Monday, November 28, 2011

Holiday Gift Guide: Ten Cool Gifts for Guys

(Sort of) just in time for Cyber Monday, here are my gift picks for the men on your list. Happy shopping!

1. Graffiti Cocktail Shaker, $20 at CB2.
Quite honestly, this is one of the coolest things I've seen in a while. I kind of want one for myself.

2. Whiskey Stones, $20 at CB2.
I've seen these whiskey stones around for a couple of years, and I've always wanted to dislike them for being gimmicky. But it occurs to me that they're pretty great for guys who like their liquor chilled but not watered down. When frozen for four hours, the stones keep spirits ice cold for 40 minutes and won't transfer flavors from drink to drink.

3. Chef's Knife, $115 to $200.
Any guy who cooks even a little bit should have a quality chef's knife in his kitchen. I'm currently drooling over the Wusthof Ikon Blackwood 8 inch chef's knife, $200 at Sur La Table. The photo below doesn't do the blackwood handle justice; it's a thing of beauty. More importantly, the knife is perfectly balanced in the hand -- neither too heavy nor too light.

A less expensive option is the Zwilling 8 inch professional "S" series knife. It's the bomb and is on sale for $120 at Williams Sonoma.

Finally, I feel obligated to mention Global knives ($115 for an 8 inch chef's knife) because they are so beloved by famous chefs (especially man's man Anthony Bourdain). But a word of caution: they make your hands blister like crazy. I bought a set for my husband when we were dating and I curse them every time I use them. Oh, and the tip of the paring knife broke after about three uses. So consider yourself warned.

4. Laguiole Steak Knife Set$140 at Overstock
This is another gift I bought for my husband when we were dating. In my opinion there's no steak knife more beautiful than Laguiole, and I adore the distinctive bee on the handle. Gump's carries a nice range of Laguiole cutlery, tableware and serving pieces; use promo code GIFT2U for 20% off orders of $100 or more store wide.

Every man (and woman) should have a Maglite or two on hand: one for the home and one for the car. Maglites are great protection, are virtually indestructible and they're made in America. This particular model, available in both black and grey, is 53% off at Lowe's through midnight tonight (11/28/11).

So clever, so practical. For $5 more, you can order a personalized one directly from Craftsman.

7. s[edition] Digital Art, $8 to $800. 
s[edition] is an online source for collecting digital, limited edition works by artists such as Damien Hirst and Isaac Julien. The goal of the service is to make art collecting accessible to everyone. s[edition] works directly with artists to offer digital pieces for viewing on multiple screens, from iPad to PC monitor to LCD TV.  (High resolution still images can be downloaded, while animated HD videos are viewed online.) Selections can be gifted to anyone with an email address.

My picks are I Listen to the Ocean and All I Hear is You by Tracey Emin ($80), and Peace Guard by Shepard Fairey ($35).

In the animated version of this piece, the words light up across the screen and are accompanied by the sounds of the ocean.

In the HD video version of this piece, the rose explodes and petals rain down the screen. 

Note: for access to the s[edition] site, you must register with your email address and password.

8. Moleskine Volant Notebooks, $6 to $19 for sets of two.
I love these colorful renditions of the classic Moleskine notebooks. Each set contains two notebooks in complementary colors. So if your guy likes to write, sketch or just jot down notes, this is a great gift.

9. J. Crew Cognac Leather Shoehorn, $28.
This leather shoehorn is a handsome alternative to plastic or metal, and will become even more beautiful over time.

10. Jack Black Skin Care, $7.50 to $52.
Most men I know won't buy skin care products for themselves, let alone use them (especially sunscreen, which drives me crazy). Show your guy you care by giving him the gift of good skin. Jack Black products are great because they're moderately priced given the quality ingredients (most formulations are organic and vegan); they're effective; and they smell masculine and refreshing. Plus, many of their products have won awards from Esquire, Men's Health and the like, so if all else fails, tell your guy that all the cool kids are using Jack Black. If you buy one thing, make it the SPF 45 sunscreen. (Getting him to use it is another story. Sigh.)

Note: As with all products mentioned on Flour Child, reviews and recommendations are entirely my own. Not only have I not received compensation or consideration from the manufacturers or retailers, they don't even know I exist.

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