Friday, January 30, 2009

Pittsburgh Steelers Messenger Bag

Item: Pittsburgh Steelers Messenger Bag

Price: $39.95

Where to Buy:

Review: What do you get the Steelers fan who has everything? How about something to put it all in?

True fans probably already have the hoodie, the hat, the jersey, the jacket. Go for something a little different with a messenger bag that's good for school or out on the town. (OK, maybe I wouldn't carry it on a first date or anything, but you get what I mean.)

I'm not a gigantic pro football fan, but I'll be rooting for Pittsburgh this Sunday during the Super Bowl by dint of both my uncles' and my husbands' uncles' mania. But if I was a big fan, this messenger bag would probably be toward the top of my wish list.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Arizona Cardinals Giant Musical Pez Dispenser

Item: Arizona Cardinals Giant Musical Pez Dispenser

Price: $24.95

Where to Buy:

Review: Obviously you are not a true fan of your team unless you have a themed Pez dispenser. That's 13 inches tall. That plays music.


In honor of the Super Bowl this Sunday, I'm featuring a good gift for a Cardinals fan today. Steelers fans: Return here Friday.

Anyway, the Pez dispenser plays NFL sound effects and comes with 12 rolls of candy and a pair of batteries. What a deal!

If you're going for something silly that you're 99% sure the gift-receiver doesn't have, I think the Cardinals Giant Musical Pez Dispenser is exactly what you're looking for.

Image from:

Monday, January 26, 2009

Rocko Flake Sled

Item: Rocko Flake Sled

Price: $12

Where to Buy: Kiosk

Review: When the snow falls white, crisp and clean, how often do you wish for a quick ride down the steepest hill in town?

With this perfectly butt-sized sled, you can stop wishing and start doing. It's small and flat enough to store almost anywhere- a kitchen drawer, a car glove compartment or maybe even a purse.

Forget the unwieldy large plastic sleds that you don't have room to store anyway. The Rocko Flake Sled is just right for any child living in a cold climate-- or the adult who wants to act like a kid, even if only for an afternoon.

Image from: Kiosk

Friday, January 23, 2009

Headphones Hat

Item: Headphones Hat

Price: $24.99 - $29.99

Where to Buy: Tooks Hats

Review: Hate cold weather? Love your iPod? Make peace with both with a Tooks hat with built-in headphones.

The removable headphones come with the hat, making this one functional, fashionable gift.

The headphones hat seems to be practical not only for the music lover, but also for the person who actually wants to stay warm. If you're like me and won't even buy a hat with a fleece band to keep your ears nice and toasty, you're in luck.

The hats are available in a variety of colors and styles. Whether you opt for the beanie, the bomber or the classic knit, the headphones hat is one way to keep your head as hot as your music.

Yeah, I can see you rolling your eyes over that last sentence. I couldn't resist.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wind-Up LED Flashlight

Item: Wind-Up LED Flashlight

Price: $8.99

Where to Buy:

Review: Out of all of the holiday and birthday gifts my husband has received from my family, the wind-up flashlight that he got for Christmas has to make the top 5 list.

Yeah, it's a practical gift, but also surprisingly old-school and fun. A few cranks (the whoosh of the gears make it sound just like a toy from your youth!) and you'll have an extraordinarily bright white light for the home or the car.

My favorite part? The weight. I mug full of water is at least twice as heavy.

My second favorite part? It never needs batteries. The energy-conscious cheapskate in me loves that.

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Monday, January 19, 2009

Barack to the Future button

Item: Barack to the Future button

Price: $3

Where to Buy:

Review: If you haven't already heard, Barack Obama becomes the 44th President of the United States this week.

Commemorate the day by buying a button for yourself. Or buy 10 for $20 and give them as a gift to your nine closest Democratic friends.

Don't worry too much about your Republican acquaintances. Were they not brandishing their own Bush buttons eight years ago? I thought so.

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Friday, January 16, 2009

Pet Psychic Reading

Item: Pet Psychic Reading

Price: $50 for a half hour

Where to Buy: Hom Bay Ridge, Sunday, Jan. 18 only!

Review: OK, so a pet psychic session may not be the thriftiest gift I've ever recommended, but if you're looking for a unique present for a pet lover, I'm not sure it gets any better than this.

Funny thing is, your pet doesn't even have to be present at the session. Just bring a photo of man's best friend (or your parakeet, or your iguana, or your rabbit or ...) along with a description that includes your pet's name, age, breed and gender.

Then you can find out what you've always wanted to know-- is your sweet kitty cat plotting to kill you? Or, if you prefer, ask some of the questions Hom suggests: What would make your pet happier? How does your pet feel about a specific person? What does your deceased pet want you to know?

I'm not sure I even want to know the answer to the last one.

But if you want to know and you'll be in the New York City area between 1 and 7 p.m. Sunday, get thee to Hom for a pet psychic reading. Reservations are required: Call 718-238-4466.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Reading is Sexy shirt

Item: Reading is Sexy shirt

Price: $16.95

Where to Buy:

Review: The written word is not dead. At least, not yet.

I loved this logo as soon as I saw it on a bumper sticker given to me by a member of my old book club. When I heard about the shirt, I knew it had to be mine.

Readers get a bad reputation. No, my nose doesn't rotate from the middle of a book to waving high in the air. No, I don't go around shushing people in libraries- nor do I want to. Readers can be just as witty and sassy as any illiterate in the bunch!

OK, well maybe we are just the tiniest bit snooty.

In any case, readers of the world can unite behind this sexy tee.

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Monday, January 12, 2009

LED Faucet Light

Item: LED Faucet Light

Price: $12.99 - $14.99

Where to Buy: ThinkGeek

Review: Yeah, I'll admit it: I'm a geek. But you don't have to be a geek to think the LED Faucet Light from ThinkGeek is decidedly cool.

Install the light attachment to any faucet, and like magic the water appears a bright blue each time you wash your hands, water your plants or give your thirsty cats a cold drink. Or opt for the blue light that turns red whenever the water reaches 89 degrees.

It's a hot-cool-practical-geeky gift and conversation-starter all in one. And it's cheap!

Image from: ThinkGeek

Friday, January 9, 2009

Russell Stover Triple Chocolate Mousse

Item: Russell Stover Triple Chocolate Mousse candy bar

Price: $1.99 for 3 oz.

Where to Buy: Russell Stover

Review: The individually-wrapped Russell Stover Triple Chocolate Mousse chocolates were one of my favorite Christmas gifts this year. I'm no chocolate snob-- I'll take a Hershey bar since I don't have a Godiva budget. But these chocolates, I'm happy to say, taste like Godiva on a Hershey budget.

The cream center (I love cream centers!) is bordered by dark chocolate on top and a film of white chocolate on the bottom. Sure, it melts in your mouth, but you'll have the bar gone so quickly it won't have time to melt in your hand.

Image from: Russell Stover

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Painted Veil Soundtrack

Item: The Painted Veil soundtrack

Price: $14.99

Where to Buy: Amazon

Review: The Painted Veil is one of my favorite movies, and I love the soundtrack just as much as the film. Listen to the online samples and it won't take you long to find out why the haunting melodies are a permanent part of my playlist.

Whether you're out for a jog, relaxing during a morning commute or trying to fall asleep, The Painted Veil soundtrack is your best companion. This is a perfect treat for anyone who loves classical books (the movie is based on the tome by W. Somerset Maugham), classical music, or both.

You don't have to take my word for it. The soundtrack won composer Alexandre Desplat the 2007 Golden Globe for Best Original Score-Motion Picture.

Image from: Amazon

Sunday, January 4, 2009

America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

Item: The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

Price: $34.95

Where to Buy: Cook's Illustrated

Review: I normally hate to cook, but the recipes in The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook drag me off the couch and into the kitchen. I've never made better pancakes, french toast or banana bread. My husband, who really does enjoy cooking and knows his way around a pantry, uses the cookbook almost every day.

With more than 1,200 recipes, this cookbook has whatever entree, side dish or dessert you're in the mood for. I especially like the tips, tricks, explanations and substitutions it provides with so many of the recipes. Who knew you could replace buttermilk with regular milk and a dash of lemon juice?

I swear by this book so much that both my mom and my sister received The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook for Christmas. It's not the cheapest cookbook, but it's the only one you'll ever need. That's a deal in my book.

Image from: Cook's Illustrated