North Shore Holiday Guide

Friends, at last, my #ShopLocal North Shore Holiday Guide is here. Of all the guides I’ve worked on this year, I knew this one was the most important. We have so many local businesses that look forward to holiday shoppers–and in 2020–more than any other, we need to show up for them!

This #ShopLocal North Shore Holiday Guide just barely scratches the surface of the treasures that fill our beautiful communities, but my hope is that it will be a gentle reminder of all that we have available to us. This guide skews heavily towards Lake Forest and Lake Bluff because I know them particularly well. But if you’re a North Shore business and don’t see yourself listed here, please feel free to reach out. I’d be happy to do an addendum!

All the products shown in the collages are linked in the numbered descriptions below to the local retailer. If there is a promotion or special code available, it’s mentioned there, too.

  1. Laura Lance Designs: Lake Forest’s Laura Carreira offering this hand-painted leather tote as part of her holiday collection. It comes in 4 colors and Laura will personally paint your custom monogram. This tote normally retails for $160, but if you mention “Ann Marie On the Shore” when you order, she’ll reduce the price to $130. You can message her on Instagram to place an order or visit her website by clicking here.
  2. Caprice Decadent: Lake Forest’s Karen Anderson searched the world over before discovering Caprice Decadent Bohemian Jewelry, unique gems designed by an artist in Oslo, Norway and handmade in an intimate studio in Athens, Greece. Visit her website to order.
  3. J. McLaughlin: Can you say affordable luxury? This faux fur jacket is a showstopper. And if it’s not available in stock at the Lake Forest or Winnetka stores, never fear. They will find it for you.
  4. Jar Bar Makeup at the Lake Forest Shop: Jar Bar founder Jen Bobay is all about the eyes these days with her mineral-based line of cosmetics. Visit Jen’s website or make an appointment to see her at The Lake Forest Shop. And while you’re there, be sure to check out the beautiful Angela Alvarez bags available for purchase.
  5. Deseda: This scarf called “Lucky Charms” is what we all need in our stockings as we embark on 2021. Each Deseda silk scarf is printed with custom art and beautifully gift wrapped. If you’re lucky enough to visit this Lake Forest retailer, be sure to see their new line of wraps and gilets. You can receive 20% off your purchase with the code ANNMARIE20.
  6. Hand-sewn Masks from Kathleen Aberle and Shop Katie May: These two women have single-handedly kept our communities safe with their hand-sewn mask. Visit @skaberle or Shop Katie May to order a stash for your loved ones for the coming months.
  7. Fiore Press Letterpress: Is there anything more better than a handwritten note from a friend? Well maybe a handwritten note on a custom notecard? No one is better that Carmela Heintzelman at Fiore Press Letterpress. She will set you right up with exactly what you’d like.
  8. Raleigh Bird Clutches: You know that I’m a huge fan of anything Rebecca Asfour signs her name to and these new clutches from her Raleigh Bird line are darling. Call her today to place your custom order or visit her website to see what other fantastic items she has for those left on your shopping list.
  9. Arbonne Sugared Amber Spa Set: Treat yourself or a dear one to a relaxing day at the spa from the comfort of your own home with this indulging spa trio of bath salts, body scrub, and body mist. Lake Forest’s Nicole Phelan is happy to help you with any of your shopping needs.

  1. Oui Madame: It will come as no surprise that Oui Madame’s Vicki Hofstetter and Oprah have the same taste when it comes to gifting! Both of them chose these Beatriz Bags as a favorite holiday gift!
  2. April’s Linens: If you love crisp white cotton items, you’ll love just about anything April Volpe will have to show you. This little girl nightgown also comes in adult sizes and makes such a special gift. Reach out to April by text 847.721.8939 or email Her shop is open by appointment at 208 N. Waukegan Road in Lake Bluff.
  3. Lillie Alexander Ltd.: Holy choices of sweaters! Lake Forest’s Lillie Alexander Ltd. has outdone itself this year when it comes to yummy sweaters for every gal on your list. This fuschia puff sleeve number from Derek Lam is a must see
  4. Designs by Charlotte: Pretty much everything Lake Bluff’s Charlotte Muzik designs and beads is a stunner and these earring drops are no exception. Reach out to Charlotte to find out about an upcoming trunk show or to make an appointment to see her pieces.
  5. Flowers by Katie Ford: Everything we love about Lake Forest’s Katie Ford is included in every stunning arrangement that comes from her shop. Katie will custom design the perfect, unforgettable arrangement for anyone you need a gift for this holiday.
  6. Maze Home: Talk about a one-stop shop for everyone on your list! Maze Home has thought of everything this holiday, including these sparkly mask chains that are the perfect stocking stuffer.
  7. Forest Bootery: There should be no cold feet this winter, especially with Forest Bootery in our corner. These Bear Paw Retro Loki slippers are so cute and so comfy (and well-priced to boot!).
  8. share: If you just need something pretty, my favorite store in Wilmette–share–will likely have it for you! These boho wrapped candles are just darling and make the perfect hostess gift, stocking stuffer, or a just because for you.
  9. The Mustard Seed: This little fair trade shop in Lake Forest should be at the top of your list! These Alpaca scarves are the softest I’ve found and were only $38! Amazing–and they are gifts that give back!

  1. Smith’s Men’s Store: Smith’s Men’s Store owners Trey and Kip have cornered the market on amazing gifting for the guys in your life. You MUST visit their store this holiday with the mission to see their new line of Barbour jackets they just got in store. Classic and modern–perfect!
  2. 31st State: This is the gift that came out of nowhere for me this holiday that I just love. 31st State is a clean line of toiletries for boys that has roots in Winnetka. These are products that your teens won’t fight you to use–they’ll actually look forward to those much-needed showers. Use the code AMS2020 at checkout for 10% off your order.
  3. Lake Bluff’s 125th Anniversary: I don’t know about you, but I was crushed when all of Lake Bluff’s 125th Anniversary plans for its village fell through with the onset of Covid. But all was not lost. The village created a terrific line of commemorative merch that would be great for anyone who has a soft spot for this North Shore community.
  4. North Shore Vibe: Speaking of fans of the North Shore, a new organization dedicated to preserving the North Shore’s natural treasures–North Shore Vibe–is selling some great items this holiday, too, to raise money for their efforts. You can get 10% off your North Shore Vibe purchase at checkout with the code NSVANNMARIE.
  5. Katie Brickman Art: Lake Forest’s Katie Brickman has made such a splash with her vibrant art this year that she has opened a studio at Gorton Community Center. There, her creativity has no limits, and she’s recently expanded to painting collections that would be perfect in a boy’s room (one of those pieces is shown above). Katie said if you mention this post when you order from her, there will be “Ann Marie On the Shore” pricing applied.
  6. Valentina: The fantastic Valentina boutique isn’t only for the ladies–they have great items for men, too. From classic board games to this luxe robe to their three North Shore locations–they’ve got your guy covered.
  7. Lake Forest Station: This is a new little pop-up for Christmas, just off Lake Forest’s Market Square in Lake Forest, is a must visit. Called the Lake Forest Station because of its location in the vacant building at the east Lake Forest Metra Station, various non-profits are selling items to raise money for their valuable causes. Lake Forest Boosters has set up there and has loads of items for your Lake Forest Scout. (And if you can’t find what you need there, the Boosters are also selling their goods at their downtown Lake Bluff retail space.)
  8. lululemon: If you have a sporty guy you’re shopping for, stop in the Market Square lululemon. I love these knit gloves and hat and am sure your guy will, too.
  9. Kiddles Sports: There isn’t anything the Kiddles Sports team won’t do for their customers and have just what your sports enthusiast has on his holiday list. These Cloudace running shoes will help your guy run right into 2021 and the Kiddles team will make sure they’re the perfect fit.

  1. Willims Sonoma: These chocolate croissants that you can warm up in your own oven are the best I’ve ever had! Visit your local store to order yours or click here.
  2. B’s Gourmet Nuts: Another new-to-me business is B’s Gourmet Nuts out of Winnetka. There assortments are delicious and can be quickly shipped to wherever you need them to go. The black truffle cashews are to die for!
  3. Pazzo di Vino Winery: Pazzo di Vino means crazy for, or passionate about wine in Italian. Pazzo di Vino is Highwood’s New Micro-Winery (owned by three local families) with a tasting room, lounge, and outdoor heated patio. They bottle all of their wines on site. In addition to bottles of wine, they have two different wine clubs and wine related gifts and accessories. And, they’re running two holiday specials: buy a case of wine and receive 10% off the case and any Pazzo merchandise; or, buy a $100 gift card and receive a complimentary $25 gift card. Click here to learn more.
  4. Visconti Cheese Market & Deli: Need I say more…meat, cheese, and wine, too? Don’t forget about this great market in the heart of Lake Forest that can help you put together the tastiest gift basket on the North Shore.
  5. Towne & Oak: Winnetka’s newest cafe and entertaining space has put together a brunch basket that would be perfect for small gatherings this holiday. Complete with their housemade biscuits, jam, and the makings for mimosas–what more do you need?
  6. The Bent Fork Bakery: From their ugly sweater cookies to their peppermint cream-filled ho-hos, The Bent Fork in Highwood has all the goodies to help you gift the most delicious basket of holiday treats.
  7. Wines on the Bluff: Locally owned, the Lake Bluff Wine Company produces limited production batches of excellent wines at their production facilities in Napa and Sonoma. For the 2020 holiday season, they’re proud to offer 50 cases of an exquisite Napa red blend. Click here to order yours.
  8. Restaurant Gift Cards: If you love a local restaurant and you’re sure someone else would too, purchase a gift card! Ordering to-go meals and purchasing gift cards for future dine-in experiences are wonderful ways to support our local eateries.
  9. EllieStyled: Lake Forest’s incredibly talented Ellie Nottoli can help you style your holiday gathering from its atmosphere to what you serve. Her innate sense for beautiful experiences is like no other. Giving the gift of a party in 2021 will certainly make you a favorite in someone’s book.

  1. Erase Medispa: Want to put your best face forward in 2021? Let Erase MediSpa in Lake Forest help. Gift your favorite person a treatment from their expert facialist.
  2. Suite Escape: What about the gift of space? Two Lake Forest friends and entrepreneurs–Pim Alley and Kate Holland–have designed a peaceful and creative atmosphere inside Gorton Community Center for women to gather and to work. Click here to purchase a gift card for your girlfriend to try Suite Escape in 2021.
  3. Sunkissed x Dom: Lake Forest’s Dominique Ittner recently launched an in-home custom airbrush spray tan business, which will surely be a hit with your teenage daughter and girlfriends alike. Purchase a gift certificate for a session by messaging Dominique at @sunkissedbydom or texting at 847.525.5007.
  4. Forest Greens Juice Bar: It might not be fun to think about it now, but someone on your list may like to know they can start 2021 in the healthiest way possible. Maybe a juice cleanse? Or a gift card to try what cold-pressed juices are like? This is a terrific gift for someone whose health will be a focus in the new year.
  5. Lake Forest Book Store: Did you know Lake Forest Book Store has its very own book-of-the-month club? You can work with the book store’s team and let them know the likes and interests of the people you’re gifting. Pricing is based on whether you choose hard cover or paperbacks. Call the Book Store today at 847.234.4420 to set this up.
  6. Wellness Solutions: How about gifting some time with Wellness Solutions in its new, beautiful, Lake Forest space? Wellness Solutions is a studio for movement and vitality where they provide physical therapy, pilates, therapeutic massage, and wellness services in a relaxing environment.
  7. Dayhouse Coworking: Could you use a peaceful, serene place to work remotely? Buy a giftcard to the North Shore’s first female-owned coworking space, Dayhouse Coworking in Highland Park. Visit to buy a gift card for your favorite work-from-home warrior, or to sign up for a tour.
  8. Local Fitness Studios: A gift card for favorite fitness classes make a wonderful present. Contact your local workout studios (Forever Om, Orangetheory, The Dailey Method, or Shred to name a few) make this happen for someone you love in 2021.
  9. Social Settings: Social Settings is a new designer tabletop rental company specializing in bespoke table linens and accessories, along with unique gift items for purchase. Their service lets you host without the hassle, giving you super chic tablescapes with little investment. Orders can be placed at Follow them on Instagram @shopsocialsettings to see more great looks.

  1. Lake Forest Flowers: There’s nothing like fresh flowers to pull a holiday vignette together. Let Lake Forest Flowers help you make this magic.
  2. Trend Event Rentals: New on the scene this holiday is Trend Event Rentals. While the size of our gatherings will be smaller this year, Trend Event Rentals can help you take the specialness up a notch.
  3. Seasons 440: Highwood’s Seasons 440 has outdone themselves this year curating the perfect holiday decor and gifts. And no matter how busy they are, they always make time to help you find exactly what you’re looking for and wrap it up before you leave.
  4. M on the Square: Talk about wrapping things up in a pretty bow–M on the Square makes everything they touch just beautiful. From personalized floral arrangements to table settings to gift wrap–they’re a one-stop-shop for getting your holiday on.
  5. The Initial Choice: It’s not too late to find the perfect personalized ornament for everyone on your list. The Lake Forest’s Initial Choice has loads of options at a variety of price points.
  6. Maze Home: Maze Home has set the bar high with its offerings of vintage-looking Santas that would make a super sweet gift or the final touch on your own home’s holiday decor.
  7. Bunny & Babe: This stunning new Winnetka boutique is more than chic clothing. They’ve curated some of the prettiest pieces for your holiday tablescapes.
  8. Pasquesi Home & Garden: Nothing sets the tone for the holidays more than a great smelling candle like the Thymes Frasier Fir scent. Pasquesi’s always stocks their stores with a vast assortment of this line right around Halloween and it gets the ball rolling on holiday shopping. Their large retail space is filled with gorgeous holiday decor and you can now order many of these pieces online and schedule a pick up date and time.
  9. Anna’s Mostly Mahogany: Don’t forget to check out Anna’s Mostly Mahogany for a holiday treasure! What I love about this Highwood gem is that that they have things unique only to them. You’re guaranteed to find something special for sure.

Now let’s get shopping!


If you like this story, you might also like these:

Ann Marie’s Favorite Things for Your Favorite Ladies

Ann Marie’s Gift Guide for Guys


The Handle Hugger

Photo of me by Jenn Marie Photography

My name is Ann Marie Scheidler and I'm thrilled you've decided to check out my blog. I'm a pearl-loving yogi with a thing for travel, a weakness for beautiful bags, and a passion for storytelling. In this space, I'll be sharing stories about my family, go-to recipes, my wellness journey, fashion and beauty favorites, and my love for Chicago’s North Shore. I find new inspiration wherever I go. Thanks so much for coming along for the ride!


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Leave a Comment


  1. THANK YOU Ann Marie for including us on your list, and for such a fabulous comprehensive list! We’ll be sure to shop local this season with your wonderful guide!

    Posted 12.12.20 Reply
    • Ann Marie Scheidler wrote:

      Carmela, thank you! You North Shore retailers are an incredibly impressive crew! xo

      Posted 12.12.20 Reply