2014 Holiday Gift Guide: For the Home

Gifts like these might not be the most romantic if you’re buying for your wife or girlfriend, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find cool stuff that will put a smile on their face. Products for the home can be just as desirable if you focus on items with great design or that make someone’s life a lot easier, and if you stick to those simple guidelines, you’ll make whoever is on the receiving end very happy.

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

Fire Pit from Lowe’s and allen + roth

This isn’t something you can easily put under the tree, but if you’re looking for a creative gift that you and your spouse or girlfriend can enjoy together, a fire pit in your backyard offers a great opportunity. As we explained in a recent post, a fire pit is pretty easy to build and you can find everything you need at Lowe’s using materials from allen + roth. The key here is that this is a project you can do with someone else or with the entire family, which makes it even more memorable. So if you’re looking for a unique gift idea and a fun project, this may be perfect for you.

firepit

Keurig 2.0 K550 Brewing System

keurig

Following the failed experiment of the Keurig Vue, the company has brought back its beloved K-Cups for their new line of Keurig 2.0 systems, albeit with a slight catch: the machines use a “revolutionary” brewing technology designed to read the RFID-coded lid on each K-Cup to ensure the perfect beverage every time. Of course, what the company fails to mention is that these codes are essentially their version of DRM in that you can only use authentic or officially licensed K-Cups manufactured after January 1, 2014. So if you prefer generic brands or brew your own coffee in a resuable pod, the company’s message seems to be, “Tough luck.” (For what it’s worth, there are numerous hacks already available online, and for those with a surplus of outdated K-Cups in your pantry, Keurig has offered to swap out those packs for new ones by contacting customer service.) Of course, that won’t bother Keurig loyalists one bit, because they’ll still find plenty to love about the Keurig 2.0 – particularly the ability to brew a 4-cup carafe using special K-Carafe packs with the same speed and ease of a single serving. The K550 model also includes an extra-large 80-ounce water reservoir (with hot water on demand), an auto-brew option so your coffee’s ready to go in the morning, a strength control setting and a customizable night light.

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2014 Holiday Gift Guide: Guy Stuff

Guys are pretty easy to shop for. Most of the time, you can just get stuff you’d buy for yourself. Yet sometimes, when you’re shopping for your dad, brother or any other guy on your shopping list, you have to cast a wider net, because tastes obviously vary. Still, at least you can pick up some stuff for yourself while you’re browsing.

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

Philips Sonicare DiamondClean & AirFloss

Ask your dentist about the best way to keep your teeth clean and they’ll probably recommend an electronic toothbrush. Though there’s an intimidating selection of brands and models to choose from, we’ve been using the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean for just over three months now and couldn’t be happier with the results. Powered by Sonic technology that delivers 31,000 brush strokes a minute, the DiamondClean uses gentle sweeping motions that drive fluids deep into the tight spaces between your teeth and along your gum line, removing plague in hard-to-reach areas and helping to prevent gum recession. Not every mouth was created equal, so the DiamondClean offers five unique modes – Clean, White, Polish, Gum Care and Sensitive – for a custom cleaning that will meet your specific needs, while the included Quadpacer beeps every 30 seconds to ensure you thoroughly brush all four quadrants. If the toothbrush itself wasn’t cool enough, it also comes with a charging glass that can be used for rinsing your mouth when removed from the base, as well as an ultra-sleek travel case that doubles as a charger when plugged into your laptop’s USB port or a wall outlet.

For those looking to add another line of defense to their cleaning regiment, the Philips Sonicare AirFloss helps remove stubborn plague buildup with a quick burst of air and micro-water droplets. It only requires a teaspoon of water (or mouthwash, if you feel so inclined) to clean an entire mouth, and has been proven to be safe and gentle on teeth and gums. But while its name might suggest otherwise, the AirFloss shouldn’t be used as an alternative to regular flossing, so don’t even bother trying unless you want a lecture from the dentist at your next appointment.

sonicare

The Wellie Boot

wellie

These are great work boots from The Original Muck Boot Company that are also stylish enough to use as casual boots for everyday use or going out. This is a functional work boot that also looks stylish as well. The key feature is standing comfort on hard surfaces with the boot’s shock absorbing outsole and Gel-Core sub-sole that adds cushioning. The Wellie is a mid-height full grain leather pull-on boot that is 100% waterproof and features breathable Hydroguard and Airmesh lining to displace moisture effectively to keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. They’re also available with a composite toe for increased workplace safety. The Wellie comes in brown, black and wheat featuring impressive Crazy Horse full grain leather, making the Wellie a boot you can wear out with jeans or casual pants as well.

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2014 Holiday Gift Guide: Gadgets

Adults like toys too, so if you’re on the lookout for a memorable gift for your spouse or just treating yourself to an early Christmas present, a cool gadget is always a great option. Of course, prices run the gamut in this arena, so you’ll need to be careful, but whether you’re shopping for the latest and greatest tablet or something to please that audiophile in your life, you can find something that fits almost any budget.

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

Apple iPhone 6

apple

Just when everyone was starting to question Apple, the company comes out with the bigger iPhone 6 and massive iPhone 6 Plus. Sales have exploded and competitors that relied on having bigger screens to differentiate their phones suddenly saw their sales decline. The new iPhones are a huge hit, and an Apple box is becoming almost as desirable as the iconic blue box from Tiffany. The bottom line is that you can never go wrong with an Apple gift. We prefer the iPhone 6 and only recommend the 6 Plus for someone who has made it clear they want a huge phone. We were happy with the size of the older iPhones, but that changed quickly after using the new 6 for a couple of days. It’s thinner, so it seems like the perfect size now after you add a case. We also found it to be much faster and the charge lasts long as well. The phones are expensive, so in order to get a deal, you’ll need to have information about the applicable carrier and phone plan, but the work will be worth it.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S

samsung

If there’s one tablet that has what it takes to compete with the Apple iPad mini, it’s the Samsung Galaxy Tab S, although your decision will ultimately depend on which operating system (iOS or Android) you prefer. Those that fall into the latter camp will absolutely love what Samsung’s newest tablet has to offer, including a Super AMOLED display (available in either an 8.4-inch or 10.5-inch screen), a 1.9GHz Quad-Core processor, a built-in 8-megapixel rear camera and 2.1-megapixel front camera for photos and video chat, 16 GB of onboard memory, and a microSD card slot that allows for an additional 128 GB of memory… all packaged in a super sleek design that measures just over a 1/4-inch thin and weighs less than a pound. This thing is about as mobile as they come, and it boasts some great features as well, like the ability to use two apps side-by-side (for instance, you can watch a YouTube video while typing an email), a Kids Mode to limit what child users can access, and a fingerprint scanner that captures and stores multiple fingerprints for added security. Though we’ve had some bad experiences with Android tablets in the past, there’s a good reason why Samsung has become the go-to device for Android users, and the Galaxy Tab S is their best one yet.

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Phiaton Wireless Earphones

Phiaton wireless

Headphones and earphones keep improving with advances in technology, and the new wireless earphones from Phiaton offer some great features and sound quality. The BT 220 NC is a versatile headphone option that features Bluetooth 4.0 and active noise-cancellation. They also feature NFC Technology that enables users to simply tap their phone to the BT 220 NC dongle to connect. We were also impressed with the sound quality, battery life and range as well. The Phiaton BT 220 NC makes it easy and convenient to enjoy your music, and with the holidays approaching can offer a great gift option as well. Check out the video below and get more information here.

  

Patrón XO Cafe Incendio

Patrón XO Cafe Incendio

I love premium tequila, so naturally I’m a fan of everything from Patrón. So when I tried their delicious new offering, Patrón XO Cafe Incendio, I knew it would live up to the brand’s high standards.

This spicy and sweet liqueur is delicious and it offers a great new option whether you’re looking for a drink to savor and enjoy, or whether you’re getting a party going with shots. And we all know that few things get a party going like tequila, and this sweet drink should win over more tequila fans, particularly among the ladies.

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