1. My wife loves these appetizer plates from CB2 ($2.95 ea.). The illustrations in this series, called “Oliver,” are all pretty funny and the whole set would make a great hostess gift.
  2. I love these china farmers’ market baskets from Jayson Home ($20-38). Scaled after the real berry baskets, they are great in the kitchen for fruits and veggies, or just to display as sculpture.
  3. I’ve been searching for the perfect wine glass for a while and I think I’ve found it in the Oregon collection from Crate and Barrel  ($4.46 ea.). The shape and weight will make any two-buck Chuck taste like a $50 Bordeaux (really, there’s no reason to test that, just trust me).
  4. Speaking of value wines, my favorite wine deal is the 6 for $60 from Just Grapes. I haven’t returned a bottle yet.
  5. I officially deem the Lego Architecture line too cool for kids. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie house is probably my favorite, available at the Chicago Architecture Foundation gift shop ($250).