Archive for the ‘Outdoor’ Category

Great Gardening Gifts

Let’s talk about the different gifts you can give to the gardener in your life. There’s gardening hardware such as a good pair of pruners for removing roses and other cut flowers to create a beautiful arrangement.  The most highly rated and easily accessible is the Fiskars brand. Another reasonably priced gift is a nicely wrapped bunch of bulbs to be planted when the cool fall weather arrives. White Flower Farm is a good online source for quality bulbs and plants. Why not present your gift along with an offer to come and help with the planting? For the vegetable gardener a variety of herbs is always welcome; this year my sage, thyme, verbena and mint plants all came back bigger and better than last year –  a perennial plant is a gift that keeps on giving! And for the extravagant among you, a gardening plan from a landscape architect is a generous and long-lasting gift that is sure to be appreciated.

King of the Mountain

If you are shopping for someone who loves to ski or snowboard and don’t feel like giving them another day pass for the slopes, why not give them a set of skis or snowboard. Whether they have never owned their own equipment before or are simply way overdue for a new set, it is a gift that they are sure to use and that will last them years. With all of the designs and colors that are now available, you can have fun selecting the right plan that will fit your friend or family member’s personality to a tee. If skis or a snowboard are out of you price range, a personalized helmet or one to match their current boards, is something that no person should be without. A boot and cargo bag is also perfect if you want to stay on a budget or if they don’t need any other accessories It then makes it easy for them to travel with all of their gear and is the perfect place to hold all of their belongings. You could also always include a subscription to a snowboarder magazine as an added touch that will show extra thought. 

A Day at the Slopes

As the snow finally begins to fall why not take advantage of the cool winter weather when buying a present. Depending on who you are buying for, a ski lift pass is great for anyone who actually snowboards, skis or simply loves to try new things. If they are little less adventurous snow tubing is a great alternative and with this they are sure to have a blast. It is a great gift to give to your whole family or even to a few of your friends so you can all enjoy it together. A great way to go about doing this is to purchase a Powder Passport for your friends or family. It is a pass that can be used on 16 different mountains all across the northeast and is fully unrestricted. This allows the person to pick both when and where they want to use up their gift and if you purchase multiple days they can be used all at once or spread out throughout the season. This multi-mountain access pass features some of the best mountains across the area. This is a present that your loved ones are sure you enjoy!

    The Perfect Tailgate

    With college football games intensifying and the big games coming up, there are few people who could resist a good tailgate. Tailgates are a great way to spend time with friends and family and work up excitement before the game. Tailgating related presents are great for either anyone with season tickets or who enjoys a good game. Everyone knows that a good tailgate is not complete without the food. The NCAA football grill is the perfect present to give for the occasion. The grill is small and easily portable and is shaped like a football, complete with the logo of your favorite sports team. Various barbeque sauces is a great addition to give with this gift as well. If you are simply going to a tailgate of your friend or family member and are looking for something to bring, pick up a cooler and fill it with ice and their favorite beer before heading over and it will be a guaranteed hit. 

      For Those With The Green Thumb

      While I may not be one, we all know at least one person who spends more time in their garden than their bedroom. Thankfully this addiction makes it easy to shop for. Bulbs are a great gift for anyone who loves to spend the day out in the sun planting. They are not only easy to get and inexpensive but let the person spend time doing what they love. A personalized garden tool set is also sure to be used. There are lots of stores that offer specialty sets with fun patterns and designs. A set with different types of seeds for fruits and vegetables will not only add some color and flavor to their yard but will also help them stock up their fridge. You can also create or buy a set of seeds with different flowers that each represents a different characteristic according to who you are buying for with a brief explanation. Baby’s breath for instance is known to symbolize joy while lavender represents happiness.  If they are simply a plant lover or don’t have any more room in their garden, larger plants for their front step or deck in larger pots will give any house that extra pop.

        For the Kid in Everyone

        No matter what your age you are never too young or old to enjoy games of any type. When shopping for a family in particular, games are the perfect way to include everyone. You can never go wrong with board games especially the classics (and some of my personal favorites) like Clue and Scrabble. Other games such as Taboo and Scattergories are also hands on games that allow you to work in teams. One of my favorite games to play with a large group of people has got to be Apples to Apples. The game never has a dull moment and will always fill your house with laughter. When buying for men in particular a nice poker set is something that could last forever and my guess is, be used often. For the more adventurous families outdoor games such as Bocce or Ladder Golf are sure to be a guaranteed hit. Bocce is great not only to bring with you on vacation to the beach but also to play in your own backyard. 

          The Fastest Way to a Man’s Heart is His Stomach

          It’s true what they say; the fastest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. When you have exhausted all sports presents, you can never go wrong with grilling accessories. After all what guy doesn’t love grilling? It is easy to find a basic grill and barbeque tool set at any local store and will work perfectly when placed in a basket with various seasonings and a cookbook or even an apron. Another way to personalize the gift even more and combine the things guys love the most is to add a sports team grill cover. My favorite ones have got to be the NFL teams where the cover resembles an actual jersey. For the master grillers who already have everything personalized branding irons are perfect. The irons can be ordered in the guys favorite sports team or even their initials that can add a little extra flair to the meat. Even for the grillers who truly do have everything there is never such a thing as too much food. Right before the party or you give the gift just stop by and pick up some of his favorite meat and make sure to save up room for dinner- yum!

            Those Summer Nights

            As the weather heats up and it finally starts to feel like summer everyone, including myself, is doing everything they can to soak up the sun. So when its time to give a present, why not take advantage of all this outdoor activity. A chiminea is the perfect gift for one person or an entire family. These outdoor fireplaces come in a variety of different styles, shapes and even colors that make it easy to personalize the gift towards the receiver. It’s perfect for toasting marshmallows to make s’mores or to simply gather outside around the fire with friends and family. My family bought one a few months ago and could not be happier. Giving the chiminea you can be confident that your friends and family will love it and then just sit back and relax and wait for the invitations for late night gatherings to start pouring in. 

              Umbrellas are a Necessary Gift

              Dan: I had an umbrella but I lost it over a year ago.  Today it was raining and I was sitting in class feeling like I just took a swim in the ocean.  If anyone has been in class soaking wet before because they had to walk in the rain, than you know how I feel.  I have a raincoat but it just does not quite do the job like a trusty umbrella would.  A great gift someone could give to me…cough cough…just kidding…would be an umbrella.

              Some people may be thinking that an umbrella would not make a great gift.  However, if you know someone that really needs one or has one that does not work very well an umbrella would be a great gift idea.  Not all umbrellas are made equally and the quality range is quite drastic.  Many umbrellas under the $40 limit can be quite flimsy and have too small a diameter.  Therefore, spending a good amount of money on an umbrella is definitely worth the effort.  Not only will you or someone else be drier in the end, but that umbrella will not have to be replaced anytime soon.

              Grace: I absolutely hate getting rained on, so having an umbrella is an absolute necessity for me.  There are a lot of really cute umbrellas these days to choose from too.  I definitely agree with Dan on spending a little bit of money on an umbrella because I have had multiple cheap umbrellas that either fall apart, or during heavy rains, the umbrella fails completely and the water drips through.  I really enjoy this gift idea!

              Giving Time Off

              Grace: I’ve always found that shopping for gifts for my mother is incredibly difficult.  She’s a very independent woman who knows exactly what she likes and doesn’t like, so she’d rather receive no gift at all than a gift that she can’t use.  However, I always feel silly if I don’t get her something, so instead of buying her a physical gift I’ve found that it’s easier to buy her gift passes and give her time off from the rest of us instead.

              My mother loves to have days off to herself, so giving her time off from the rest of the family is really the best gift she could ask for.  For her, a spa gift certificate is the perfect gift; she would love a day of complete relaxation by herself.  I’m sure the rest of my family stresses her out, so it’s nice for her to have a day to reset so that she can handle all our antics full-force the next day.

              For someone who is perhaps more adventurous but still wants a day off, a great outdoor gift would be an adventure pass.  With over 80 activities to choose from, something like this is sure to hit the mark.  Either way, sometimes just giving someone the day off is really the best gift.

              Dan: There is definitely no better gift than a day of peace.  Today, we all live in a more stressful environment no matter what stage of our lives we are in.  Anything from work to school and family can cause a great amount of stress and frustration in one’s life.  New research has shed light on how tolling stress can be to your physical and mental health.  People who live stressful lives typically have shorter life spans and stress can even be labeled as a auto-immune disease trigger.  Reducing stress and staying relaxed is extremely important.  That is why this gift is not just a great idea, but really important.