Thursday, May 6, 2010

Oprah Store...who knew?

I was lucky enough to be invited to attend a tea this week at the Oprah Store. Yes, the Oprah Store. I have talked since to several people who didn't know that it existed. Did you? I knew, but only because a friend's boyfriend was the merchandising designer (or something like that?!) when they built the store a few years ago, and I also remember an episode where Oprah had all these models come out showing off the newly designed merch that the store would sell. But even when I went to my first taping last summer, both my friend Erin and I were SO pregnant that there was no waddling over to the store after the show wrapped!

So, this was my first venture inside, and it was...really great! Aesthetically, the space is open and airy, but also homey and cozy at the same time. It has tons of natural, passive lighting (what better to shop with!), exposed brick, and soaring ceilings. There are comfy seating areas if you need a rest or to just relax for a minute, and lots of color in the displays all around the store.They have baby section too, with several organic cotton offerings in sweet pale hues, as well as funny bibs that say "O Yum", and "O Yuck". Maybe due to the changing seasons, there are TONS of sales throughout the store, and if you enter coupon code OStoreTea2010 you can enjoy FREE shipping for any online purchases today and tomorrow (5/6 & 5/7). Check it out for some last min Mother's Day giving! (Shhh...I got my mom her gift there this year!)

Oprah wasn't at the Tea, but her renown chef, Art Smith was! He was there signing copies of his cookbooks and I was luck enough to get a signed copy of Kitchen Life, Real Food for Real Families - Even Yours! Art was really sweet and funny and it was a treat to meet a celeb chef who didn't seem like he minded chatting. He told us about his healthy heating and exercise regimen that has helped him to shed 90 lbs! And how beautiful Padma Lakshmi's new baby is. We dished Top Chef, on which he is a judge for the upcoming season and I can't wait to try out some of his recipes with my budding 3 year old top chef! I love that Art's cookbooks seem to revolve around the theme of bringing the family back together at the dinner table, a value that we share here at our house.

Talbott Teas and Karyn's Cooked/Raw, provided the refreshments. The bread pudding I had from Karyn's was delish. Ooey-gooey and tasted like it was heading straight for my boo-tay, but Karyn assured me it was actually healthy! I tasted Talbott's Chocolate Strawberry Temptation tea, and it was neither overly sweet or "fake" tasting. The bit of caffeine helped get me by without my little cat nap that day, and it felt absolutely luxurious to sip the tasty tea while chatting with all the other hip bloggers. What a fun time!

So remember that the next time you need a special gift for your fav Oprah Fan, a little something to say thank you to a teacher, or just a fun day shopping in Chicago, check out the Oprah Store! It is shopping local, after all. ;-)

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