Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Gift Ideas for Guys- Part 3

Well here is the conclusion of the Gift Ideas for Guys series. The first two are here and here.
This brings us to the end of our rope. You've tried things that he might rather YOU buy for him, places to go and things to do right here to the land of randomness, because you still have no idea what to get.

1- Carnivorous Plants from ThinkGeek.com 2- Unofficial MacGyver Handbook from Amazon 3- Golden Tee for your TV from Amazon and 4-Beer of the Month Club from the aptly titled http://www.beermonthclub.com/.

As you can see there's a certain "toy from the crazy uncle you only see once a year" quality to these gifts but you know those were always the toys that went over best at Christmas.

First we have the Carnivorous Plants from ThinkGeek.com which is only the tip of the iceberg for the toys and gadgets they offer. My husband and I recently got the carnivorous plants along with the Annoy-a-tron, the Firesteel Knife, Airzooka Air Gun, Cool Shooters Ice Shot Glasses, Thundercats shirt, and Japanese Puzzle for a giant cornucopia of craziness birthday present for a good friend of ours. My husband has been strongly campaigning for small dueling helicopters ever since as well. Now as you can probably tell from the list of things we bought it's not all computer/science geekiness but there's a general spectrum of toys and gadgets and things from childhood where you can probably find SOMETHING. Also it's great if you need to round out a smaller gift that you've already got but feel it might not be enough on its own.

Secondly, we come to MacGyver which probably represents the largest segments of things I bought my husband simply because they started releasing the DVDs right around the time we started dating. The book was probably one of the last MacGyver presents but it show dedication to the MacGyver cause on my part (or at least I believe so). Now I'm not saying everyone would be thrilled with MacGyver DVDs or books BUT maybe there's something that you picked up about something he loved when he was younger. Did he watch Goonies everyday of 7th grade but you notice he only has the VHS? Was he shocked and amazed you didn't know what Airwolf was? Well the great thing about a lot of these is that they floating around the bottom of the bargain bin so you can get a little something nostalgic pretty inexpensively. And sure, it won't be something that he'll use everyday of his life, but it does show you've been listening and you're willing to watch his stuff (after all how much Sex in the City have you put him through?)

Next we have Golden Tee for the TV. I think it might have gotten this for my brother-in-law and I'm not sure I'd have put it on the list except for the fact that my friend's boyfriend is a Golden Tee nut! He is crazy for the Golden Tee and so are all of his friends. Then I remember that my husband has been known to feed in like $10 at a time to said game when we're out. $10?! For real? Photo Hunt is only 50 cents! Anyway, I feel there are a bunch of games that are sort of 80s technology that are still around and could be pretty fun! Check out Amazon as well as the game section of Target to see what they have.

Lastly we come to the Beer of the Month Club. Not the most earth shattering idea but let me tell you from experience- getting alcohol delivered to your door can make you giddy. Every time I've either given this or received it I've had to go with the quarterly plan but by all means if you're rich go for the monthly version! [Send some to me too] Also beer (or wine) is not where the "of the month" club begins and ends. This site says it has over 120 "of the month club" options from cigars to ties to steaks to oils (eating variety although I'm sure if you search you'll find of the massaging variety). I think best of all this is a gift that you ultimately forget about then BAM! new season- there's more! But they are a little expensive so if you're in a super creative mood, last Valentine's Day a friend of mine drafted an idea for a gift of the month for each month for her boyfriend. It was kind of a combination of every gift I've mentioned on the list for a whole year. Now that's a little crazy (and much too expensive we realized) but if you can think of small items of the month- let us know!

And with that-- it's time for some breakfast and some This Old House on DVR.

Stay tuned for some information on my soon to be opened Etsy store! That's right- no more teasing you with invitations- it's time to buy and cross one more thing of your list soon!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Gift Ideas for Guys- Part 2

Here we have the second installment of Gifts for Guys- Shindigs and Hootananies! Commonly known as events , parties or the like. Sometimes is the perfect gift isn't a popping out in your head maybe something you can put a bow on is in order. Many times, I think that these can be the gifts that are remembered the most because it's not here- use this- it's a built up to the event and several hours of fun after. Also great for those living in small spaces- memories are don't take up any unnecessary space next to your couch or on your desk.

1- Scavenger Hunt; 2- Tickets to show; 3- Surprise Party; 4- The Game

So the descriptions of these are a little odd as you can see but I'll do my best to explain. #1 is one of the ideas that I have not COMPLETELY done myself but I was at the end party. This was something my friend's brother did for her birthday and it was insanely well thought out. He hid things in stores and in Churches and bars and created sudoku puzzles and she had a blast. This definitely falls under the category of "Not expensive but INCREDIBLY time consuming". Also probably not for everyone but if you have an Indiana Jones or a Dan Brown fan on your hands- give it some thought. Oh and make sure to either have party and the end or the whole group come along. Don't give them the answers though- no cheating! If you like the concept but don't have the time check out Watson Adventures located in NYC, Boston, DC, Chicago, Philly, and LA. Also read on to #4 which might work too.

But we've got #2 to go over before that. #2 is probably the simplest idea but again when searching for something physically- we tend to over look the simple. Get him tickets to his favorite type of event. We have always enjoyed comedy shows so I went for some Dave Atell and Lewis Black tickets a couple of years ago but for you it could be a band he loves, tickets to a game, tickets to go see a live taping of a show (I've always meant to get us Daily Show, SNL and/or Conan O'Brien tickets but be forewarned- some of these rely on lotteries or stand by and are not guaranteed). And if you don't live in driving distance to NYC- probably not for you either (Sorry! Don't be too sad though, it's probably been spring where you are for much longer). Some places to scour for tickets are Ticketmaster, Craigslist, and StubHub. I'm people have a much longer list of place so if you have a favorite spot to get the hardest to get tickets just let me know and I'll update the list.

#3- Get someone a dark dank cavern? OH contraire! That dank cavern is filled with untold amounts of beer! Yes you DC residents might recognize it as Brickskeller, which happened to be where I had a surprise party for my husband a couple of years ago. Obviously this is best for a birthday party but maybe not. Maybe you're really creative and use it for something else. (But if you are please let me know so we can all copy you!) At the time I didn't know all of his friends as well as I do today so I enlisted the help of a girl he works with to handle the work crowd, our friend from college to handle the college crowd and one of his friends from home to handle the home crowd and whipped them into shape to try and get as many people as possible there. Friends of his came down from all areas to visit, fun was had by all and people who were just used to hearing the others names in passing got to meet. Sidenote if you plan this undertaking yourself- if you are accompanying the surprisee get someone to corral people who are waiting. We happen to walk in and run into two of his friends on a bar run (which is ridiculous b/c we had a waitress) who stopped and were like "Hey. Umm. Happy Birthday"

Ahhhh #4. The Game. This proves how ridiculous I can be. My husband like games. A big Deal or No Deal fan. (I actually won $20 at a superbowl party on his friend's "home made" version on index cards- woohoo!). Sooooo the Game is the reason I started writing this post, only I didn't know it yet. Valentine's Day this year I was STUMPED what to do. I searched the blogs and articles and scoured gift sites and NADA. So I tried to think what he might need the most and at the time- he needed to get away. Somewhere there wasn't phones ringing or a computer to do work on and the weekend after Valentine's was a 3-day weekend this year. So now the question was where to go. There was a deal on a really nice hotel on travelzoo so that was an option but we've also always talked about going back to the town we went to college in and going to the places we used to eat and drink. But which trip to choose? Well it was his present so I decided I'd let him choose but decided to make it a bit more fun than that. I got two boxes from Target and some silly things that represented each trip (a lobster for a trip to the beach/ a keg cup for a trip to where we went to college are two examples) and drew a nice map on the lid of each and then a big 1 or 2 on the lids. The morning of Valentines Day I made a trail of Hershey's Kisses to the boxes and said he could pick one, look inside and he'd then decide whether he wanted that trip--- OR (Price is Right style) he could pass and he'd have to go with whatever was the in second box. He pick the first one (beach) and off we went. It's a little tricky since I couldn't book anything until he picked but it all turned out well in the end. We even got upgraded from our Travelzoo deal to a suite!

Ok. SO there you have it! Part 2. There's still one more so until then... I have some Rachel Ray Papa al Pomodoro!