On Saturday, August 12, 2006, my neighbor and friend, Sue, and I went to town in Libertyville to see some of the new shops. It was a glorious day...sunny, with mild temperatures.
One of the first shops that we entered was a little off the "beaten path" called Tell Two Friends. From the minute we walked into the shop, I knew that we were in for a treat. It's a very special place with high quality merchandise, attractive displays, and topnotch service.
Everything is arranged by type of merchandise and all the merchandise is easy to view, sometimes to touch, with prices visible to the shopper. The store smells wonderful, and the person who owns it (Helen Tosto) and her daughter were so kind and attentive but NOT imposing.
I purchased an item when we were there; when I arrived home and opened up the beautiful bag, inside I found a delicious candy bar, a sample of their tea, and a sample of Mandarin Coriander hand lotion by Home Thymes! Needless to say, I was impressed.
See photograph #4 for one of the gifts (of course, the candy bar is long gone!)
See photograph #5 for a view of the elegant merchandise bag.
Hours of Business:
Thursday until 8 pm.
What to buy: Tell Two Friends is a "one-of-a-kind" store. They create Themed Gift Baskets. In addition, they display incredibly beautiful handmade Greeting Cards; they offer Imprinting of Balloons and Ribbons; they also offer Corporate Gifting and Corporate Event Planning.
I saw Baby Gift Items, Illume Candles, and all kinds of specialty gifts. The store also sells "The Thymes Bath Products.
As if that were not enough, they also specialize in Customized Silk Florals. Both Sue and I commented about the beauty of the Silk Florals displayed in the shop.
They also design Weddings, Bridal and Baby showers, as well doing In-Home Floral Consultations
Best of all, they do free Designer Gift Wraps....and those are really beautiful!
What to pay: I purchased one of their homemade cards. It was a birthday card for a male friend who designs his own flies for Fly Fishing. Of course, there were beautiful creative flies, with hook and feathers adorning the front of the card!
The card cost $5.00. Naturally, that is more expensive than usual; however, it was well worth it. It's an "upper end" store, so expect to pay for it.
I did not know what to expect when I first saw the shop called "The Present Moment". Susan Opeka, the owner, must be a most interesting person because the philosophy behind this store is quite remarkable.
The store's theme seems to be: "Inspiring the Heart, Mind & Soul". After perusing the store briefly, I came to the conclusion that the merchandise matches the theme perfectly.
The store is huge and has an "airy" feeling about it. You are able to leave via the front (Milwaukee Avenue) or the back (the parking area). Merchandise is arranged, leaving plenty of space and in a way that the shopper is attracted, feeling free to browse, to inspect, and to hopefully purchase.
The business card states: "Experience the moment with...Pamper yourself with...".
You, as a shopper, can "experience" the art work, the unique books, and the beautiful jewelry.
You are also able to "pamper yourself" with their scented candles, gourmet chocolates, unusual cards, spa comforts, and imported teas.
This store is a great place to purchase perfect gifts...gifts that you do not see anywhere else.
I'll certainly return often.
Monday, the store is closed.
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday: 10:00 am-6:00 pm
Thursday: 10:00 am-8:00 pm
Saturday: 10:00 am-5:00 pm
Sunday: 11:00 am-4:00 pm
What to buy: I saw art, jewelry, spa items, cards, notepads, other writing materials, imported teas, and amazing books.
What to pay: I purchased four cards that were entitled Celebrate HER, and they were $2.50 each. I've never seem them in any other store. I thought the prices were reasonable for the high quality.
Even though UpScale ReSale is not a new store, this was the first time that I had been inside it. The window announced a SALE, so Sue and I were eager to check it out.
There were really two different sales going on. The summer merchandise was "Buy one item, Get another item FREE". Then, there was some racks that had items between $3.00-$5.00 that were mostly long-sleeved shirts, tops, and sweaters with a few sweater vests as well.
Of course, since this is a resale shop, everything is well priced. However, you note in the name of the store that the items are UpScale in nature.
I loved the arrangement of the store because it was arranged not only by season but by COLOR as well. There are actually a couple of rooms in the store, and it was not overcrowded as some resale stores seem to be.
What to buy: UpScale ReSale sells predominately Women's Clothing, Shoes, Purses, Jewelry, and miscellaneous items I also noted a few larger home decor items, but not many.
Many of the items still had their original price tags on them (and they were very expensive price tags!). In addition, UpScale ReSale adds their own price tag.
They take Cash, Check, Credit/Debit Cards, and On Account (which is rare).
The women who worked here were helpful and, thank goodness, they did not "hover".
What to pay: As indicated in photographs #2,4, and 4, I purchased 3 items while inside UpScale ReSale.
1. A pink and grey GAP long-sleeved top that sells at GAP for $16.00. This store's original price was $8.00, but, it was on the extreme sale rack for $3.00!
2. A bright pink lightweight sweater vest (SIDEFFECTS...exclusive designs of California) that sold for $110.00 originally in a store called OVER THE TOP LTD. UpScale ReSale first priced it at $78.00, then $39.00, then $8.00, but since it was on the extreme sale rack, I purchased it for $5.00!
3. A long-sleeved black zip-up sweater of Acrylic and cotton by OLO that had been $38.00, but since it, too, was on the extreme sale rack, I paid a mere $3.00 for it!
Most items are not this inexpensive, indeed.
"Someone's in the Kitchen" in Libertyville, Illinois, has a new owner, Judy Potrzeba.
With a new owner comes new products, new ideas, and new "hands-on" cooking classes and demonstrations.
Someone's in the Kitchen is a specialty and gourmet cookware store. It is an absolutely beautiful store that is a delight to visit. It is bright, well organized, and oh, so clean.
The people who work here have a great deal of knowledge about food, food products, and cooking.
What to buy: Someone's in the Kitchen carries culinary cookware, cutlery, linens, tools, bakeware, tabletop products, specialty food items, and a wide assortment of gifts. Their new product line (they are the exclusive distributor) is the Culinary Institute of America's (CIA) new Master's Collection line of cookware, bakeware, cutlery, and kitchen tools.
The real exciting part concerning this shop is that it provides Cooking Classes concerning different countries and different styles of cooking. The same person does not always conduct these classes. Visiting chefs often conduct them. Of course, there is a tuition fee for each of these classes which pays for the food, etc. Registered students received a 10% discount on purchases made at the class.
What to pay: Prices vary widely; however, these are upscale products, which cost more than "dime-store" varieties. I can tell you that the price of most of the classes range between$35.00 and $55.00.
If you have a sweet tooth, especially for chocolate, then the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory is the place to shop in Libertyville.
The owner and manager, Pam Lockowitz, keeps a tidy shop that is arranged to entice the shopper. Free samples are offered, and once you taste the delicious morsels, you cannot resist.
The huge and wonderful caramel apples are made right before your eyes as is the fudge.
Even though the candy, caramel apples, and carmel corn are expensive, all of them are worth the price because they are made with fresh ingredients and with loving care.
What to buy: The Apples are incredible. The one that I tried is my favorite apple, the Granny Smith green, slightly tart fruit. I chose the dark chocolate (it is better for your heart!!) rolled in pecans. You have so many to choose from: milk chocolate, white chocolate, dark chocolate; green or red apples; nuts or no nuts, caramel and chocolate or just caramel. You also have a choice of walnuts, pecans, almonds, or peanuts.
They also sell a variety of home-made fudge with just as many choices. In addition, you may wish to buy their candy by the pound or half pound. Whatever you select, you will not be disappointed when you buy from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory in Libertyville.
I visited Parkview Gourmet, Inc. for the first time with my friend, Sue. We were both impressed with the size of the store, with the attentive service we received, and with the quality and beauty of the merchandise.
The emphasis of the store is comfort. You feel so comfortable once you are inside the store. The smells of delicious food items greet you. Your eyes are entertained by the clever arrangements.
Your tastebuds are delighted as you visit the many "tasting spots" throughout the store.
This huge store is bright and cheerful, sleek and elegant, yet warm and cozy. The people who work here go out of their way to please the customer.
What to buy: The store features wines, hot chocolates, coffees, cheeses, sweets, dip mixes, jams/jellies, crackers, and other unusual and hard to find gormet items.
They also have beautiful dishes and cups, arranged in such a delightful manner and mixed among the condiments, olive oils, and other food items.
There are separate spots for wines, cheeses, and desserts. It is all so tempting because it is all so good!
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday: 10:00 am-8:00 pm
Thursday: 10:00 am-5:00 pm
Saturday: 10:00 am-5:00 pm
Sunday: 11:00 am-4:00 pm
What to pay: I purchased gourmet crackers called "Everything Flatbread ($3.49) I also purchased a delicious Italian Olive Oil Salad ($6.95) comprised of Green Olives, celery, carrots, sweet peppers, capers, black olives, parsley, oregano, Garlic, and other spices. I took them to a party, and they were both "a hit"!
I feel that the gourmet items are fairly priced, especially for the fine quality.
For an unusual "change of pace", visit the zany TREASURES & TRASH in Libertyville. The store is located right on the main "drag", Milwaukee Avenue. Unlike other gift shops in Libertyville, this one is delightfully cluttered and jam-packed with surprises. The owner, Cynthia Chicca, is a vivacious, witty woman whose favorite holiday is Halloween; thus, starting in August, she puts out all the new Halloween merchandise. She has decorations that you can find no where else. My neighbor Chris (in the photo) also loves Halloween and decorates as much for that holiday as most other people decorate for Christmas. Naturally, she adores this shop. The day we were there, she purchased about four more substantial halloween pieces. I purchased two sticks for flower pots made of metal and quite delightful. It's amazing that they only cost $1.00 each!!!
The store has antiques, dishes, decorations, figures, collectibles, garden statues and other types of decorations.
The store was quite busy the day we were there, which was a Friday. Her prices are quite reasonable, and her merchandise is quite original.
Cynthia places great sale items just outside the front door, and this technique "draws in" many shoppers who like a bargain. Once inside this unique store, they usually purchase more non-sale items.
The hours that Treasures & Trash are open varies. In the summer, she opens during the week as well as on weekends. Once school starts for her son, she is only open Friday & Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. or by appointment.
Shopping here is a treat, and you may find trash, but then again, you'll no doubt find plenty of treasures!
What to buy: Depending on the season, holiday decorations are abundant: July 4, Halloween, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter.
She also carries antiques, glassware, outdoor decorations for gardens, collectibles, and dolls, weird items for the kitchen and bath and various other clever items.
What to pay: Items range from under $1.00 to over $300.00.
Libertyville Market Days are held on Fridays starting at the end of May and going through September. It's located on a "roped off" street right off of the main street, Milwaukee Avenue and next to the Rose Garden. It goes from about ten in the morning until one in the afternoon, give or take a half hour or more.
It's an activity that really brings out the locals each week. People are so happy to purchase such quality items and food that they make it a point to be there each week for fear that they will miss something special.
My neighbor Chris and I try to go whenever possible, and we always enjoy it whenever we are able to make it.
Wagons are supplied free of charge so that you are able to place your items it the wagons, keeping your hands free. Local merchants advertise on the wagons, which makes everyone happy...patrons and shop owners. The photo I took is of one of those wagons filled with a shopper's "bargains"!
What to buy: The kinds of items that are available on Market Days varies from week to week. Most times, you can be assured that there will be fresh fruits and vegetables grown and picked that day from local farms. Delicious cherries, blueberries, strawberries, tomatoes, sweet corn, dill, cucumbers, lettuce, onions, carrots, beans, and other in-season items.
In addition, you can purchase cheese, meats, bakery goods, mushrooms, soup mixes, buffalo sausage, and other speciality items.
Also, fresh flowers, handmade jewelry, CD's by local musicians, and perennial flowers to grow in your garden.
Just this fall, I discovered a wonderful little speciality store right on the main "drag" in Libertyville that caters to those people who really pamper their pets or to people who collect pet memorabilia called Luv Your Pets Boutique.
It's just great fun to browse in this darling shop. It is so well organized by the breed of the animal. The other good quality of this store is that they give almost (but not quite) the same amount of space for cat items as they do dog items, which is rare.
I shopped here at Christmas for a neighbor/friend who has a fetish for Golden Retrievers. It was so much fun in this ultra-organized environment to find unusual gifts that I knew she did not already have.5s*
What to buy: Your are able to purchase clothing for the animals, dishes, photo albums, night lights, cups, pillows, beds, leashes, food, vitamins, and almost anything else you can think of.
I, myself, purchased all "Golden Retriever" items such as an beautiful night light, a door stop pillow, a regular pillow, a coffee mug, a magnet, and a custom leash.
I almost purchased for another friend who has a cat, a door stop of a cat that looked just like here and a nightlight.
At Christmas you can purchased lovely needlework stockings with the breed of animal picture.
So, for animal lovers and collectors, check out Luv Your Pets Boutique.
What to pay: A little more expensive, but you find here what you cannot find anywhere else.