Monday, October 25, 2010

The X box 360 is THE "in" box


The Xbox 360 Kinect

That's all I have to say.

This will be the most popular, sought after, cleared-from-the-shelves gift this season.

Television's Home Shopping Network was offering them (their own bundle of hardware and games) this weekend on their Holiday Tech show, but they don't hit the stores until November 4. You may want to watch HSN for that specifically titled show to see if they offer it again. They went like hotcakes. I've never ordered a thing from them but I almost did because my gut told me this was the one way to be sure way to get one. I don't even play these kinds of games or own any kind of console. Rock Band Beatles edition almost got me to get one but I just thought, I don't want to get MORE plugged and lose more hours than I already do to staring at a screen.

But I'm all for the Wii and now this, because it's EXERCISE. Your body is the joystick, so to speak, utilized by a motion-sensing camera. You can use your hands like they are a mouse and there's voice navigation capability as well. For those of us who played outside as kids bemoaning that kids now-a-days are pale and sedentary because of technology, finally technology is helping everyone get active again, and can bring the family together.

The good news is the Kinect is supposed to be compatible with all current and future X box consoles. Yes! There currently are about 15 launch titles. A partial list: a dance game of course, one for bowling, an animal collecting game, a Star Wars themed game, a Sports offering (much like Wii), a river ride, car racing and I've read about a Disney game with Tinkerbell.

Keep your eyes peeled, but if you end up camping out at store doors all night, please be careful people. Nothing is worth the stampedes some of these things cause. If you don't get one this holiday, remember that if you get the second version it is often cheaper, faster and better. Or you can probably buy this one when the shelves are stocked in January. Win/win.

THE Future is HERE.

There has been no price mentioned yet.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Little Bark for Your Tree

(OK, I'll admit in the tiniest font possible that I stole that title from the cataloge).

Listen up. Dog ornaments!!

New from ORVIS, available in 204 freaking breeds! That's impressive. And as you can see, they can be personalized. I can't think of one person who wouldn't just love to have these for each one of their beloved furry ones.

Only $39 each. 2 wks for delivery (in the 48 states only).

Thank you to Orvis for the picture.

It Can Be Elegant... Just sayin'

It's that time of year when those themed sweaters come out of the mothballs: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas (don't think they have them for Channukah or Kwanza do they?).

Anyway, some are so bad, they've been fodder for the unkind.... but if this is a must for someone on your list, Orvis has a pretty and tasteful one this year. Take a look:

It's a white lambs wool blend with light beading and a metallic threading subtly woven in. $89 in S.M.L or XL. Orvis has a helpful customer rating section under each item and all reports are good. If you end up buying it for yourself, you can confess it right here in the comments!

Angry Birds -- coming soon?

If you have not heard of the smart-phone game Angry Birds, you've been living under a rock. No worries, you've now heard it here and have increased your hip factor. Be a winner this holiday by giving this gift -- Angry bird plush toys.

The source through which I foudn them said they aren't yet available and the price is as yet unnamed but you now have the heads up to keep a lookout for the gift that will deem you the coolest, if not funniest aunt/mom/dad/uncle/grandparent/step-something or pal in the universe!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Delight for Foodies & Historians

Chris Kimball, the founder of the utterly fabulous Cooks Illustrated and well know as the host of America's Test Kitchen (a PBS series), has several books out, but his most recent struck me as worthy of a post, as I think it would make an excellent gift for anyone who is a foodie in your life, but also for someone who likes the Victorian Era, Boston's history or is just a lover of detail.

The book is called Fannie's Last Supper and is available at any bookstore. It's $25.99 but is discounted to $18.99 at Barnes and Noble (members get an extra 10% off), and can be as low as 25-40% off with one of Boarder's membership coupons. Amazon offers it for $15.20 (how do they do that?).

In her day Fannie Farmer's cookbook, The Boston Cooking School Cook Book, circa 1896, was THE book to have, and came out at a time where food was a way for people to express themselves... Hence, many course meals were in vogue, as were the elaborate table settings, linens, lighting. Attendant table manners and etiquette became all the rage.

For about two years he experimented (with the help of team) how to make all the recipes authentically - which will promise to make a fascinating read filled with delicious details.

If you click on this link to NPR you can see pictures of the dinner itself, which was served in the Kimballs' brownstone in Boston's South End. Quite lush and magnificent! Of particular interest is the coal stove that they cooked everything on, which they had refurbished and installed in the kitchen. I can't wait to give this gift!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Wearing Your Heart

Thanks to my blog pal at the Rattie Crew, I discovered this very nice jewelry site. Christie Robinson, Earth and Animal Friendly Designs. Very affordable things... most average around $25.

The items look lovely, are simple yet unique, and there's a little something for everyone (if you don't like the animal or message themes there are nice, tasteful items, from rings and cuff links to things like Elvis's figures and city skyline necklaces to rival that famous Carrie necklace from Sex in the City).

Take time to really click around, there's more than featured in her slide show. I like the love ring, which could be good to save for an anniversary, or Valentines day... or any old day you want to brighten.