As we bid a fond farewell to the year that brought us speed cameras, Rahm and Jon's pizza war and the "goddess of the Red Line," we're looking back at some of the moments we really want to remember--the discoveries that made our lives brighter, easier and more interesting. Here are the Chicago stories we'll still be talking about in the New Year. 

We love kicking around in these cool, comfortable canvas sneakers designed by artists and sold by Chicago-based Bucketfeet for about $65 a pair. 

Is there a vacation in your future? Your orchids and kitchen herbs can take care of themselves thanks to these self-watering planters dreamed up by a Chicago couple. 

Pass the Kleenex! We always tear up at StoryCorps interviews on NPR. Take a loved one to the new Chicago Cultural Center booth to record the life stories that matter to you. 

Okay, one more time and then we'll stop talking about it: Can you believe someone installed a salad vending machine in a food court in the Loop? Pure genius. 

Finally, it's "you time." Put down that device and unwind at a Lillstreet Loft full-day creative retreat--think yoga, healthy food and workshops on knitting, ceramics and journal-making. 

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