturesque Picnic

Set the Table: Pack a Picturesque Picnic

7.24.2013

Between the music series in Millennium Park and free movie nights in neighborhoods throughout the city, the siren song of alfresco dining is impossible to ignore this time of year. Of course, a fetching picnic setup like this one, with its eye-catching blanket, whimsical drinking straws, and papel picado–inspired plates, could be reason enough to sup under the stars any night of the week. All that’s missing is a few sandwiches and ready-to-go sides from the nearest Goddess and Grocer.


DIY: Upcycle Old T-Shirts into a Nightgown

DIY: Upcycle Old T-Shirts into a Nightgown

6.19.2013

During one particularly sweaty and unbearable summer a few years ago, Megan Keach worried she’d wear her favorite slip down to shreds, so she decided to make some of her own as backup. Scores of upcycled shirts and more than 100 NighTees later, Megan can now cut and stitch her signature sleepwear in less than an hour and a half—which is good, since they’ve become a hot item in her Etsy shop, Make by Megan K.


Style Stop: Logan Square on the Blue Line

Style Stop: Logan Square on the Blue Line

6.13.2013

The Blue Line’s Logan Square stop draws a regular stream of visitors thanks to restaurants such as Longman & Eagle, Lula Cafe, and Telegraph. But the perpetually leaky-roofed stop is also the gateway to a handful of charming independent boutiques where shoppers uncover everything from earth-friendly toys to locally made clothing, artwork, and gifts.


Babes in Chicagoland: Five of the Windy City’s Top Toy Stores

Babes in Chicagoland: Five of the Windy City’s Top Toy Stores

6.3.2013

Children make up nearly a quarter of Chicago’s population —that’s more than half a million overactive little bodies and minds racing around the city, chasing after ice-cream trucks, and demanding to know why the sky is blue. Luckily for parents trying to harness all that energy and curiosity, these five toy shops stock their shelves with playthings to suit many ages and ever-changing interests.


They’re Back: Four Shops that Help You Hop on the Ear Cuff Trend

They’re Back: Four Shops that Help You Hop on the Ear Cuff Trend

4.24.2013

Once a trademark accessory of the 1990s, ear cuffs slowly went the way of butterfly clips and tattoo necklaces. But now it appears the cuffs are making a comeback, at least according to the Spring 2013 designs by Jason Wu and Rodarte. Whereas the ‘90s ear cuff was all about grunge, today’s designs range from understated golden arcs to giant, gravity-defying pieces that could double as sculptural art. But the real draw of the ear cuff might be practical: since they rest comfortably along the edge of the ear, they’re easy to take off, unlike heavy chandelier earrings, which can easily weigh down pierced ears.


Five Finds: Aaron's Apothecary, the New Old-Fashioned Pharmacy

Five Finds: Aaron's Apothecary, the New Old-Fashioned Pharmacy

4.22.2013

Peppy, 1930s French music fills the air at Aaron’s Apothecary, giving customers the impression they may have stepped back in time. And they have, in a way. Owner Aaron Pietrykowski has labored hard to resurrect the full-service, European apothecary of yore, traveling frequently to bring back the latest health and beauty trends from the Continent. “You can’t not go to a pharmacy if you’re in Europe,” he says, reminiscing about the grandeur he strives so hard to create at his shop, which was founded during 2011's Snowmageddon.


Andersonville’s Bounty of Antique Boutiques

Andersonville’s Bounty of Antique Boutiques

3.29.2013

Andersonville's Swedish roots bring more to the neighborhood than lingonberries and Dalecarlian horses—they also make this North Side ‘hood a destination for anyone bitten by the midcentury-modern bug. At least 11 antique shops line Clark Street, many selling chic Scandinavian pieces. They also sell ornate Victorian fixtures, spare industrial furniture, and every delicate dish and whacky knickknack in between. With so much design packed into just a few blocks, it’s no wonder the neighborhood has become a favorite stop for Martha Stewart, Nate Berkus, and other home tastemakers. Here are four shops that cover the spectrum of aesthetics and atmospheres—from modern to nostalgic, curated to chaotic: