Holiday drinks with Van Gogh Dutch Caramel Vodka

HOT CARAMEL BUTTERED RUMSo it’s the last weekend before Christmas, so it’s time to get serious about getting gifts.

We’re always fans about giving booze gifts, and if you’re buying for women in particular, you can’t go wrong with flavored vodka. Van Gogh has tons of great flavors, and we recently tried their delicious Dutch Caramel Vodka. Trust us – this stuff will bring a smile to her face. Even better, take some to the next holiday party you go to and you’re guaranteed to be a big hit.

While you’re at it, learn to make the cocktail picture above.

HOT CARAMEL BUTTERED RUM

Ingredients:
3 oz Ron Abuelo Añejo rum

1 oz Van Gogh Dutch Caramel Vodka

1/4 stick Unsalted Butter, softened

2 Tbsp Brown Sugar

2 Tbsp Honey
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
1/2 tsp Nutmeg

Cinnamon Stick

Directions:

Combine all ingredients (excluding rum and vodka) into a hot drinking cup or mug. Mix together with a spoon then add Ron Abuelo Añejo and Van Gogh Dutch Caramel Vodka. Pour in hot water (1 cup or more to personal taste) and stir vigorously until the mixture has dissolved. Garnish with cinnamon stick.

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ReF over ear headphones from iLuv

We tried out these stylish new ReF headphones from iLuv and were very impressed. We love the styling and the white stitching, and along with the black version picture above the headphones also come in red, white and blue. Check out their website for a look at the other colors. If you’re looking for a last-minute holiday gift you can’t go wrong with these headphones. The styling make these headphones a great option for anyone, as they’ll fit into an urban setting or even a more professional setting with the slick but classy design.

While styling is important, we’re happy to report that the sound quality is excellent and the headphones are very comfortable. Other impressive features include the braided fabric 1.2 meter cord, Titanium diaphragm for mega-bass and precise treble, in-line remote with play/pause, volume, and track change controls and built-in mic with hands-free. The earphones are also collapsible for ultra-portability.

  

SLAPPA delivers for photographers with the M.A.S.K. DSLR backpack

As a working photographer who often needs to lug a ton of equipment to my shoots, I was immediately intrigued when I heard about the new DSLR/laptop backpack from our friends at SLAPPA. We haven’t been shy about our love of SLAPPA equipment over the years, in large part because the quality of their gear is hard to beat. This MASK DSLR backpack is no different, with its water-resistant 1680D ballistic nylon outer shell and cushioned interior offering all sorts of protection for the contents inside. And I mean ALL the contents.

As with most SLAPPA bags, you may have a hard time filling all the available space in this backpack, with pockets seemingly on top of pockets inside of just about every nook and cranny of the bag. Inside, the padded divider insert allows for storage of a full collection of lenses and bodies for any pro or amateur photographer, and you can configure that section of the bag to fit your needs. The face of the bag features a pocket designed to give you instant access to your DSLR camera body and up to a 10” lens, and other flaps on the front are perfect for memory cards, spare batteries and other supplies. To top it off, there’s a dedicated pocket in the back of the bag for your 17” laptop and all the cords and chargers you need.

The only downside with this bag is the size which, when fully loaded, makes it more of a travel bag than something you’d carry with you on-site during a shoot, and the divider section is tough to access without completely unzipping the face of the bag. We’d also like to see a locking mechanism for the zippers so you can secure your equipment, but you won’t find many camera backpacks that can match the M.A.S.K.’s versatility and sheer capacity. If you need to get all of your photography gear from Point A to Point B, this is the bag for you. Stylish and comfortable, SLAPPA delivers yet again with this roomy and reliable DSLR/laptop backpack.

  

How to Pleasantly Surprise Your Wife This Holiday Season

It’s a common stereotype how women give their husbands a “Honey-Do” list that is never ending. Whether this is the case or not in your household, consider surprising your wife this winter with some new additions. Instead of waiting to be asked, take some initiative and change things up, which will make your wife—and in turn you—all the more happy. Being spontaneous and surprising your wife is good for your marriage as well.

1. Surprise your wife with a new haircut. Has your wife been nagging you about getting a haircut? Why not get a new do and surprise her with it. Subtly ask her opinion beforehand, to get an idea on how she will respond to it. You could also change your facial appearance by growing (or removing) a beard.

2. Redecorate the bedroom as a Christmas surprise. This can go beyond doing fixes or hardware upgrades. Consider what colors your wife likes. Find a color scheme and purchase a new bedspread. Upgrade with Bed Bath Store curtains and valances. If you aren’t particularly skilled with color scheming and interior design, ask a store associate for help. Most are trained to know the color wheel and what works with what.

3. Pick out a new winter wardrobe. This will be a nice surprise for your wife if you aren’t a big clothes shopper. Buy some new sweaters and dress nice on your date night. Buy stylish and complementary clothes to replace any worn or ratty clothes stashed away in your closet.

4. Take up a new hobby with your wife. Quality time is important and often overlooked in our hectic daily lives. Choose a hobby with your wife that you would both enjoy. You could start wine tasting, take a cooking class, go to a woodworking workshop, take an art class or even something off the wall like singing lessons. This newfound hobby will bring you together and bring more excitement to both of your lives.

5. Give your wife a spa day. Offer to watch the kids and surprise her with a gift certificate to her favorite spa or beauty parlor. She can be pampered with massages, hot tubs, hair and nails. Being a mom is a 24-hour a day job that often goes thankless. Mom deserves a break every now and then.

6. Cook your wife her favorite home cooked meal. If possible, have it ready to be served when she arrives home. Try to make something that is a rare treat, or something she hasn’t eaten in a while.

7. Go big and plan a trip! Surprising your wife with a romantic and fun trip for the two of you might even be more pleasing to her than jewelry and you get to go too, so why not! You can find many luxury lifestyle websites to get fancy trip ideas.

  

The Light from the TV Shows: Gifts for the TV Geek

You’ve no doubt already seen the TV-DVD recommendations in Bullz-Eye’s Holiday Gift Guide, but what if you’ve got a TV geek on your gift list who already has every single DVD set on our list? Fortunately for you, I’ve rounded up a few not-at-all-cheap suggestions.

“Community” Holiday Exclusive Gift Set

Features a “Troy & Abed in the Morning” coffee cup (“With a generous capacity of 15 ounces, refills are not needed!”), a Warhol-inspired Troy & Abed poster, a t-shirt featuring the Greendale Seven in video game form. and a plush Human Being…which, if you’re not already a fan of the show, probably warrants a bit of explanation. Per the NBC online store, “The Greendale Community Human Being plush mascot reflects the diversity of Greendale and our species by being nothing at all. Now you can have your own creepy version!” If that doesn’t sound like the icing on a delicious “Community” cake, then…well, uh, you’re probably not the target demo. But maybe you know someone who is, so keep it in mind just in case. ($50.00)


“Dexter” LOOK/SEE Limited Edition Sunglasses

Described as “perhaps the greatest Dexter usable collectable out there,” what you get is a set of sunglasses with white frames spattered in blood, stored in a wooden case which, not coincidentally, looks quite a bit like Dexter’s “trophy case.” The case also includes blood slides and a syringe. Move fast, though: it’s a limited edition set – there are only 500 units being produced, and each wooden case is individually numbered. ($149.95)

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