Casual Shoes from Oliberté

Oliberté_Narivo Brown Yellow Pullup 06-03-01M-1623

Oliberté was founded in 2009 “with the concept of building premium outdoor leather shoes by quality crafts people resulting in creating sustainable jobs.” This idea is very simple and powerful: Trade not aid. Check out the website and you’ll see the wide variety of casual shoes and other leather products available from this brand made in Ethiopia.

They sent us a pair of the Narivo in Brown-Yellow Pullup casual men’s loafer to try out and we were very impressed with the quality and craftsmanship. The brown shoe is pictured above and you can see that it would be perfect with jeans or slacks and for all sorts of casual settings. The high quality leather is very soft, and the classic design also has a modern twist with the lighter colored soles. This pair comes in grey, tan and green as well.

Here are the specs for this pair that retails for $130:

• Traditional stitch-down stitching around base
• Premium brown/yellow pullup leather upper
• 100% goat leather dark brown lining
• Vegetable tanned leather midsole
• Natural crepe rubber outsole with wedge
• 3mm dark brown round leather cord laces

If you browse the website you’ll also see a wide variety of beautiful leather bags as well. When it comes to quality and design, we’re confident you’ll be happy with products from Oliberté, and with Father’s Day coming up soon, you can find some excellent gift ideas as well.

  

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2013 Mother’s Day Gift Guide

The key to shopping for your mom, wife or anyone else on your Mother’s Day list is to put some thought into the gift. Even if you’re just getting flowers, you should go the extra mile with a card that makes it seem like more than just a routine gift.

We’ve put together some product suggestions below, but you’ll see many of them involve the kitchen, which is great for a woman who enjoys preparing food but obviously isn’t so good for a woman who sees it as a chore.

There are tons of Mother’s Day gift guides out there along with this one, so browse several of them and you’ll hit on an idea that works for you.

T-Fal ActiFry

actifry

Now that healthy living has become a bigger priority in most households, it’s nice to see products like the T-Fal ActiFry come along that allow you to enjoy foods like French fries and wings without feeling guilty about it. The ActiFry can cook vegetables, meat, poultry, seafood and dessert using a patented heat pulsing action that evenly cooks the food at a constant 338˚ F while an aluminum paddle stirs the food. Most dishes require little to no oil, with one of the biggest selling points being that you can make crispy and delicious homemade fries with only a teaspoon of oil. Though the removable non-stick pan isn’t big enough for creating large family meals, it’s still great for cooking up quick snacks or dinner for two. The ActiFry is a beast of a machine that takes up a ton of counter space, but it feels every bit as durable. It also dissembles fairly easily and is dishwasher safe, making cleanup a breeze, and the machine stays cool to the touch throughout the cooking process. That might not sound like a big deal, but for mothers with nosy kids, it’s almost as important as the healthier dishes it produces.

T-Fal Ice Cream Maker

ice_cream

Artisanal ice cream may be the latest crave with foodies, but there’s no point in paying per scoop at your favorite shop when you can make whatever gourmet concoction your heart (and taste buds) desire in the comfort of your own home. The T-fal Ice Cream Maker is incredibly affordable and easy to use, and although it comes with a handful of suggested recipes, you can pretty much make anything you might find in a cookbook (we suggest the one by Ohio local Jeni Britton), on Pinterest or anywhere else on the internet. Though most people will instantly notice how rich and smooth it makes ice cream (and with very few ingredients, too), the machine can also produce gelato, sorbet and frozen yogurt. And the best part is that since you’re in full control of what goes into the mixture, health-conscious folks can still make delicious ice cream without worry about what they’re putting into their bodies.

KRUPS Egg Express

egg_express

If we’ve learned anything from watching reality cooking shows over the years, it’s that being able to cook a perfect egg is the sign of a good chef. But even with lots of practice, it can still prove difficult to do, which is why the Egg Express from KRUPS is our new favorite toy in the kitchen. In addition to being relatively small in size (making it easy to store), the Egg Express performs two simple tasks. It can boil up to seven eggs – either soft, medium or hard boiled – or poach two eggs in the removable plastic trays, all within a matter of minutes. This little guy produced some of the best eggs to come out of our kitchen, and it’s a real time-saver too, thanks to a power indicator light and bell sound that indicates the end of cooking. That means that instead of hovering over the oven, you can get other stuff done while the Egg Express takes care of business. Unless you don’t like eggs, this is something that every household needs.

KRUPS Universal Grill and Panini Maker

panini

For quick, indoor grilling, it’s hard to beat George Foreman’s line of electric grills, but for those who want something a little sleeker that still won’t break the bank, the KRUPS Universal Grill and Panini Maker is a pretty good substitute. Though it’s better used to make Italian-style sandwiches and bruschetta, the grill can cook a variety of things, including hamburgers, chicken, fish and steaks. The top and bottom grilling plates make cooking twice as fast; the machine’s floating hinge system automatically adjusts to a food’s thickness for even grilling; and there’s even a regulator light that switches off when the proper cooking temperature has been reached, so you don’t have to second guess yourself whether the food’s ready or not. Additionally, the chrome finish adds a nice touch of class and the safety locking latch on the handle allows for convenient upright storage, perfect for any mother whose kitchen isn’t as spacious as she’d like.

Cricut Mini

cricut_mini

We featured Cricut’s flagship die-cutting machine, the Expression 2, in last year’s holiday gift guide, but for those looking for a cheaper alternative, the Cricut Mini fits the bill. It may be noticeably smaller (although that helps with storage issues) and require an internet connection to work, but this budget version does just about everything its big brother can, cutting up to 8.5 x 12-inch paper, cardstock, vinyl, fabric and more. In addition to access to Cricut’s vast online image library, the Mini can also use any of the physical Cricut cartridges by linking them to your Cricut Craft Room digital account. The size limitations aren’t ideal for veteran arts and crafts enthusiasts, but the Mini provides a great introduction to the world of die-cutting, and that includes Cricut’s newest line of iron-on products. Available in two styles and a variety of colors, the iron-on material opens up a whole other avenue of customizability by allowing users to create the kind of DIY fashion and home décor projects that most mothers only wish they could accomplish before now.

Spa Day Gift Certificate

Day at the Spa

We include this every year because it’s such a great gift that so many women will appreciate. Moms in particular will appreciate time to themselves where they don’t have to worry about kids or their spouse. Make sure to find a spot that’s convenient for her, and find out if she has a favorite place, or focus on a new place that she hasn’t tried yet. This one is always a winner.

Perfume

Image ALT text goes here.If you’re shopping for your wife, you can be a little adventurous here and look for something new and trendy that she may not have tried yet. L.I.L.Y. by Stella McCartney is one of the hot, new perfumes on the market, and anything from designer Stella McCartney should go over well. You can also browse her online site for other ideas, which includes everything from jackets, to handbags, to boots and more.

  

Monkey Kit: Flexible Tablet Positioning System

Monkey Kit

I love my iPad and tablets in general. The ability to watch TV shows or movies on planes or while I’m working out on the treadmill is one of the best tech developments I can think of. Tablets offer maximum flexibility to enjoy content, and now we have a gadget accessory that makes it even easier to use your tablet.

The Monkey Kit available at BiteMyApple.co is a great accessory for anyone who uses their tablet or even their smart phone often, whether at home or in places like the gym. The flexible arm lets you set up your tablet almost anywhere, and it easily attaches to the back of your tablet. You can also just leave the spherical portion of you want to rest your tablet on your desk or table with slight elevation.

Basically, the Monkey Kit holds your tablet so you don’t have to. Holding the tablet is probably the only complaint you’ll ever hear, so this gadget can make things even easier for you. Also, with Father’s Day coming up, it offers a cool and unique gift idea as well.

  

Highland Park introduces Loki

HP Loki bottle & pack 750ml HR - 477

After trying Thor last year, we had the opportunity to check out the latest release for Highland Park’s Valhalla Collection, a set of four unique whiskies taking inspiration from the Nordic gods of old.

Loki is a 15-year old single malt Scotch that will definitely grab your attention. This creation is not for the faint of heart, as it was inspired by the “unpredictable, shape-shifting Loki character.” This Scotch was matured in both Spanish cherry casks along with heavily peated casks, so the result is a whisky with a very smoky punch. The taste is very complex and whisky aficionados will definitely want to try this one out.

It comes in the spectacular packaging you can see in the photo above, so this makes for a great gift idea with Father’s Day coming up. It’s not cheap at $249 but for the right dad Loki can help you mark a memorable Father’s Day.

  

NuForce HP-800 headphones

NuForce HP-800

We’ve reviewed many headphones over the past several years as the popularity of mobile music continues to explode and more consumers look at their headphones as a fashion statement along with being a necessary gadget. We’ve seen many fashionable designs and impressive-sounding headphones, but the NuForce HP-800 headphones stand out for sound quality. That shouldn’t be surprising, as these headphones were designed for the audio enthusiasts. The sound quality was incredibly clear but never harsh. You can pick up various all of the nuances while really feeling the full base. The goal was to capture the “natural warmth, realistic highs and visceral bass” of the recordings and we feel that has been achieved.

These over-ear headphones are very large and comfortable, with ear cups made with a “human-protein” leatherette covering that is super-soft. It comes with a handy clothe carrying case along with one cord for you portable electronics and another for studio use. Yes, audiophiles can use this with premium audio or studio equipment and be very impressed with the sound quality.

Specifications include:

Driver Size: 40mm
Impedance: 32 +/- 15% Ohm
Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
Rated Power: 20 mW
Max. Input Power: 30 mW
Sensitivity: 91 +/- 4 dB
Included Accessories: One carrying bag, one 3.5mm plug cable, one 6.3mm plug cable

The bar was set high for these headphones, and the goal was met while keeping the MSRP at a very affordable $149. If you love music that sounds great then you have to check these out, and they make the perfect gift for Father’s Day as well.

  

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