Tuesday, December 13, 2011

ENJOY helps you stuff their stockings with FUN for LESS this Holiday Season

As the nation struggles with trying economic conditions, ENJOY, AN URBAN GENERAL STORE seeks to bring a little light-hearted (and inexpensive) fun to this year's holiday gift giving by offering 100's of stocking stuffers under $25.

ENJOY, AN URBAN GENERAL STORE, located in the heart of Chicago's Lincoln Square neighborhood at 4723 N. Lincoln Avenue, has been a "one-stop shop" for "all your gift giving needs" for over 6 years. This holiday season, Rebecca Wood, Owner of ENJOY, has focused on offering gifts on the less expensive side. As Wood explains, "I wanted to offer a wide variety of gifts--for all ages--that provide humor and joy without being expensive so that people can shop without having to worry about the cost. The holidays are stressful enough!"

ENJOY will give shoppers looking for humorous stocking stuffers the trifecta of novelty gifts-- Bacon, Mustache and Matryoshka items. ENJOY and Urbangeneralstore.com will feature everything from bacon strips bandages to a heavily-scented "sizzling" bacon candle. Mustache lovers can find adhesive mustaches, mustache necklaces and even the font geek's fave, "A Field Guide to Typestaches" Screen-Printed Poster from Old Tom Foolery.

ENJOY has the hot new trend, matryoshkas also known as babushkas or Russian nesting dolls, on key caps, juice glasses, earbuds and even Christmas tree ornaments.

ENJOY has long been the holiday shoppers' go-to for humorous gifts. But this year, ENJOY will be offering a new line of hand-finished signs with inspirational quotes from Primitives by Kathy. "While we still offer larger handmade art signs, some customers will appreciate a smaller $6.95 Primitives by Kathy sign that can be stood on a desk or a mantle (or hung on the wall) that expresses a similar sentiment," said Stephanie Edwards, the eCommerce Manager of ENJOY's online site, Urbangeneralstore.com. These signs are great holiday gifts for teachers, coworkers, relatives or even priced right as a hostess gift.

ENJOY's holiday stocking stuffer best seller is The Pick Punch Tool, a hand-held device that allows guitarists to make their own guitar picks. The Pick Punch Tool's retail price is $24.95 and is the perfect gift for budding and seasoned guitarists, those who love new, fun gadgets, or those who are truly impossible to buy for.

ENJOY, AN URBAN GENERAL STORE will offer extended holiday hours now through Christmas eve. Shoppers can also browse the 1,000's of items available online at Urbangeneralstore.com. Standard rate shipping is $6.95 or free for orders over $100. Or Chicago-area residents can place their orders online and select free next-day in-store pickup at ENJOY. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Happy Sigh Brrr Monday (& Luddite Tuesday)

Ah, Cyber Monday… the virtual doorbuster. We bet you’ve already received numerous emails telling you to SHOP NOW, YOU’RE TOO LATE, LIMITED QUANTITIES, BRING YOUR PEPPER SPRAY.
Not here.

Do you know that Cyber Monday originated as the Monday after the Thanksgiving Holiday when people went back to work and shopped online on their high-speed internet connections at their computers at their office. Those were the days!

But, it is 2011, people have high-speed connections on devices in their pockets! In fact, you’re likely reading this blog on just such a device.

Instead of coming up with a Cyber Monday gimmick, we’d like to take a moment and breathe a heavy SIGH of relief for another happy and healthy Thanksgiving and give a wistful BRRR to the chilly days of December that will be warmed with holiday traditions like sharing good times (and gifts!) with family and loved ones.

We do know economic times are tough, so in the spirit of a "Cyber Monday” savings event, we are taking 10% off everything on our website through Tuesday, 11/29, (in celebration of the less well-known Luddite Tuesday) at www.urbangeneralstore.com. This is an unadvertised special we are only telling you--our previous customers, email subscribers, Facebook fans, Google+’ers, and Twitter followers (and you, gentle blog reader)—our VIP’s as a way to say “thanks". Items will reflect sale prices on the website now through Tuesday, 11/29 (11:59pm CST).

After that, we will have the same funny, functional, quirky, inspirational gift items available. As always, we’ll still ship them to you quickly for $6.95 flat rate (free for orders over $100), pack them carefully with pride and send a hand-written thank you note or gift message. Or you can select “Free In-Store Pick-up” and your order will be waiting for you in a day or two at ENJOY, AN URBAN GENERAL STORE in Chicago.

Any questions? We’re happy to help. Just email us.
The Masters of Merchandise (mom [at] urbangeneralstore.com)

The Fine Print: No rain checks. Online orders only. Offer not applicable on gift cards. Discount not applied to shipping charges or sales tax, where applicable. Offer void where prohibited. May not be used in combination with other orders.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Back to School? Back to Cool!

How does this always happen? One minute, you’re making plans for how you’ll fill up the long summer days. The next, you’re back to school shopping and pulling out sweaters!

Think back to your first day of school (however old you were). I bet someone took a picture of you. Standing proud and ready. New school bag or backpack. Maybe some new shoes. Maybe new-to-you, hand-me-down shoes. A uniform that is too big or a pair of pants that are as neat and pressed as they will ever be.

Here are my nieces and nephews on their first day of school last week...

And here’s me--probably c. 1978...

Look at how the hot air balloon book bag matches my skirt (that also happens to match my blouse--hello Garanimals!) 

Although the styles have changed (and the lunch box technology is MUCH better) there’s a certain similarity between my first day of school picture and my nieces and nephews first day of school picture (fashion notwithstanding).

I actually still have my first school bag from grade school (still quite fashionable, if I do say so myself). I’d probably use it as a briefcase if it would hold more than 2 phonics workbook pages and a jumbo #2 pencil.

Speaking of lunch boxes and school bags... they really have come a LONG way.
My nieces and nephews have Vapur Reusable Water Bottles clipped with a carabiner to their belts...

I had this to hold my drinks...

They have fancy backpacks and insulated totes for their lunches like the PackIt Freeze and Go...

I had this...

I've started to realize that kids today only seem so much cooler than we were. 
I bet kids today would do anything for this beauty from my generation...

Maybe we were cool after all.

Shop all our Back to Cool items at Urbangeneralstore.com now! Or stop by ENJOY, AN URBAN GENERAL STORE in Chicago's Lincoln Square neighborhood today at 4723 N. Lincoln Avenue.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

2 for Tuesdays: Papa's Got a Brand New ______?

Ok, so you totally aced Mother's Day 2011, finding mom the PERFECT gift that showed how much she means to you and how much you care. She fawned over it and told all her friends about it.

Yay you!

But guess what is right around the corner... yep, Father's Day. June 19, 2011.

But dads are dudes. And most dudes are hard to buy for because they pretty much like anything you give them. And if your dad is one of those picky dads, then they are hard to buy for because they're picky!

That is why, every Father's Day, 1,148,327 ties are given as gifts in June and 1,148,326 are donated the following September.* 

Children of all ages panic and resort to this simple equation:
IF Men Wear Ties AND Dad Is A Man THEN Dad Needs Tie

*We totally made this figure up.

We know that if you are reading this blog then you must be a hip, savvy internet shopper--refusing to ever get dad another <snore> tie. This year, we'd like to change your mind about that perennial Father's Day gift. If you think your dad is "too cool" for boring, conservative ties check our selection of hip neckwear.

This 45 Record Adapter Tie is anything but ordinary.

Might be his single favorite tie. 

Time for a new equation: 
IF you think your dad rocks AND this tie rocks THEN your dad will rock in this tie.  

Ok, ok. So your dad really NEVER wears ties, but he still love to rock. And we bet he drinks coffee.

The Amp'd Up Guitar Amplifier Mug is perfect on those mornings when the caffeine needs to go to 11!

Get Amp'd in the morning with this oversized, porcelain coffee mug! 

A great "son reflecting on (grand)fatherly wisdom" song that is not "Cat's in the Cradle" or any other song buy a guy name Cat, is the Faces "Ooh La La". Apparently then-member of The Faces, Rod Stewart, didn't think the song was worthwhile so Ronnie Wood handled the lead vocals. With all due respect, Mr. Stewart, but we think you were wrong.

Ooh La La-Faces (1973)

What do you do if your father is Hank Williams, Sr? In "Family Tradition", Hank Williams, Jr. puts it, er, bluntly.

Hank Williams, Jr.'s Greatest Hits (1982)

We think ol' Hank 2 had his tounge firmly planted in his cheek. And while we typically favor the songs of his father (and his son), "Family Tradition" features a rousing sing-along call and response pre-chorus that we are a sucker for every time.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

2 for Tuesdays: Hot Diggity Dawg

Today we'd like to be a bit of a "homer" and salute our kinda town, Chicago.

The Windy City has been "sweating" a bit having to face the Miami Heat in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals.

Whether the Chicago Bulls weather the Miami Heat or not, South Beach, although having a lot of "hot dogs", doesn't have THE Chicago Hot Dog.

It is almost cliched to talk about the Chicago Hot Dog. But it is cliched because it true!

Although not technically a Chicago Hot Dog (we spy some ketchup on it--quelle horreur!) pull your money out of the Hot Dog Yummy Pocket at SuperDawg or Hot Doug's and get the respect that only someone carrying a hot dog coin purse deserves.

Hot Dog Yummy Pocket
Hot Dog Yummy Pocket
Let us be frank, this little pouch looks good enough to eat! 

And here's hoping that the Chicago Bulls, like the venerable Chicago Hot Dog, are big wieners!

Want a wallet that shows your Chicago pride but is a bit more practical? Then we have a wallet with plenty of Rahm for your credit cards, cash and ID's-- The Chicago Flag Men's Wallet.

Chicago Flag Men's Wallet 
A billfold you'll want to carry Daley.

Made from recycled plastic bags from by the non-profit organization CONSERVE, the wallet is tough, colorful and built-to-last. Just like Chicago.
Without the meat.

Speaking of tough, Chicago vegans...
Chicago's very own, Common, has come under some fire of late.
We'd like to take a step back and focus on Common the artist.
We are partial to the smooth "Chi-City".
But for sheer "get us riled up about Chicago" Kanye West's "Homecoming" is it!

Common and Kanye tend to rap about, er, mature topics.
What about your little Chicagoan?

Check out Laura Doherty's ode to encased meat "Hot Dog" from her 2009 album Kids in the City.

With a Laura's excellent musicianship and clever lyrics, not to mention a very catchy chorus, it is a song that kids will love (and parents too).

And, we bet it makes you hungry.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

2 For Tuesdays: Magnetic Personality

Lately we've come across a lot of rare earth magnets being used in unusual and interesting ways. We especially like when magnets are used as a building block for a child's imagination (or the creativity of a grown up kid!).

We love everything about the Tegu 8 Piece Pocket Pouch - Natural Honduran Hardwood Blocks right down to the cute, little felt pouch.

Tegu 8 Piece Pocket Pouch - Natural Honduran Hardwood
Availability: In stock.

From Tegu

Tegu blocks are made by safely embedding magnets invisibly inside each block. 

They have created a video feed where a "genius" will take requests on what to build with the blocks at http://live.tegu.com/home.


The Buckyballs are 216 powerful Rare Earth magnetic balls that can be shaped, molded, torn apart and snapped together in UNLIMITED WAYS.
Buckyballs Magnetic Desktoy

Buckyballs Magnetic Desktoy
Availability: In stock.
From Zoomdoggle

Mash them for stress-relief, mold them for fun, make sculptures and shapes. Once you pick them up, you won't be able to put them down. Please note: Buckyballs are not recommended for any children.
People of a certain age may remember when certain Executive Desk Toys were all the rage. It seems like Trent Reznor does. Check out Nine Inch Nails fascinating video for Only to see a truly artistic and inspired use of retro office accessories.

The subtly sublime "Magnet's Coil" from Sebadoh's 1994 album Bakesale features one of our favorite magnet metaphors "I've gotta find a way to loosen up. I'm wound tighter than a magnet's coil". 

Seems like Lou Barlow could use some Buckyballs!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

2 For Tuesdays: Cocktailia

Lately, we've been about all things cocktail. Our eCommerce Manager, Stephanie Edwards, has been blogging about the perfect cocktail for her '40's and was featured on the great new daily web talk show, hosted by Dave Holmes, called A Drink With Dave.

We've been testing a lot of cocktails, both classic and new recipes. The debate is never-ending... some say the simple highball is mixed drink perfection, while others think the more ingredients in a cocktail, the better. But there is one thing that everyone can agree on--if you are going to make a drink, mix it up and serve your cocktails in style!

Graffiti Cocktail Shaker
Yes, there is an art to making the perfect drink. And when you're ready to paint the town, grab the Graffiti Cocktail Shaker from Kikkerland. This is great for the hipster, the artist or the oldster who remembers when spray paint was used to paint lawn furniture and tagging was what you did to make someone "it".

One Too Many Kit
And while we don't endorse over-imbibing, we know it happens. So does Urban Aid. That's why they created the One Too Many Kit. It contains all the items you need to survive a hangover in a cute little tin. This makes a great little gift for a bachelorette party or for the start of a night out on the town with the girls.

If you are ready for some cocktails, you need the right music--Lounge Music. But to us "lounge" always makes us think about the late, lamented Chicago institution Lounge Ax.

No Depression by Uncle Tupelo
Speaking of lament, a regular band at Lounge Ax was Uncle Tupelo. Their groundbreaking album, "No Depression", was re-released in 2003 with a live, acoustic version of "Whiskey Bottle". We defy you to listen to their sad and brilliant lament and not have a tear in your beer.

Peel by The Coctails
Chicago's own, The Coctails, played Lounge Ax's final show in 2000. We think the sublime pop gem "Miss Maple" is the perfect soundtrack while you're mixing up a Sidecar.

Just add ice, shake, pour and ENJOY.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

New Feature: 2 for Tuesdays

We at Urbangeneralstore.com have always fancied ourselves DJs. Be it "radio shows" made on cassette tape recorders in the 1980's, mix CDs for friends in the 1990's or trying to bring a smile (or a chuckle) to the ladies behind the counter at ENJOY, AN URBAN GENERAL with our in-store music.

It is with this love of all things music that we present "2 For Tuesdays"--New Products from Urbangeneralstore.com and Old (and some new) Tunes we love.

Since Mother's Day is THIS Sunday, May 8, we are going to kick this off with All Things Mom.

Our hot seller is the I Love Mom" Gold Necklace with Large White Pearl by Dogeared. It is $46 and is in stock, ready to ship or available for Free In-Store Pick-Up in Chicago at ENJOY, AN URBAN GENERAL STORE.

Maybe your mom is a little less sparkly and a little more flowery. We have just the gift for her--the Pinks Blooms-in-a-Bag from Potting Shed Creations for just $8.95. Order this perennial kit today.

We'd like to dedicate these two awesome songs, with very different messages to Mother, to our moms.  Who are, like these songs, each beautiful in their own way. ENJOY.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

MOM recommends the GurglePot for Mother's Day

Mother's Day is Sunday, May 8
Want to send your mom the perfect gift? The Urbangeneralstore.com MoM's (Masters of Merchandise) can help you. The Masters of Merchandise are an experienced (and picky) team of product testers and reviewers who pick their favorite items from Urban General Store. 

This month's Mom's Picks feature the hottest Mother's Day gifts. Shop now.

Each gift is packed and sent with a complimentary handwritten gift card (if message is indicated). Decorative gift wrap is available for just $3.95 per order!

Live in Chicago? If you shop now online at urbangeneralstore.com, you can select "Free In-Store Pickup" as a shipping option. You can pick up your items at ENJOY, AN URBAN GENERAL STORE in Chicago's Lincoln Square neighborhood at 4723 N. Lincoln Avenue. Orders placed now through Saturday, May 7, at 5pm (CST) will be available the next day in the store after 10:00am (including Sunday, May 8).

See our website or contact mom@urbangeneralstore.com with any questions.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Urban Bacon Store II: The Return of the Bacon


Some sequels are even BETTER than the originals...

The Empire Strikes Back, The Godfather II, Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo and Urban Bacon Store II. 

Bacon is hot, still. In fact, it is sizzling. We know you just can't get enough of that pork-y stuff. So in celebration of all that is good in the world (read: BACON), we are offering 10% off our novelty bacon products.

Visit our Urban Bacon Store today. Shop for all your bacon needs (and other gifts) then view your shopping bag. Enter promo code "BACON2" and get 10% off all your bacon items.* Have any questions? Email the Masters of Merchandise (MoM@urbangeneralstore.com).

*The Swine Print: Valid online only, on in-stock merchandise, now through April 30, 2011. Limit one use per customer. Bacon image courtesy of Accoutrements.

Baconfest Chicago 2011

Baconfest Chicago 2011

ENJOY, AN URBAN GENERAL STORE is excited to once again be a vendor at Baconfest Chicago 2011. The event is sold out, but we will be posting photos, recipes and, er, chewing the fat on ENJOY, AN URBAN GENERAL STORE's Facebook Page or on Twitter (@enjoychicago). Like or follow us today to join the fun.

Friday, April 01, 2011

April Fool's Day is like our holy day of obligation...

that's why we were SO excited to be featured in Time Out Chicago!

Photo by Andrew Nawrocki courtesy Time Out Chicago

Becca can't believe that she came out as a vegetarian.
Steph can't believe that she was quoted saying "fart".
Alisa can't believe that people can recognize her in the store without her novelty jumbo mustache.

But seriously, our sincere, non-jokey, thanks to Jessica Herman, Andrew Nawrocki and Kevin Aeh at Time Out Chicago

Friday, March 25, 2011

Wino? Wine, yes!

Thursday, April 7, 2011 is the Wine Stroll in Chicago's Northwest Side Lincoln Square Neighborhood.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

For the first time in 6 years...

ENJOY, AN URBAN GENERAL STORE will be closed in honor of the Blizzard of 2011. Barring any more ThunderSnow! we will reopen Thursday, February 3rd, at 10:00am.
Photo: Ella Phillips
In the meantime, you should download Tom Skilling's iPhone app. The WGN • Chicago Weather Center app is a must have in these unusual weather times.

Oh, and Urbangeneralstore.com never closes! Our website is open 24/7 for business! In fact, why don't you shop today and take 10% off your entire order. Enter promo code "ThunderSnow" after you've filled your online shopping bag. Offer valid through Friday, February 4, 2011.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Daily Candy's The Weekend Guide

Apron Cooking Guides now available.
As featured in Daily Candy Chicago's The Weekend Guide

Apron Cooking Guides
Get help in the kitchen with a wearable cheat sheet ($30) of numeric conversions, freezing instructions, veggie cooking times, and more.
Why: Never let them see you sweat.
When: Company’s coming.
Where: Enjoy, An Urban General Store 4723 N. Lincoln Ave., at Giddings St. (773-334-8626); and online at urbangeneralstore.com.
Apron Cooking Guide from SUCK UK