Here's the deal. I possess an uncontrollable skill. Ask my wife and she'll confirm it. I may not be great at many things, but on this thing, I absolutely am.

True Confessions: It's time for me to be 100% honest

Here it goes. I have a sometimes uncontrollable need to shop and it feeds my skill of being the best gift buyer

in my family.

That's real. That is not fake news. Ask all my kids, too.

I like to shop and I'm an excellent gift buyer... for them!

But I think that's how it's supposed to be. They're MY people. I love and adore them and know exactly what lights up their hearts.

I probably don't know what would be perfect for your 'person' this Valentine's Day, but I know some cool spots you should check out.

Fantastic Cant-Miss Illinois Valentine's Day Gift and Date Ideas

I mention this first place to so many people who love candles. It's such a great little shop, run by some incredible people. Candle Crest Soy Candles

Why SOY candles?

Unlike most candles which are made of paraffin, soy wax candles are biodegradable, non-toxic and 95% soot free which means no more black candle jars, walls or ceilings and better air quality. Candle Crest soy candles burn cleaner and cooler making them last much longer.


I don't even know what to do with all the goodness that's going on at Velvet Robot Coffee. Coffee drinks and dessert have collided in the most delicious ways over there.

"I bet that mf'r is!"

Get some gift cards, go on a coffee date, go there for dessert after dinner somewhere or take yourself over there and meet some cool people.


The way to anyone's heart, not just men, is through their stomach. That's how Cherry Valley's Cattle & Cream got me. There was a Saturday where they were cooking ribs and making these ice cream sundaes with a cider donut in them. The love hit deep and quickly... You feel me.

Buy somebody a meat box... and put some sauce on it.

Praise Jesus, here it is. If you ever get a chance to eat this, eat all of it. The Cider Donut Sundae.

This will always be a favorite spot for me and my wife. For an amazing cocktail or an unforgettable meal, GreenFire Restaurant Bar & Bakery.

I'm not a gin drinker but I sure love the Roquette. Sit here and order one before dinner. You can't miss with the

Bacon Chicken Alfredo


Cajun Shrimp & Beef Burger

You should probably grab some macaroons before you leave. And wait until you taste that 'whipped cream cloud'.

So many spots I want you to check out or just remind you of that you haven't been to in a while.

Sugar Britches Old-Fashioned Candy Store in Rockton

This just arrived at the candy shop, Kiss From a Rose, a strawberry rum chata truffle.

It's not Rockford, but it's perfect for a big Valentine's Date/Day/Overnight trip.

How about a trip to Galena!

31 Photos Proving There's No Illinois Town More Beautiful Than Galena

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