Make the holidays homier for homebodies on your gift list with these gift ideas that make the home a great place to be.
Baby its Warm Inside
Warm up a loved-one’s holidays with the Space Saving Heater from BrylaneHome. This quick-to-heat compact heater will make any home warm and cozy while taking up minimum space. The energy-saving 1350-watt heater features high, medium and low settings and is crafted of steel and glass with natural looking logs and moving flames for a bit of ambience with your heat. $99.99, www.brylanehome.com
The bookworm on your list will love to shelve their favorite reading material between the quirky White Wooden @& Bookends (Set of 2). Finished in a classic white, these bookends feature an ampersand and at symbol typography. $51.29. www.Overstock.com
The home-office exec on your list will love driving a desk when they are in a seat like the super comfy Extra Wide Deluxe Padded Office Chair from BrylaneHome, an affordable executive office chair that looks great behind a desk and features a comfortable padded headrest and padded armrests, adjustable height and extra lumbar support. Available in brown or black. $199.99, www.brylanehome.com
Wrap up your best squeeze in luxury in the snuggly Soft Indulgence Blanket from BrylaneHome. This luxuriously thick and silky blanket will keep her or him warm at night and look elegant on a bed with its shimmery two textures of rich plush easy-care polyester. Available in five colors. $39.99-$59.99, or feel pamper loved ones with an oversized Soft Indulgence extra-large bath towel that will cover them from head to toe, $14.99, www.brylanehome.com
Gift Ideas for the Women in Your Life
For the outdoors woman, outfit her in Exofficio, the stylish active clothes brand designed for her lifestyle. The frequent traveler woman on your list will love the durable and sharp-looking FlyQ Vest ($100), featuring an advanced Travel Pocket System to help her breeze through airport security, sans purse. She can save room in her luggage with the versatile hip-length Go-To Hoody ($49.91), featuring wrinkle-free drirelease fabric, that she can wear with jeans or as an extra layer on cool nights, or it doubles as a cover-up. She can get cozy in the lightweight chenille feather-fleece Irresistible Neska V-Neck Sweater ($54.91 – $65.00), which is so soft she won’t know if you should wear it or pet it. If she packs just one pair of pants on a trip, make it the functional and fashionable lightweight nylon Nomad Roll-Up Pant ($70.00), which covert from pants to capris in a snap. Available at REI or www.exofficio.com.
She will feel rich anytime she reaches for the fashionable bi-fold wallet from Anais Gvani. Made of contrasting hues of kid-soft Italian leather and lined with silky fabric, this spacious yet compact wallet features compartments for credit cards, change, and bills. Available in black, brown, deep coffee, grey, purple, red. $52.19 and up, www.overstock.com
She’s been begging for one of those hi tech blenders, but you didn’t think you had the budget to get her one. The Oster Versa Performance Blender is the answer. This super powerful blender is all that, and more. The 1,400-watt motor spins its stainless steel blades at 28,000 RPM to blend smoothies, protein drinks, soups, dips, dressings, salsas and many other delicious treats in seconds. The large 8-cup BPA-free Tritan plastic jar dwarfs the competition, and the affordable price makes it an even better value. $249.00, Bed Bath & Beyond.
She loves sensible shoes, but most orthopedic shoes are dog ugly. Not the stylin’ and comfy Vionic Orthaheel collection of good-for-your-health shoes designed by a podiatrist and recommended by the APMA. For work, there’s the Olivia Ballet Flat ($89.95) that looks great with a pants suit or a tailored pair of jeans and treats your feet to proper arch support, heel cushion and orthotic technology that reduces over-pronation and associated aches and pains. For weekends, there’s the playful Tahoe Casual Lace-Up ($99.95) that sports not just hipster style but a removable biomechanical orthotic footbed for all-day comfort. At night, kick off your shoes and slip into the soft corduroy Geneva Slipper ($69.95) that feels plush on your feet either hanging out at home or out running errands. Available at www.orthaheelusa.com
Fish Her a Merry Christmas
The lady angler on your list will love to cast with Ladyfish combo rod and reel from Shakespeare’s Catch More Fish Series. The shiny pink two-piece tubular glass rod has a comfortable, ergonomic grip designed specifically for women, and is ready to go with a Synergy 10 spincasting reel with line and a utility box with and assortment of 102 tackles. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Shakespeare Ladyfish® products goes to help support the ABCF (American Breast Cancer Foundation). $24.99 – $34.99, www.shakespeare-fishing.com
Falling Snow and Ice Carving Usher in Cool Characters of New Disney Movie
As an East Coaster missing white Christmases, I was refreshed by and reminded of my cold, crisp carefree days of childhood in Virginia on my recent outing to the animated feature Frozen, showing in 3D at El Capitan. The theatre is decorated complete with an indoor winter wonderland of snow drifts and sparkling curtains of icicles and real falling snowflakes.
Living up to its legendary reputation at the best movie palace anywhere to see a Disney movie, El Capitan delivers a wondrous wintery experience in the theatre with its pre-show ice sculpting exhibit featuring former Ms. America Dominique Colell, bundled up stylishly in a dazzling white parka, along with her fellow blond-beauty accomplice, wielding chain saws and chisels. The pair transform a block of ice into one of the film’s beloved characters, the clownish snowman Olaf, whose blissfully ignorant song, “In Summer,” his lament for warmer days, is one of the early highlights of the movie.
Olaf (Josh Gad) is the sidekick of Anna (Kristen Bell), who rolled him into a playmate as a young girl, and whom her princess sister Elsa Idina Menzel), brought to life with a wave of her hand when they played as children. That was before Elsa learned that her powers to create Olaf, along with all sorts of frozen creations of snow and ice, were not just fun and games but a curse that could doom her and her kingdom.
A local witchdoctor of sorts tells Elsa’s royal parents to hide their daughter’s gift, and he removes the memories of Elsa’s powers from her sister’s memory. In the Disney moment, as I have come to call it, the parents perish at sea; and so the two girls are left orphaned, with Elsa retreating to her room to keep her secret hidden, and her sister is left lonely, albeit safe.
Enter a handsome prince, an oafish ice salesman and his reindeer companion, and an conniving, greedy tradesman from a neighboring city, and chaos is unleashed and the charming kingdom of Arendell turned to a winter wasteland.
As with all Disney stories, all is resolved with a happy, happy ending. With a delightful soundtrack of songs and an exciting array of 3D visuals, including a spectacular ice fight and one scary abominable- iceman-type monster, the forecast for Frozen is lots of fun for the whole family . Playing at El Capitan through Jan. 5, 2014.
Give the epicurean on your holiday list a gift with taste this season.
Make the Cut
For those who love their bread and butter, give them the Owl Inlay Wooden Bread Board, as much a conversation piece as a utilitarian bread serving tray and cutting board. Made in Kentucky from sustainable hardwood, this nature-inspired piece will add character to a table and serve as a sturdy cutting surface for years to come. $47.99, www.overstock.com.
Foodies will love stirring up some hot and warming soup on a cold winter’s day in the BrylaneHome Non-Stick Hard Anodized 8-Quart Covered Stock Pot. The heavyweight anodized pot is designed for quick and even heating and features a durable triple layer XylanEterna non-stick finish and a vented tempered glass lid and stay-cool handles. $39.99, www.brylanehome.com
Mix it Up
For the smoothie lover who has been jonesing for one of those hi tech blenders, the Oster Versa Performance Blender is an affordable but powerful contender. The 1,400-watt motor spins its stainless steel blades at 28,000 RPM to blend smoothies, protein drinks, soups, dips, dressings, salsas and many other delicious treats in seconds. The large 8-cup BPA-free Tritan plastic jar dwarfs the competition, and the price point makes it an even better value. $249.00, Bed Bath & Beyond.
The hostess with the mostest is always sending home goodies with her guests. Give her the Frosty Elegance Treat Bags from Martha Stewart to make her send-home treats look extra special and festive. Contains six paper treat cones, six cellophane bags, six tags, and six pieces of ribbon. $7.69, Michael’s Stores or eksuccessbrands.com/marthastewartcrafts.
Give your holiday party host the gift that will keep those leftovers fresh the entire 12 days of Christmas – the BerryBreeze. This compact device fills a refrigerator with activated oxygen to neutralize bacteria, mold and other harmful microbes to keep fruits, vegetables, and other foods fresh up to two to three times longer, and the fridge will smell fresh too, without potentially toxic cleaners. $49.95, www.berrybreeze.com.
The 2013 Holiday Guide for Gadgets and Gear for the Tech Geek
Make the tech fan on your holiday list light up with the season’s hottest new electronics.
Do You Hear What I Hear
Give the gift of awesome sound with TRACKS on-ear headphones by SOL REPUBLIC. These stylish, virtually indestructible headphones feature bass-rich V8 sound engines and can be customized with interchangeable headbands, cables and sound engines and with inline mic and music control compatible with most Apple, Android and Windows devices. $99, solrepublic.com
Keep that sleek and slippery new smartphone or tablet safe from scratches, bumps, drops and dirt with a protective case from Otterbox, with styles to suit everyone, from the lightweight-but-tough Reflex Series for the active everyday user to the ultra-impenetrable waterproof Pursuit Series for the extreme adventurer. $19.95 to over $100. www.otterbox.com. Pictured: Defender Series for Galaxy Note 8 – $69.95.
Whether they are playing video games or making a business presentation, the tech geek on your list will find many handy uses for the Favi Entertainment Wireless Keyboard. It features a touchpad mouse and connects via Bluetooth for easy control of smartphones, tablets, computers or even smart TVs. The intuitive key layout allows for fast and accurate typing while reducing hand and finger strain. $35.99, Amazon.
Rocking A-Round the Christmas Tree
The music lover on your list will have a ball with the Sony Portable Bluetooth Speaker, a compact palm-sized speaker that goes anywhere. Use Bluetooth technology to wirelessly connect and stream 360 degrees of sound or NFC connectivity to pair it with a smartphone. $69.99. Sony Stores nationwide.
For the plugged in person on your list, CableKeeps from Nice by Design charges up Apple devices in style. The compact charger includes a base that doubles as a mini easel to hold a handheld device up and out of the way, next to a wall outlet. The cord wraps around the charger to keep it neat and tangle free in a pocket or purse. $15.99, The Container Store and www.nicebydesign.com.
Indoor puppies must be house trained so they understand it is not okay to eliminate inside the home. Although house training is a relatively simple process, pet owners must train their puppies in a positive and consistent manner. Without these considerations, puppies will get incomplete house training and may aaccidentally soil indoor locations.
Pet owners must concentrate on two main areas of house training. First, they must prevent indoor accidents by confining and supervising their puppies. Second, they must take their pets outside on a frequent and regular basis. Effective house training rewards puppies with praise or treats when they eliminate in the right place. Punishment can scare pets and hinder the house training process.
Although pet owners can house train their puppies without any special devices, certain systems make the job a little easier. Modern Puppies, for example, is an online store for house training devices and supplies. The Potty Training Puppy Apartment (PTPA), a patent-pending house training system for puppies, is one of its top sellers.
The PTPA system includes a potty training crate, also called an “indoor doggie bathroom,” as well as an instructional DVD. It covers three levels of house training and includes customer service seven days a week. While it is not the only way to house train puppies, it gets the job done quicker and easier than other potty training systems.