Tagged With gift ideas

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Any bar worth its rimming salt should be stocked with at least a couple of bottles of bitters. Sure, you can make a cocktail without them, but you can also roast a chicken without salt or pepper. Like these everyday seasonings, cocktail bitters add flavour and depth to almost any beverage, and making your own allows you to put a unique stamp on every cocktail you serve.

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So you still haven't picked out a Father's Day gift for your old man, eh? Join the club. Instead of grabbing a "World's Greatest Dad" mug or an obligatory slab of beer down the supermarket, show him you care with one of these life-hacking pressies. Categories range from virtual reality to "smart" cooking with prices starting at just $29.

Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.

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Father's Day is rapidly approaching -- which means you're going to have to fork out for a pressie of some sort. If your progenitor is a rugged outdoorsman, or just partial to a bit of "glamping", these gift ideas will help to put a smile on his grizzled dial. To make life easy, we've also included links to where you can buy the products online. So get shopping! Your old man deserves it.

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When it comes to buying gifts for that special person in your life, it's hard to go past flowers and chocolate. Unfortunately, this also suggests a lack of thought and effort on the gift giver's part -- especially if you forget to take the petrol station's price tags off. The solution is to combine both pressies into one super-romantic concoction that you've made yourself. Here's a recipe from professional chocolatier and regular Masterchef guest Kirsten Tibballs that will put you in your partner's good books for years to come.

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Free group gift idea site Blankless aims to help anyone trading gifts within a family, work group, or a circle of friends keep who-bought-what straight and get inspired by others. It's a pretty simple app at heart—post a link or just a general name for a gift idea and tag it to a person—but the extra features make it better, and certainly easier, than forcing everybody onto your wiki. The embedded Amazon search links are handy, the site hides gifts from those they're intended for, and ranking gifts by cost and greatness is a nice touch. The "Dashboard" landing page also gives you the most recent gift suggestions, Facebook-style, so you don't miss out. Blankless is a free webapp to use, requires a sign-up for anyone trading ideas (the gift-getters don't have to sign up, thankfully).

Blankless

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Recycler blightdesign demonstrates how you can turn cereal and other similar boxes into gift boxes over at DIY site Instructables. As long as you have a pair of scissors, some glue and the ability to execute some well-placed folds, the only thing standing between you and a cool little recycled gift box is that last bowl of Lucky Charms.

Gift Box from a Cereal Box

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Decorate your house on the cheap (or make great gifts for friends) by creating your own scented candles. Tutorial site WikiHow explains that you need paraffin wax, stearic acid, a glass, a wick with wick sustainer, fragrance oil, a metal pouring jug, a thermometer, colour block, and a double boiler/metal bowl over a saucepan of boiling water. Once you secure this exhaustive list of items, you're well on your way to create an aromatic candle that can last a long time. You'll need to mix all the ingredients together over a flame, but be sure that your ratio of stearic acid to wax is proportionate. Add fragrance and then fix the wick in place. Keep pouring the wax (slowly!) until the candle is complete, and then leave it to dry. As long as you follow the directions closely, you can really make a fun personalised gift—add your friends' favourite fragrance and you're good to go!

How to Make a Scented Candle in a Glass

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You already love the one-stop convenience of shopping online at Amazon.com, but chances are you're not getting everything you can out of this feature-packed shopping engine. Did you know Amazon can email you suggestions from Mom's wish list two weeks before her birthday? Automatically ship you a new case of toilet paper every two months? Refund the difference on the price of an item you purchased that went on sale? Several advanced Amazon features and third party apps and add-ons can help you get the best deals and the stuff you want delivered to your door right on time. After the jump, add our favourite 10 Amazon power-shopper tools to your cart.

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I think Kevin Kelly of the Cool Tools blog just solved my problem of what to ask for at my next birthday - he recommends staying in touch with what's happening in music by asking people you meet to make you a mixed CD of their favourite songs of the moment. He advises *not* asking your friends - but deliberately trying to broaden your horizons by reaching across the generation gap in music. For instance, he asks kids, grandkids, and students to make him CDs.There are heaps of music sharing sites out there, but I like this suggestion because it's more personal and doesn't require you or your friends to sign up to a website. Yes, this is a romantic notion of mine. Yes, I still think of mixed CDs as mixed tapes. Yes, I know it dates me. I'm fine iwth that. Now burn me a CD, please. :)

Radio David Byrne

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Amazon power user Merlin Mann makes a convincing case for how Amazon's Gift Organizer helps you be lazy and thoughtful when it comes to giving the perfect gift:

As you surf Amazon and notice stuff that might be cool for Mom or Aunt Sue or that nice UPS man, just click "Add to Wish List" and select the person it's intended for. Into the hopper it goes. Ubiquitous capture. Swish. So, if you start using the Gift Organizer today—even for stuff you have no intention of buying from Amazon—your life is going to be much easier the next time a gift-giving occasion rolls around; you've capitalized on several months of passive, half-assed attention to actually do something useful.

At this point, Amazon is big enough to act as a universal shopping cart and wishlist app; if you, like me, were one of the unprepared stressjobs running around on December 22nd, this sounds like a good Getting Gifts Done system.

Preemptively Save Christmas '08 with the Amazon Gift Organizer

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You already know you can turn that old t-shirt into underwear yourself—but if sewing's not your thing, hip undie company Solojones will do the recycling for you. Ship them your concert, race, techie schwag or any other tee to reincarnate, and they'll turn it into a pair of bottoms—a neat gift for the ladies. The transformation works best with stretchy shirts, and it'll set you back $30 (or $45 for two right now).

solojones

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For most online retailers the deadline for guaranteed pre-Christmas gift delivery passed days ago (December 18). The mall lines are growing longer and longer and a scant three shopping days stand between you and Christmas. Lowe's seemed to roll out the perfect solution by offering electronic gift certificates delivered over email. However, as pictured above, overwhelming popularity shut the program down. Just when you thought all hope was lost, CBS News comes to the rescue with 15 last-minute gift ideas that don't require leaving the house. What advice do you have to avoid the lines and deliver excellent gifts to your friends and family? Share in the comments.

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Ideas On The Web

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Tired of forking over too much cash for gift cards for last-minute gifts? The Zen Habits blog points out more than two dozen life-hack-friendly, GTD-ish gifts that can be had for less than $10 and show a bit more thought than a Home Depot voucher. Amongst the goods suggested are a Moleskine notebook (likely not name brand at that price), pedometers, and a self-made cookbook. I'm sure our readers have far more great suggestions, however—what have you all given when time and money aren't abundant? Spread the spirit of productive giving in the comments!

Top 25 Life-Improving Christmas Gifts for Under $10

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Crafty do-it-yourselfer John Boak uses anything and everything he's got around the house to wrap holiday gifts: from those fake plastic credit cards you get in the mail (pictured), to packing foam to catalogs, newspapers and bag handles. Don't miss the gallery of gorgeous gift-wrapped packages which will make you ditch your recycling bin and hold onto every bit of colorful paper that comes into your life next year.

Wrap Art

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Personal finance blogger Penny Nickel outlines 14 ways to give "more meaning and less stuff" this holiday season. She writes:

I don't know about you, but it drives me nuts to give and receive so much meaningless stuff, just out of tradition. It's bad for the environment, it's stressful to have extra clutter in the house, and it emphasises material objects as the way to show people you care about them. Ugh!

Alternatives to giving stuff include giving favours (like babysitting "gift certificates"), giving experiences (like show tickets), choosing online gifts (like iTunes purchases), and giving to charity in someone's name. How do you avoid giving stuff for the sake of giving stuff this time of year? Let us know in the comments.

Holiday Gifting: 14 Ways to Give More Meaning and Less Stuff

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Got (or soon to be getting) a gadget that needs mounting in your car? ProClip offers clips for nearly any portable device you can throw at it, then matches a vehicle mount to the make and model of your car. With the right device clip for your gadget and mount for your car, you can ensure that your gear is securely fastened and conveniently located so hopefully you're not fumbling to switch songs or answer a phone call while driving. Prices vary but they aren't exactly cheap, so if you've had luck with other, cheaper mounts, let's hear about them in the comments.

ProClip