2016 Mother’s Day Gift Guide

There’s nothing a mother appreciates more than when you put some thought into their gift. You can never go wrong with classics like flowers or chocolates, but something more personal is usually better. Whether you’re buying for your mom, your wife or another important woman in your life, think about their interests and what would best bring a smile to their face. Some moms also love gadgets that make their lives easier, so keep that in mind as well. Here are just a few suggestions to get you started.

Bialetti Cookware

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The legacy of the Bialetti brand may be firmly rooted in the success of the Moka Express, the world-renowned stovetop coffeemaker, but the Italian company’s range of products extend throughout the kitchen with cookware, bakeware and other accessories. There are more than a dozen different lines of cookware alone (including sets made from terracotta, ceramic and granite), but of the samples provided to us, the Simply Italian and Sapphire collections were our favorites. The former is an affordable but efficient selection of pots and pans featuring an easy-to-clean PFOA-free nonstick interior that requires less oil for those obsessed about healthy cooking, while the latter boasts an ultra-durable Nanotec nonstick coating and a hard-anodized construction that can be used with all cooktops (including induction) and ovens up to 400º F. The Simply Italian line is great if you’re on a budget, but we really liked the Sapphire Executive Collection due to the fact that, although it’s about twice as expensive per item, it’s still pretty affordable for such high-quality cookware.

Fitbit Alta

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If your mom is into fitness, she’ll probably love this stylish fitness tracker from Fitbit. It’s available in a wide variety of colors, and it’s a great gadget to track daily progress for all types of health and fitness measurements, like steps, distance, calories burned and how long/how well you sleep. The new Fitbit Alta is an upgrade on the popular Flex model that adds an OLED tap display, so you can track all of the aforementioned stats as well as receive call, text and calendar notifications when synced with your smartphone. Additionally, you can personalize the tracker with interchangeable metal, leather and classic bands that will look great whether you’re at home, work or the gym.

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Product Review: Old Spice Hardest Working Collection

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Nobody beats Old Spice when it comes to weirdness, or the most powerful anti-perspirants and body washes in the world.

You loved “Mom Song.” You loved that time we interviewed Terry Crews and Isaiah Mustafa about picking up hot babes. You begged for more after Dikembe Mutombo told us how he teamed up with Old Spice to defend us from a deadly Mayan prophecy. And look – we’re still alive.

For as cool as all that was, Old Spice is back with Bob Giovanni, the self proclaimed “King of Products.” The patron saint of the new Old Spice Hardest Working Collection wants you to #smellegendary. Give this video a sniff:

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Product Review: The Drinking Jacket

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Before I received the Drinking Jacket for review, I couldn’t even spell the word “neoprene.” But now, after imbibing in its sweet, sensual delights and the life-altering trajectory I’ve been on since we met, I can’t sleep in a bed if the sheets aren’t neoprene with a thread count of 1,000.

Having this jacket added so much fun to my tailgating experience, and made me much stealthier in my approach to entering sporting events with previously purchased libations.

But this isn’t just a jacket that will help you import your favorite export. It’s stylish, goes with anything and is extremely comfortable. Not only that, but it does an amazing job of keeping you warm and your beverages cold.

Let’s go over the highlights:

Bottle Opener Zipper: This was the feature that got the most compliments and the one I used the most. And it isn’t just another light, crappy zipper made by that YKK zipper magnate. This zipper actually has some weight to it for leverage purposes, is long enough to be useful and non-descript enough that no one will notice its true purpose.

Deep Inside Pockets: They are deeper, darker and bigger than you think. Think of them like your ex-girlfriend or ex-spouse – a bottomless pit that is vacant and empty, the depths of which no one can truly see from the outside.

Sunglasses Holder: You don’t realize how important something like this until you spend a cumulative total of over $500 on three separate pairs of shades that you lost at three separate Kansas City Chiefs’ games.

Foldable Drinking Mitts: The end of each sleeve has a hole for your thumb and is intentionally longer to cover your hand. Not only that, but they are lined with slip-resistant drink grips.

Neoprene Beer Koozie Pocket: Go ahead, stick a can or a bottle in there and watch your friends gawk when you whip it out at a choice moment. And, it’s still cold, gurrrl.

I.D. & Money Pocket: Located on the right sleeve just below the shoulder, this will help you “shoulder” the responsibilities of the day; namely, not losing your identification or your scrilla. It’s genius because it’s a pocket you won’t need for anything else (and that you can’t easily access once you enter “Full Retard” mode), and that you won’t mindlessly shove stuff into during your excursion.

In total, the Drinking Jacket has 12 features that you didn’t even know you needed, until now. You guys, you need this in your life. Buy it via the website here.

  

2015 Holiday Gift Guide: Games

The holiday season is the video game industry’s busiest time of year, with publishers saving many of their marquee titles to release on the public like an avalanche of digital goodness. It can actually be quite overwhelming with so many different options to choose from, so we’ve done our best to put together a collection of what we feel are some of the year’s best titles, and ones that the gamer on your list will love.

Click the links within the write-ups to purchase each product online, and for more gift ideas, check out the other categories in our Holiday Gift Guide.

Star Wars: Battlefront

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If you’ve ever wanted to know what it would be like to be a part of the “Star Wars” universe, Electronic Arts’ “Star Wars: Battlefront” lets you live out your ultimate fantasy by dropping you into the middle of the action in some of the most famous locations from the original trilogy. Whether assuming the role of a Rebel soldier or Stormtrooper fighting on the ground, an X-Wing or TIE pilot engaged in a massive dogfight in the skies, or as one of the many legacy characters like Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader, this is “Star Wars” fan service at its very best. Boasting gorgeous, photorealistic visuals and addictive gameplay, “Battlefront” is the most enjoyable “Star Wars” game since “Knights of the Old Republic.” Though the single player/co-op modes aren’t very exciting (they’re mostly just a place to hone your skills and waste a few hours with a friend), the online multiplayer is where the game really shines. There are nine modes to choose from – including favorites like Fighter Squadron, Heroes vs. Villains and Supremacy – with each one delivering a unique experience from the others. “Battlefront” is the “Star Wars” game that fans have been waiting for, and with more content planned for the future, it can only get better.

FIFA 16

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How do you make a great game even better? That’s the challenge put forth each year to EA Sports and their “FIFA” franchise, and every time, they respond in brilliant fashion. Though there aren’t any major changes to the gameplay, “FIFA 16” has implemented some small but important refinements to deliver the most authentic soccer simulation yet. On the field, defending has been given a complete facelift, including the ability to defend better as a unit with enhanced AI awareness, goalkeepers who make less mistakes, and improved tackling mechanics. The EA Sports team has also added something called Passing with Purpose that allows you to ping driven ground passes to teammates in tight spaces, as well as No Touch Dribbling, which gives you more creativity on the ball. Off the field, the changes are even bigger, headlined by the announcement that you can now play as one of 12 Women’s National Teams in a variety of game modes. Career Mode has also received two of the most requested features – pre-season tournaments and player training to increase stats – while Ultimate Team has added a new mode called FUT Draft where you build a team by picking each position from a five-player draw and then compete in challenges to win rewards. This is the most definitive edition of “FIFA” yet, and it’s an absolute must-have for any soccer fan.

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2015 Holiday Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers

Sometimes you just need something small to stick in a stocking or as a complement to a bigger present. These are usually lower priced items, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be high quality or require the same level of thoughtfulness. Here are a few cool products to consider for the person that has everything.

Click the links within the write-ups to purchase each product online, and for more gift ideas, check out the other categories in our Holiday Gift Guide.

Orbitkey

Everything is getting slimmer these days – phones, wallets, you name it – but many of us still carry around a bulky set of keys that rattle around in our pockets and make our pants bulge and crease, which is where a product like Orbitkey comes in handy. Made from genuine cowhide leather or TPU Elastomer polymer for active lifestyles, the Orbitkey uses a custom-designed locking mechanism to secure your keys within a slim profile that eliminates rattling keys, protects belongings from scratches and takes up less space. It holds up to seven keys or tools – including an optional bottle opener or key-shaped USB drive, which we highly recommend – and features a D-ring attachment for larger car keys. Though guys will appreciate how much easier it makes carrying keys around in their pocket (whether in the side or the back), the OrbitKey is also great for women who have a habit of scratching their phones from throwing keys into their purse.

SteakChamp 3-Color Thermometer

Whether you’re firing up the grill for tailgating season or counting down the days until next summer, the endeavor for the perfect steak never ends. Between the different cuts of meat and cooking methods available, there are several variables that can affect how your steak turns out, but why would bother taking that chance when there’s a gadget that ensures your preferred doneness every time? The SteakChamp 3-Color Thermometer is an innovative, stainless steel meat thermometer that uses integral temperature measurement to determine when your steak has reached either medium rare (green), medium (yellow) or medium well (red) with an LED light at the end of the probe that flashes the corresponding color. Plus, once the steak has been removed from the grill, the SteakChamp continues to flash to measure the meat’s resting phase, only turning off when it’s reached optimal doneness. Though it’s most effective with beef (and yes, it works exactly as advertised), it can also be used on duck breast, pork loin, lamb, salmon and other game. This is the future of at-home grilling, and it tastes delicious.

Moleskine Star Wars Notebooks

There’s just something about the Moleskine brand that oozes quality, which is probably why it’s become so popular across the world. With an amazing variety of notebooks, journals and planners (and much, much more) available in different sizes and colors to meet your needs, Moleskine is a great gift for just about anyone in your life, whether it’s a simple stocking stuffer or an entire bundle of faux leather-bound joy. With “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” due in theaters this December, Moleskin has expanded its “Star Wars” line with a pair of limited edition, hard cover notebooks that include a montage of scenes from the movie on the inside cover and some cool stickers in every back pocket. Though we wish there were more designs to choose from besides the red-and-black Kylo Ren and white-and-black Stormtrooper themed covers, this is a great way for fans to show off their “Star Wars” passion wherever they go.

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