11. 28. 2006
Holiday Gift Guide Guide 2006: Gifts under $100
Wi-Fi is great, but sometimes you get all excited about locating a hot spot just to find out after logging on that there�s a huge traffic jam. With a Wi-Spy Spectrum Analyzer, you�ll be able to detect signal strength for all Wi-Fi networks as well as Bluetooth, 2.4 GHz cordless phones, microwaves, Zigbee, and all other 2.4 GHz transmitters. You�ll be able to find out which channels are quiet, and which traffic jams to avoid. $99.99 at ThinkGeek. (Maggie)
Although seen on Project Runway judging up and comers, Michael Kors had fashion design street credibility long before the show. Here is his "Astor" Cell Phone case from his MICHAEL line. The best part is that it is only one piece from his "Astor" accessory collection, allowing for complete fashion coordination. Available at Nordstrom in Black (shown) or Luggage, for $48.00. (Ray)
Create your own home-made yogurt with the Automatic Yogurt Maker in less than half a day. Of course, the procedure would involve some work from your end to create the initial mixture, which you pour into the provided glass jars when ready. Then set the timer and relax as you wait for some creamy, delicious home-made yogurt. The yogurt maker retails at Williams Sonoma at $39.95. (Kanchana)
I love this retro inspired radio designed by Marco Pulga & Luc Artioli for Lexon Design. The LED display reads green for FM and red for AM. Currently available at designstore.com in wood (shown) for $60 or in colored rubber for $48. (Ray)
Given my tendency to misplace stuff, I'm almost tempted to gift myself the Credit Card Alarm. The alarm is an intelligent plastic-and-steel card case that beeps every twenty seconds when empty, in which case, you are being softly warned that your credit card could be missing. Extremely practical and can be used with your most valuable cards. Buy it online at $55 a piece. (Kanchana)
Trio's ingenious interchangeable covers give you 3 ways to carry your iPod Nano. The soft inner lining keeps your Nano like new, and the tough, genuine leather outer case keeps it safe and looking good. And the colors are beautiful. $24.00 at Griffin Technology. (Evan)
Schott's Almanac, from the author of Schott's Original Miscellany, Schott's Food & Drink Miscellany, and Schott's Sporting, Gaming & Idling Miscellany, takes us through the year in this humorous, non-traditional almanac which covers everything from political and economic events to memorable moments in pop culture (including a choice quote from Paris Hilton). A nice gift for the person in your life who has everything. $17.14 from Amazon.
For the rock n' roll diva in your life -- the Diavolina Belt Buckle. Made of a silver looking metal, it may just be the prefect accessory. $45.00 @ tokidoki. (Evan)
This t-shirt epitomizes otaku chic. Pi is an irrational number, which means that it has an infinite number of decimal places, which never repeat. So technically, the Pi By Numbers Babydoll t-shirt really doesn�t have Pi printed on it. However, having the first 4493 digits of Pi makes it a pretty good approximation. Buy it at ThinkGeek for $17.99. (Ray)
Kidrobot is selling a limited edition, Munny Holiday Do It Yourself Toy for $29.99. This soft vinyl toy comes blank so you can design and paint it yourself. It's also packaged with a Santa hat, candy cane, present, bottle of booze, a coloring book and �Hello My Name is� sticker. Get one while they last at Kidrobot Store.(Ray)
What everyone needs ...aromatherapy Jewel Pens. Boasting "pure essential oils," these Swiss aromatherpy pens come in 7 different aromas:
Ginger/Red: Ginger is known to energize, revive, awaken and uplift.
Eucalyptus/Blue: Eucalyptus is believed to boost the immune system and help fight off allergies.
Mint/Green: Mint is known to reduce tension and soothe headaches.
Lavender/Purple: Lavender is known to relax your mind and soothe the body.
Orange Blossom/White: Orange blossom is known to relieve stress and reduce tension.
Grapefruit/Yellow: Grapefruit is believed to reduce motion sickness and help suppress appetite.
Rose/Pink: Rose is known to lift the spirits and create a feelings of love.
$50 at Satinbox. (Evan)
Protect laptops in the New Year with the Abas Laptop Sleeve. Turn heads at meetings in January when your laptop appears from this case with leather trim. Sold at Nordstrom for $78.00, in Navy (shown,) Purple and Red. (Ray)
If you know someone who has trouble sleeping at night, the Tranquil Moments Sound Therapy System could be a thoughtful gift. Just plug in your headphones into the acoustic system and listen to the 12 pre-programmed nature sounds to create the tranquil atmosphere conducive for restful sleep. Go on, gift someone serenity at $99. (Kanchana)
The Power Zoom Vanity Mirror�s forte is its 1x to 5x zoom. Choose a lower zoom to apply makeup and a higher zoom for styling your hair. The 6-inch, break resistant mirror includes three LED lights positioned around the rim and runs on 3 AA batteries (not included). Available at $49.95 at First Street. (Kanchana)
It's called the Hot + Cold Mini Fridge, but is basically a thermal insulator for your drinks or food. The �fridge� can be toggled between cold and hot insulation states at the flip of a button. It's large enough to hold 15 standard beverage cans, and at $99.95 is definitely a good travel mate for outdoor buffs. (Kanchana)
This gift is recommended if you're sure your gift recipient appreciates quirky design. Labeled �Hand hooks,� they are � hold your breath � molded casts of the designer�s hand in various gestures. The recommended usage of the hand hooks is for soap dishes, key/candle holders, flower vases, or even as plain art. We guarantee this one will generate lots of excitement. Order a set of five different hand hooks at $79.00. (Kanchana)
From my favorite new designer, tokidoki , comes this whimsical toy, Sabochan. The cactus spikes make it a toy just for adults. $28 at tokidoki. (Evan)
Sometimes you feel like a nut; and a lot of nuts need cracked. Nutty the Cracker from Alessi is functional, fun, and adorable. Put your favorite member of the Family Juglandaceae under Nutty�s little paws and crank down on the tail. The cracked nut falls into the shiny aluminum bowl at Nutty's feet. The cute little guy will set you back seventy-five bones, and is available from Unica or direct from Alessi. (Johnny)
How does Clear Creek make that Pear-in-the-bottle brandy? An empty bottle is placed over the budding branch of a pear tree and the fruit is grown inside. When the pear is fully grown the bottle is filled with my favorite pear eau-de-vie. Twenty-eight pounds of fruit go into producing each bottle, and the taste is strikingly delightful. It is a limited production item and it might take some hunting to find a bottle. Wally�s, Park Ave, and BevMo each have a few bottles in stock. Expect to pay between $80 and $90. (Johnny)
If you've ever had real hot chocolate, made with whole milk and melted chocolate, you'll never go back to the chalky packets of Swiss Miss again. This little hot chocolate pot makes the process almost effortless- you just put in milk and chocolate (chips, chunks, cocoa, and if you must, the instant stuff), microwave, and then insert the battery-powered frother to turn it into a rich whipped drink. $30 from Williams-Sonoma. (Mia)
Tempted to buy your loved one a self-help book, kick-start them on their New Year's resolutions? Don't even think about it. Help them understand, and perhaps even embrace their worst qualities with the set of Seven Deadly Sins, books by prominent authors who've learned that it's far more rewarding to work towards de-motivation, it's such an easy mark. My favorite is Sloth, by Wendy Wasserstein, but Greed, Lust, Gluttony, Anger, Envy, and Pride are all there to entice you into transgression. Each paperback is $10. (Mia)
I don't know anyone who actually uses their home workout equipment for more than a few weeks, but this Mini Trampoline may be fun enough to actually be utilized as more than a storage rack. It's low-impact for your joints and has a balance rail for preventing embarassing injuries ("Yes doctor, I know how this looks, but I fell off my trampoline..."). $85 from Clever Gear. (Mia)