Unique gifts are in the eye of the beholder. What would really surprise and delight that special someone? Maybe it’s a beautiful piece of jewelry. Maybe it’s something eco-friendly. Perhaps your special someone has been longing for a “tech toy” that s/he just can’t justify in his or her budget. Or maybe it’s a luxurious pair of warm, fuzzy boots. In this gift guide, The Advice Sisters have selected some very special items that we think will bring joy to those who are lucky enough to receive them, and to give you some ideas of things that are just a little bit different than the classic gifts we all love, but kind of expect. Which are your favorites? We hope these give you some ideas. And if you don’t get them from someone, maybe you’ll just treat yourself!
Jewelry is always a classic gift, but that’s sometimes the problem. Your special someone is a fashionista, and she wants something that shows she is unique, stylish, maybe even a bit edgy. The perfect solution? This Bronzo Italia Double Curb Link Bracelet in rose gold colored bronze metal. If it were just a substantial, beautifully made curb link bracelet with a lovely, secure, magnetic clasp (which it is), it would be a nice gift, but wrapped with soft leather, suede actually, it’s made modern, and just a tiny bit edgy. You would think that this bracelet should cost several hundred dollars. It really looks and feels like fine jewelry on your wrist. There is only one size to fit most everyone. But the big surprise is that it is under $130.00 (plus shipping & handling) at QVC.We also like this Bronzo Italia Braided Leather and Snake Chain Bracelet, also in rose gold colored bronze with a magnetic clasp for just $106.00 (plus shipping & handling). It is available in Brown Leather, Black Leather, or Orange Leather in sizes Average or Large. Get these and much more at http://QVC.com
Green and eco-friendly might bring up visions of tie-dyed tees and bags of granola, but Actor Adrian Grenier and producer Peter Glatzer have some really luxurious and still eco-friendly gift ideas for the holidays, that you can give the uber-chic people on your list that really won’t be satisfied with the same-old, same-old. On a searingly hot Summer day, I had to opportunity to actually visit Adrian’s amazing Brooklyn home and check out some of the sustainable” goodies from Andrian and Peter’s company called SHFT.com, While most of what I saw wasn’t inexpensive, such as this beautiful, bamboo wireless keyboard from Orée, crafted from a single sheet of wood, which is milled and shaped before being polished, oil-finished, and assembled by hand (about $200) plus shipping. But since SHIFT selects items, many of which are made by “artisanal” companies you are helping to support small business and great design. And if you’re stumped, how about bringing a basked of organic veggies and chocolates to your favorite friend, perhaps in this gorgeous “carpet bag” that was displayed at Adrian’s home.
I also got a chance to see one of FORD’s eco-friendly hybrid cars, plugged into it’s electric power source, in the driveway. You can see my short YouTube video of myself and colleagues actually driving in a Ford Fusion Hybrid and also a C-Max energy plug in hybrid. Yes, that’s really ME in those cars1 A Ford car with Earth-friendly, alternative power? Now that’s what I call a fabulous gift! Want more eco-friendly ideas? Visit SHFT.com,
Ski vacation coming up? Living in a cold weather climate where the snow and sleet just won’t quit? A gift of warm feet can warm her heart all winter long, but only if you also give her a pair of boots that are really stylish and luxurious. Khombu specializes in waterproof footwear made with premium quality materials designed to keep feet dry and comfortable. The super-stylish Khombu’s Quechee Stingray cold weather boots (srp. $119.00) have are the type of boots that you will want to wear even if the weather outside isn’t so “frightful.” just because they’re fun and stylish.
These waterproof boots have a plush faux-fur lining and Thermolite insole ( antibacterial, breathable, fast-drying, and insulated lining) and that’s the practical side of these boots. But the suede upper actually sparkles like evening-wear, aided further byshiny, black, patent leather accents to hold silverly toggles for the lace-up fronts, and patent leather bottoms to keep your feet from getting wet. Even the back of these boots are embellished with patent leather so you look good coming and going!
The technical specs? Shaft: 13″ height, 14″ circumference with a Man-made sole. The boots are temperature rates to minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit, too.
While you would normally wear socks with boots, I slipped my bare feet into these boots and they were so soft and plush, I actually wore them in my weekend home in the moutains (yes, it cold up there) instead of slippers on a really cold morning. I felt toasty and when I stepped outside to get something, I didn’t have to worry that I was going to get my feet wet, either. It might be an unusual way to wear boots, but you can wear your Khombus any way you want!!
Khombu is an official supplier to the US Ski Team. You can get these Quechee Stingray cold weather boots in department stores (e.g. Macy’s and online) but you can also see more styles (for men and kids, too) and find a store carrying Khobu near you at http://www.khombu.com/
Headphones are always a great gift for audiophiles, and for anyone who likes to enjoy the sounds of silence around them at home or office. But when the headphones are wireless and Bluetooth enabled, they are even more desirable. Velodyne makes over the ear headphones in both wired and wireless versions that offer not just good sound quality, but that truly make a fashion statement. Both versions of these shiny black (or gloss white or silver) headphones fold into an included cloth drawstring bag (great for travel) and have signature, sleek., “V-shaped” ear cups (instead of the usual round ones). They’re well padded for comfort. Another thing that makes these headphones unique is that only the volume controls are on the side of the right ear cup. The rest are in the front of the right ear cup in three asymmetrical panels that are the wireless controls. The top panel lets you skip tracks (touch upper for forward, bottom for back). The middle panel turns the headphones on and activates pairing mode. The bottom panel controls play, pause and call answer. This is very cool, but if you are going to learn to do this without taking off the headphones, you’ll need some practice. There are also LED indicators for various modes and power. If your player or phone isn’t Bluetooth-enabled, not to worry, You also get a microUSB port for charging and an audio input cable for wired listening.
Another thing that makes the Velodyne headphones so much fun, are the Optional vLeve® skins (Srp. $39.99 each set) let you add your own personal touch to your headphones. The Advice Sisters received a set of skins with wined guitars in black and gold that totally change the look of the headphones. These rubberized skins come in three pieces,two for the ear cups, one for the headband. you just push then on over the headphones and pull them off when you feel like changing the look again. It’s that easy. The only downside is that the skin on the right ear cup covers the three Bluetooth functions on the right ear cup, so you have to do without on that ear cup, or do without those functions while you’re sporting your fashionable skin.
The sound is rich and clear and comparable to other headphones in this price range (srp. $299.00 for wireless and $219.00 for the wired version). Charging was fast and easy via USB. The Bluetooth pairing took just seconds. Tech specs Velodyne V-Free are: sound quality utilizing apt-X® coding,• Bluetooth® v2.1 connectivity with >30 foot range, High-quality microphone for phone & online video games, Specifications: Driver size: 34 mm, Frequency response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz, Sensitivity: 98 dB/1 kHz/1 mW, Impedance: 32Ω, Frequency range: 2.4Ghz – 2.4835GHz, Transmission range: Up to 10 m (33’), Power: Lithium-ion polymer battery, 3.7V/430mAh (rechargeable), Operating temperature: 0 C – 40 C, Supports Bluetooth v2.1 + EDR, A2DP v1.2, AVRCP v1.0, HSP v1.2, HFP v1.6, Supports codecs SBC, AAC, apt-X, Battery Specifications: 100 hours standby, 10 hours talk and music, 1.5 hours recharge time. For more information visit http://velodyne.com and you can also order these online at places like Amazon.com
I love the feel, the look, the smell and the experience of holding a paper-bound book in my hands. But E-readers are really fantastic for keeping lots of reading materials close at hand. When I travel these days, nothing else comes close. And the latest e-readers are really more like sophisticated tables, offering internet access and entertainment. Amazon is really a leader in providing the best of the best when it comes to e-readers, with it’s virtual Collection of f Kindles. No matter what your budget, there’s a Kindle for you. and of course, there is an entire world of Kindle accessories, books, games and entertainment options to stuff it with. This is the reason why I have recommended the Amazon Kindle as THE gift of the year, several years in a row. No matter what your age or interest, it’s a gift that will enrich your life, every day, for years (or at least until the next incredible version of the Kindle with even more bells & whistles, arrives). There are so many different Kindle versions, that you might get confused (as I did, I admit). The most pricey, at this writing, was the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 at $379.00 (16GB) up to a whopping $479 (64 GB). This model has an 8.9″ HDX display (2560×1600) for bright and accurate color and a larger screen that the other Kindles, but it is just 13.2oz, it’s 34% lighter than the previous generation. It has a a super fast 2.2GHz quad-core processor—3x more powerful than previous generation—with 2GB of RAM and Adreno 330 GPU for fast, fluid gaming and video and a 8MP rear-facing camera with LED flash for high-resolution photos and 1080p HD video, plus a front-facing 720p HD camera for Skype video calls and more (*this was really something I felt was missing from the previous Kindles). It also has a built-in OfficeSuite, plus e-mail and calendar support for Gmail, Outlook, and more so it’s really a tablet, not just an e-reader. But on the opposite side of the spectrum, and not to take anything away from it’s delights, for those who just want an E-reader, the new Kindle Paperwhite is simply a black and white, no frills e-reader that lists currently for just $119.00 on Amazon. Unlike a tablet, the Kindle Paperwhite is deliberately designed with a non-reflective screen to read like the printed page with a glare-free display, ultra-light design, and weeks-long battery life. A patented front-lit design guides light towards the display instead of projecting it out at your eyes like back-lit tablets. It is thin and light and you can read on it for up to 8 weeks on a single charge, with Wi-Fi off. Visit Amazon.com and check out everything Kindle has to offer.