Tag Archives: hlaska

gift guide: all about dad

ah, father’s day…maybe the most stress-inducing gift-buying holiday outside of christmas.  men are notoriously hard to shop for, and unless your dad’s addicted to golf or bad ties, the usual suspects for men’s gifts are, well, lackluster.

with that said, i’ll freely admit that my ideas here aren’t exactly groundbreaking.  for the most part, i think guys are happiest when they get the coolest, latest toy in the genre they like best, whether it’s sports, tech, tools, or whatever else they’re into. so, assuming you’re not shelling out to get dad an ipad for father’s day (the ultimate way to ensure your name gets to the top of the list in his will), here are a few suggestions to keep dad on cloud nine this father’s day:

haffstreuner watch, by hlaska ($200):  i can tell you that choosing one thing to feature from hlaska for father’s day was no small feat…honestly, i could have written this whole guide from their site.  but if i have to choose, i think a hip new watch is the ultimate dad gift.  if you’re up for a splurge (or, more likely, going in on something with your siblings), my favorite is this super-sized haffstreuner watch, which is sleek and simple, but destined to remain perpetually stylish.  the face actually reminds me a bit of a compass, so it’s sure to bring a flash of nostalgia to dad’s eye, and make him feel like a serious wilderness trekker wherever he roams.

iHome app-enhanced alarm clock ($99):  for the seriously gadget-addicted dad, this is guaranteed to keep him occupied for hours on father’s day (and beyond).  it’s an iphone dock and charger, plus alarm clock – but it works with a (free) iphone app to let dad take his naps to a whole new level of tech-supervised sophistication.  he can fall asleep to james taylor and wake up to the beastie boys (your mom should love that).  it will even update dad’s facebook page when he beds down and wakes up (in case you haven’t managed to convince your ‘rents to avoid facebook entirely).  plus, the display is super cool.  i’ve been testing it for a week or so, and while i’ll admit that it may be a little more high-tech than i can handle, that should thrill any geeked-out dad beyond measure.

pizza grill stone, by williams sonoma ($99):  if your dad’s the stereotypical grillmaster, ditch the titanium-cased set of grill tools, and spring for something to really help him up the ante at his next barbecue.  my hubs swears that the only way to make a good pizza at home is with a minimum 800-degree oven, this pizza stone built for the grill seems like a much safer option than dismantling the auto-lock on the oven’s cleaning cycle (an ongoing battle in our house).  if nothing else, it will save you from a summer full of only burgers and hot dogs.  (a very close runner-up here is this smoker box for the grill. at an extremely wallet-friendly $40, it’s virtually guaranteed to banish dry chicken from dad’s grilling repertoire.)

bucket boss tool organizer, amazon ($16):  don’t laugh.  okay, you can laugh…it totally baffles me too.  but i honestly haven’t seen my hubs get more excited about anything he’s bought lately (with the obvious exception of his new ipad) than this weird bucket boss.  it’s basically a tool belt that you attach to, yes, a bucket.  for some reason, it’s as enthralling as a new power tool…especially in my house. throw in a bucket, and maybe even this “super cool” bucket lid seat thing to go with it (also a big hit), and you’ve got yourself one very happy, handy dad, all for about $30.

here’s hoping one or two of these help you add a little creativity to your gift-giving this year.  something tells me your dad has enough neckties.

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designer 101: hlaska


for my readers who are less into the girly and frilly and more into high-functioning mod styles, allow me to introduce you to my latest find:  hlaska.  i actually considered saving this one for father’s day, because i so love their men’s offerings.  but the truth is that their women’s bags are pretty fantastic too.

designed in san francisco by a team of industrial designers, of all things, the entire collection at hlaska is strong in structural leanings, and focused on functionality.  take, for example, their women’s metric computer case (left, $100+).  for literally years, i have been looking for a slim laptop sleeve with handles that could be put over the shoulder.  there are loads of options with tote straps, or messenger straps, but nothing to just sit snugly under your arm.  hlaska, geniuses that they are, have come up with exactly that – in three different sizes, so your laptop will be snug as the proverbial bug.  

the piece that originally attracted me to hlaska is that darling little presidio clutch (pictured at top, $205).  the bag takes its styling cues from the golden gate bridge, which makes sense as soon as you see it.  i’ve had the chance to test drive this one, and honestly, it’s love.  i do admit that i wish it were a bit larger, but it’s absolutely perfect for a business lunch – stash a wallet and a few necessities inside, and there’s no need to lug a huge handbag in your wake.  plus, the colors are just beautiful in person, thanks to the vegetable-dyed leathers.

some other favorites:  i just love their vertex overnighter, a limited edition made from a specially-commissioned swedish fabric which just feels so retro and fun, it has me dying to throw this one into the back of a convertible and head off on holiday…with the matching train case, naturally.  oh yes, and the evergreen briefcase (in natural) which, despite being in the men’s section, is maybe the most perfect briefcase for a woman that i’ve ever encountered.  the designers actually embossed wood grain into the leather, creating a pretty amazing effect.  that one’s a bit of a splurge, but truly, these bags are just beautifully made, and every detail is attended to.  i have no doubt you’ll live a long and happy life with any of them.

check out all of the offerings at hlaska’s website – and let me know what you think!

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