Category Archives: guys

Gift Guide: The Men

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Everyone knows that men are notoriously difficult to shop for. But this year, we’ve got you covered with a men’s gift guide jam-packed with creative, no-brainer ideas for the guys in your life. Whether it’s your spouse, brother, boyfriend, father, grandpa or son, there is sure to be something here that they would love to receive more than that neck tie you’ve had your eye on. Read on

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gift guide: craig olson’s finds for the modern man

{Editor’s Note: This year, I’ve asked a few of the people whose style I spend all year admiring to share their holiday wish lists. Stay tuned – we’ll have a new expert every day for the next two weeks!}

No offense to Mr. SMC, but Craig Olson might be the hippest guy I know. So, it’s no surprise he was my very first choice for a men’s gift guide. Craig (along with his parter in crime, Sean Igo) is the genius behind Portland’s Canoe and the brand new Spruce Apothecary. Craig and Sean were at the forefront of Portland’s hip-ification when they opened Canoe, a store that’s still beloved across the country for its modern aesthetic and hyper-sophisticated selection of home goods and accessories. Not only would I blindly trust Craig to pick a gift for anyone on my list, but I’ve often begged him to do just that. He has a perfect track record with every person on my shopping list, and judging from this list of picks, he’s going to remain the undefeated champ of men’s gift ideas.

men's gift guide, mens gift guide, gift guide men, guys gifts, craig olson gift guide Read on

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weekend forecast

Since it’s fall, and we can all use a little shake-up now and then, I thought I’d experiment with a little change to our usual Friday Finds routine…are you up for it? I always have the grandest plans for what I want to do every weekend. Then I end up running errands, cleaning the house and watching bad television. Ah, married life. But the point is that I start with big plans.

Here’s what my fictional weekend looks like so far: Read on

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get gifting: for the guys

Why is it that men are always the trickiest to buy for? I don’t know about you, but I spend most of December stumped when it comes to gifts for husbands, dads and brothers. But this year, I’m feeling confident…and you should too. Whether he’s into food, drink, gadgets or the latest hipster craze, I promise each and every one of the picks in this gift guide is 100% guy-tested and approved, and sure to be a hit with any man on your list.

Especially those steaks. Trust me on this…they’re unreal.

Read on

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shop drop: best made company

Kind of freaking out over the awesomeness that is the Best Made Company.

You guys, they have a whole section devoted to axes. Really.

I know, I know, it’s a little bit hipster. But I live in Portland now…it’s my moral obligation to be a little bit hipster, no? One thing I know for sure: the next time I need a man gift, I know exactly where I’m headed.


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get gifting: cheap thrills

(Also known as the “under $30” guide). Because most of us have the highest of ambitions but the lowest of budgets, my list of cheap thrills for the holidays is here to help you keep that holiday credit card balance in check. Turns out, it actually is possible to give a thrill-inducing gift and stay under budget – who knew?

  1. Totally invigorating in the morning, and not the least bit girly. Anthony Logistics eucalyptus + mint shower gel for men, $18
  2. Who can’t use another tote? This one has the added bonus of a cross-body strap and a stylish, not-too-sweet graphic. And it’s made by a dear friend of mine! Chrysanthemum tote, Westmama Designs, $29
  3. West Elm has a bevy of beautiful throws this season, but this one’s cuddly soft and comes in a rainbow of hues. Add your favorite paperback of the year, and give her an excuse to snuggle up. “Favorite” throw, West Elm, $29 (on sale for $19!)
  4. I never seem to have enough cosmetic bags to throw into handbags, carry-ons and totes. This one reminds me of Chanel, but won’t make me cry when my lip gloss leaks. LeSportSac “Kevyn” cosmetic case, $25
  5. If there’s a teen or tween girl on your list, I promise you, this is the gift to get her. Absolutely every color under the sun…so you can prove to her there’s more to makeup than piles of black eyeliner. Expert Mega Palette, Avon, $30
  6. Bargain gifts for men are hard to come by, but this watch is infinitely more handsome than its pricetag allows for – I especially love the webbed strap, which gives it an urban edge. Military style canvas strap watch, Avon, $15
  7. I’m basically obsessed with this stuff – it’s become my savior during these dry, windy winter days. Trust me, she’ll be addicted too. Blood orange body balm, McEvoy Ranch, $22
  8. Chocolates are always a great bargain go-to, and these have a fun twist. Each flavor is modeled after a bigger, badder (much more caloric) dessert. Red velvet cake truffle, anyone? Ultimate Dessert Truffles, Godiva, $25
  9. A classic holiday scent that’s festive, but not cloying. And I always love the packaging from Linnea’s Lights! Pumpkin soy candle, Linnea’s Lights, $21
  10. Okay, this one’s a smidge over budget. But you get six single-glass bottles of wine for that price, custom grouped by region or selected by master chefs. For a budding oenophile, it doesn’t get any better. Mario Batali Selection 6-bottle wine sampler, Tasting Room, $33 (looks like you save $10 by signing up for their mailing list!)
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geek chic

For the friend/sibling/spouse who had an iPhone 4 before you even knew they’d launched, who can’t leave the house without at least three different high-tech devices in her bag, and who buys up every new gadget on the market before you have a chance to get him one of them for Christmas.

  1. iPad sleeves are a dime a dozen. But this is one of the best, and my personal favorite. It works for men or women, is sleek and modern, and actually offers enough padding to keep your precious tablet safe. Leather & felt iPad sleeve, Graf + Lantz, $65
  2. This dock lets you rotate your iPad 90 degrees without disconnecting, and the built-in speakers mean you essentially have a TV with surround sound. Rotating docking station, Acoustic Research, $110
  3. These retro handsets are nothing new, but the Bluetooth version is. I especially love it in red, so I can imagine it’s a direct line to the Kremlin. Bluetooth headset, Off The Hook, $40
  4. If your favorite geek hasn’t already pre-ordered the Steve Jobs biography, buy him the Kindle version and revel in the irony. Steve Jobs (Kindle edition), by Walter Isaacson, $15
  5. A good iPhone cover is a rare breed. After staggeringly exhaustive research, this version from Chilewich is my hands-down favorite. Sturdy, stylish, and that nubby texture makes it perfect to hold on to. Griffin Chilewich Elan Form iPhone case, $40
  6. Perfect for a musical geek, this gadget turns an iPad into a guitar amp and a recording studio, so they can (silently) perfect the bass line to “Smoke on the Water”. There’s a mic version too, for the budding Beyoncé in the family. iRig and iRig Mic, AmpliTube, $40
  7. The most gadget-y of space heaters, this warms a whole room in no time…and looks cool doing it. Dyson Hot fan heater, $399
  8. This point-and-shoot camera is the best of both worlds: retro styling and modern technology. In other words, you’ll look hip and so will your pics. Fujifilm X10, $695
  9. Call me old-school, but sometimes I miss the simplicity of a boom box. This is the modern (much more stylish) equivalent. Jambox by Jawbone, $173
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get gifting: for the boys

Why is it that men are so much trickier to buy for than women? I can’t explain it, but I can try to make the process a bit easier. Whether he’s metro or manly, there’s a gift here he’ll be stoked to see under the tree (or menorah, in  my case).

  1. They might not always say it, but guys need a little luxury in their grooming too. Cade shaving cream and travel shaving brush, L’Occitane, $28 & $30
  2. Really, aren’t you tired of those threadbare socks he’s wearing? Richer Poorer men’s socks, any 3 styles for $30 with code HOHOHO, including gift box and shipping.
  3. A warm, weatherproof boot that looks good enough for going out. Ellesmere weather-resistant boot, Sorel, $160
  4. Captain Scott is the male equivalent of Amelia Earhart – his trek through the South Pole is the stuff of legends. This book of photos from the infamous trip are guaranteed to indulge his inner explorer. Lost Photographs of Captain Scott, by David M. Wilson, $21
  5. These natural leather belts are hand-crafted, and weather over time to a rugged patina. I’m so in love with them that the hubs and I both have one. Leather “Project Belt”, Wood and Faulk, $55
  6. Get him to ditch his drugstore shades – these aviators will give him instant street cred, and the classic shape will work on absolutely anyone. Oliver aviator sunglasses, Guess, $65
  7. Getting a tie for Christmas might not top his wishlist…until he sees this hip version from Pendleton. Just don’t mention your plans to borrow it. Grey mix Umatilla tie, Pendleton Portland Collection, $68
  8. This is a pick straight from the hubs, who tells me this matte, paper-style dial is “super cool.” Phosphor E-Ink digital watch, $195
  9. So, so many iPhone cases out there, but I love that this one’s made of wood and looks like a retro Leica camera. “Made From Raw Wood” iPhone case, $42
  10. If there’s a bachelor on your list, I’m pretty confident his house could benefit from a candle that isn’t at all girly, but still masks the smell of whatever’s rotting in his fridge. Silver skull candle, DL & Company, $88
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